Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current brought Minneapolis-based band, Roma di Luna, to the Coffee Hag for the Mankato leg of “The Current Road Trip” on Thursday, Nov. 11.
“We wanted to reach out to greater Minnesota,” said the Current weekday morning host Jill Riley who emceed the event with her morning show co-host Steve Seel. “People in greater Minnesota are listening to the Current, so if they can’t always come to us, then we should go to them,” said Riley.
Riley and Seel traveled to Mankato with Roma di Luna front couple, Alexei and Channy Moon Casselle.
Roma di Luna is a six-person ensemble that began as a husband and wife folk duo playing at the Minneapolis Farmers Market and in coffee shops. The couple relived their twosome-days at the Coffee Hag.
“We’ve been playing as a full band lately, but we started just as the two of us, so it’s nice just to come back to kind of how we started–playing at coffee shops,” Alexei Casselle said.
The Coffee Hag was at maximum capacity well before the performance began. The small size of the venue meant most of the audience was sitting on the floor or standing in the back throughout the duration of the concert, while those who arrived at the Coffee Hag hours before the performance lounged on sofas and chairs.
The audience’s devotion and unwavering attention added to the intimacy of the performance, which Seel referred to as a “mini love fest.”
Three times over the course of the evening Riley and Seel went on stage and asked the couple questions submitted by the audience, revealing information about their craft, lives and the difficulty of balancing their marriage with their professional lives.
“We do lots of interviews with artists on the radio, but in this setting, the audience gets to take part in one themselves,” Seel said.
Roma di Luna released their third full album, Then the Morning Came, in October. The album has been described as an “emotional work out” by MPR, which could also be an accurate description of the performance at the Coffee Hag.
The event was sponsored in part by the Minnesota Legacy Arts and Cultural Grant, without which the event would not have been possible. The Current will bring a Twin Cities band to four Minnesota cities, including their first trip to Duluth in October. They will be traveling to Rochester and Austin in the spring.