8th Street Bio
One of the most promising country rock bands in the upper Midwest, The 8th Street Band are the very definition country rock. Telling stories of the everyday working men/women with voice and musicianship as honest as the words they are singing. Blending country, rock, soul and blues to build a sound that is familiar yet completely their own, It is no wonder this group of seasoned pros have built one of the largest followings in their region and beyond.
Chad Johnson and Russell Franek (The founders of the band) have been playing music together since the 7th grade. They both had a close mutual friend in Mark Grundhoefer, and it didn't take long before they started up their first band together - The Grundhoefer Band - Back in 1995 the alternative rock scene was blowing up around the world, and while some of that music was highly inspirational to them they were more inspired by the old classics...Playing tunes from the 50's, 60's, and 70's. Artist like Chuck Berry, and Elvis Presley were high on their list. Bands like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and CCR were among their favorite bands to cover, and they covered them well. They learned at a young age the beauty of playing a variety music, and they allowed themselves to be inspired by many different genres, and not falling into the trap of feeling like they had to play any one specific brand of music.
After high school Mark decided to start working with some other projects, and was on his way to making a career for himself in the music business. He is now the owner of MJG Productions, and the lead guitarist in a popular national band called The Big Wu. While Mark knew what he wanted, and was in full pursuit of his music dream; Chad, and Russ on the other hand weren't really even sure if they were going to pursue music at all after high school. Chad had always been a drummer, and was now developing skills as a guitarist, and singer/songwriter, and was wanting to possibly start up a new band with his buddy, and former bandmate Russell Franek, but this time Chad didn't want to be sitting behind a drum kit...The rest is history!! The band name has changed a couple of times through the years, but the one thing that has always remained the same is Chad, and Russ at the front of the stage playing, and singing their hearts out for anybody, and everybody that would listen. They have now built one of the strongest followings throughout Minnesota...Especially in Southern Minnesota. They have been voted the 'BEST BAND' in Southern Minnesota for 3 straight years (2015,16, 17), and they feel like they're just getting started!
They have shared the stage with some great bands through the years...Names like The Killer Hayseeds, 32 below, The Shalo Lee Band, Alannah McCready, The Jason Paulson Band, Allison Scott, and Mark Joseph. This July 2018 they will be sharing the stage with one of their biggest Minnesota influences - Martin Zellar, and The Gear Daddies @ The Boxcar in Waseca, MN!!
Weather you see an 8th Street Band acoustic show, or full band show it will definitely be a night not easily forgotten.