Rogue Valley perform at The Current in 2016. (Nate Ryan/MPR)
The band are going beyond just playing shows in these towns. They’re also going to be working on spending time with the community, focusing on students. Chris Koza, the band’s frontman, sees these residencies as a way to invest time in people who invest time in the band.
“It’s very satisfying for me to get a chance to just talk to young people and people of all ages about their music,” Koza says.
Rogue Valley will work with an elementary school in Worthington and have them sing some of the band’s songs. They will also meet with a music appreciation class to work on songwriting, and play with a guitar class. The week will end with a show to wrap-up the residency.
The Americana group features Chris Koza, Linnea Mohn, Luke Anderson, Peter Sieve, and Joey Kantor. Koza has been playing with the members of Rogue Valley for years, but the band came together as a way to bring a new focus to their sound. They wanted to release four distinct albums in one year, which they did in 2010.
“I might try it again just from a conceptual standpoint,” Koza says about that experience. “It’s really interesting to stay focused and to stay in that world of songwriting. So I would do it for myself to be indulgent, but would create a lot of fanfare around four distinctive album releases in one year? I don’t know, I don’t think I’d do that. It’s a whole other beast.”
After their year releasing four albums, they took a break until 2016 when they released Radiate/Dissolve. In 2013 one of their songs, “The Wolves and the Ravens,” was featured in the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
The residency in Worthington will end with a show on Jan. 13 at the Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center. The Austin residency ends with a show on Feb. 10 at the Historic Paramount Theater.