BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Prairie Road, take me home, to the place I belong — and in the case of the local group bearing this name, that place is right here in Bismarck.
Prairie Road, a local band based out of Bismarck, is composed of a trio of native North Dakotans, who have been involved with music ever since they were young.
Lead singer Holly Duffy, guitarist Michael Shirek, and Cole Bernhardt (who plays guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and harmonica) all say that they have always known music was something that would be a part of their lives forever.
“It’s there for everything,” said Duffy. “I mean, it’s in your emotions. It’s probably the best way to express yourself.”
The group covers a wide variety of popular music, and not only take cues from the classics but remix and tune them with their own sound. The exact terminology for this style of music, they say, is one that fans identify as a Midwestern staple, but also one given the group’s unique spin.
“A lot of people describe us as bluegrass because we play acoustic instruments,” noted Bernhardt. “We do play some bluegrass tunes, but I describe our genre more as ‘acoustic Americana’.”
Although this trio is the Prairie Road we see today, the band actually formed about 10 years ago.
However, over time, band members have come and gone — resulting in its’ current iteration. Holly, the lead singer of the group, is their newest addition.
“Holly has a lot of enthusiasm and fun on stage,” Shirek stated, “and I think it translates really well. I have not had an unexciting moment on stage with Holly. We’ve had some terrifying moments, but they were always exciting.”
“I’m just here for the looks,” Holly joked.
In between their regular jobs, this trio has spent quite some time entertaining the people of BisMan with their twists on popular music and impressive on-stage energy. Even if playing music is a side gig for these three, though, they still stress the importance of supporting local artists.
“Support your local music scene,” urged Bernhardt. “Art is important, and music is important. It’s really easy, especially in the world we live in, to discount the validity or the importance of the art scene. It’s patronizing your local business. It’s about keeping your dollars local — and especially in a small community like Bismarck, it’s a really important thing. And the arts have a huge part to play in that.”
You can find Prairie Road playing around the Bismarck-Mandan area year-round — particularly at venues like The Paddle Trap, Laughing Sun, and Gideon’s Brewing Company.
To learn more about the band, visit their Facebook page here.