Reading the words of Paul Metsa as recorded in his memoir, Blue Guitar Highways, is a walk through the several decades of the local music scene with all of his and its connections with the ages and stages of American music writ large.
An Iron Ranger by birth Metsa, now a Northeast Minneapolis resident, will be sharing his stories with his neighbors and fans on Saturday, December 10, 1:00 p.m. at the Northeast Library, 2200 Central Avenue NE. The special chance to meet and hear the legendary Metsa is sponsored by Hennepin County Library in conjunction with the Friends of the Northeast Library.
Metsa is not only known by just about everybody – he knows just about everybody. No less an authority than Minnesota Law and Politics reports that “Metsa is a hodge-podge of people, a melting pot of different characters and performers. He’s a songwriter, a folk singer, a blues singer, a guitarist, a social activist, a Finn, a storyteller, a comedian, a philosopher, and a conspiracy theorist.”
Describing an interview with Metsa Strib reporter Jon Bream writes that “he has booked bars (Famous Dave’s, Mayslack’s), organized festivals and put together almost as many benefit concerts as he’s played at.” Metsa embraces a performing opportunity when and wherever the opportunity presents itself. “Whether it’s the David Letterman show or the Gunflint Tavern in Grand Marais,” he told Jon Bream in that same interview.
Blue Guitar Highway, published recently by the University of Minnesota Press, tells the story of Metsa’s youth on the Range, his coming of age in the Seventies, and his involvement with the Minneapolis music scene in the Eighties – Husker Du, Prince, the Replacements and their ilk. It covers, too, Metsa’s life as a professional musician working with the superstars of the American music scene.
Today he is busy promoting other artists, especially those whose music must be recorded and shared now, or lost. My personal favorite is a recording featuring Willie West and Willie Walker, appropriately titled Paul Metsa Gives You the Willies.
And Saturday, December 10, he will be sharing his life, his philosophy, and his remarkable stories with those who are fortunate enough to be in the audience at Northeast Library for this unique close-to-home presentation.