Nationally Acclaimed Band to Play on the St. Croix

Support river conservation at a concert on the Grand Duchess boat out of Hudson.




2 minute read

Via the St. Croix River Association:

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades (Ben Vinar)

A band with strong St. Croix River roots will return to its waters on June 19, 2014 for a concert on the Grand Duchess out of Hudson for a three-hour cruise presented by the St. Croix River Association.

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades plays what it calls “progressive high-energy Old-Time folk music.” The five-piece group hails from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, but has long enjoyed the St. Croix River. Banjo player Russell Pedersen spent several summers as a seasonal National Park Service ranger on the river.

“My seasonal work on the river opened my mind to past and present of the river and people living near it,” says Pedersen. “And it shifted my thoughts to what I could do for the river in the future in all honesty. It made me aware, and that is something that is not easy to come by. It stirred me up inside and made me proud of where I grew up. Working on the river made me want to help protect it and keep it as beautiful and useful as it is now, forever.”

The river also factors into several songs by Horseshoes and Hand Grenades. Pedersen says he wrote “River Rat” over the course of a few years while working on the St. Croix, “5 Foot Sturgeon” is an instrumental number about a sturgeon he almost caught on the St. Croix, and “St. Croix Hills” is “not so much about the river but thoughts, feelings, and memories I’ve made in the river valley.”

Rockin’ the River will include a two-hour set of music by the band, as well as appetizers and a cash bar. Tickets are $50 and proceeds support the St. Croix River Association’s mission to protect, restore and celebrate the river we all love.


Rockin’ the River
Thursday, June 19, 2014
From 6 – 9:30 PM
Grand Duchess Charter Vessel 500 1st Street, Hudson, WI
Tickets are $50, register by June 17th at

Pedersen on the River

Describing why he loves the river, Pedersen says, “it allows one to truly get out and experience a facet of Wisconsin life that for the most part has disappeared.” He goes on to describe the river’s history as “a powerhouse for all life in the valley.” He goes onto say that while the strong dependence life once had on the river may be gone, the value the river has to our current state of life whould not be forgotten. He says it, “allows for a rebirth of mind and spirit through getting back to the simpler moments. Sitting on the banks of a river like the St. Croix causes one to reflect and truly think.” He says of the river, “The St. Croix is a public waterway, a national park, it is there to help soothe, aid, and invigorate people. It is essential. And that is why I love it”


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Nationally Acclaimed Band to Play on the St. Croix