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The members of Riesage hail from Fargo, North Dakota, a small city surrounded by rolling prairies in the heart of the upper Midwest. The indie/folk outfit’s sound is one defined by gravel-throated tales of wasted youth and rural desperation, wrapping traces of 50’s Motown, blue collar rock and roll grit, and post-rock ambiance around a strong Americana core. After cycling through a handful of lineups revolving around the voice and guitar of Mike Barnum, the band has evolved into its current incarnation as a cohesive five-piece outfit, operating as a tight-knit collective of friends with an open and democratic creative process.

Intensely personal yet broadly relatable, Riesage writes songs that are simple reflections of the human condition without pandering to the lowest common denominator of modern pop culture. On stage, the heavy emotional catharsis expressed in Barnum’s lyrics is often offset by a sharp sense of comedic absurdity, defusing the sort of self-indulgent pretense that can make performers appear either self-pitying or unapproachable. On the contrary, the band’s personable live presence has helped them earn opening slots with notable acts including The Wooden Sky, Josiah Wolf, Moving Mountains, and Oberhofer.

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