From 94.5 FM WELY radio in Ely.
The annual Northern Lights Music Festival on Minnesota’s Iron Range is a three-week event that includes an opera production. Documentary directors Mike Scholtz and Marius Anderson captured the process and stories leading up to the 2021 festival for the WDSE-TV feature embedded above. Iron Opera is the story of concert pianist Veda Zuponcic and a cast of talent plucked around the world and around da Range.
Went to the Julebyen Christmas Village in Knife River via a great train ride last Saturday and was enthralled with all things Scandinavian; the high spot was a talented funny Finn from Da Rengch named Steve Solkela —— from singing opera to “Play That Funky Music” he has it all covered. And did I say funny? Writes his own songs about Palo and saunas and, let’s face it, all the good things in life. Go see this guy and you’ll be smiling and clapping within two minutes!
Straight from the Iron Range comes this Halloween medley by Steve Solkela. The music was recorded at Kaleva Hall in Virginia. The medley includes: “Ranger Things Parody,” “Ghost of John,” “Play that Scary Music Bite Boy,” “Pass the Witch’s Broomstick” and “Zombie Taylor Swift.”
Iron Ranger Steve Solkela ran 5 kilometers through the streets of Virginia while playing an accordion. His finishing time was 34 minutes and 34.91 seconds, which is presumably a record — there seems to be no previous attempts at this stunt.
Video by Nathan Wangensteen.
Just in time for prom season, Steve Solkela and his Iron Range friends have a new music video for those left feeling alone on the shelf, like an oatmeal raisin cookie. Hey, sometimes the healthiest option gets picked last.
Steve Solkela and his Iron Range friends have produced another novelty song and music video. This one features a certain studmuffin who can get any gal he wants … at the nursing home.
The cast features Nathan Benson as the Studmuffin, Ruthy Morgan and Ruthy Wrinkleskins, Jordan Masieniec as Gladys Gray, Nathan Peterson as the bingo caller and vomiting grandson, Colton Flack as Edith Ainchant, Loralie Arbola as Ethel Manniyrs, Fika as Gertrude O’galanen, Brekaroni Pallas as Sylvia Dentures, Ian Carlson as Ralph Eonago, and Solkela as Gladys Vanderboobin.
Meet Steve Solkela. With his music career crushed by COVID-19 cancellations, he built up a robust YouTube following with his music videos, tandem-bike interviews and random stunts.
Iron Ranger Steve Solkela lives for ripping up a to-do list. His overpopulated one-man band expands to two on this track, with Matti Jarva on percussion.
Iron Rangers Steve Solkela and Milliscent the Mannequin present this important message about allergies. The song is from Solkela’s 2019 album Flying Finns.
Steve Solkela shares the musical story of his great-great grandfather’s journey from Finland to Minnesota in search of a better life. “It was backbreaking work down in those Minnesotan mines,” Sorkela writes on the YouTube description. “Many were injured, and many died; but of course, many were successful in feeding their families countless times and watching them grow to live beautiful lives.”
The video was shot over the summer at various locations across northern Minnesota, and edited using a free iPhone app.