The Free Press, Mankato, MN


June 16, 2013

Blues salute

KMSU blues guru nominated for MN Blues Society Hall of Fame


He's on the service lists for just about every blues label in the country, giving him exhaustive access to blues material. His playlists have become valuable statistical references for the few organizations that still track earnestly the radio play of blues music.

"Blues music is mostly relegated to non-commercial operations," he said. "This is a labor of love, but I certainly have a focus and goal of getting this music out to people."

For a boy growing up in St. Peter who had to drive to a hilltop out of the river valley to tune in a shaky AM signal from KQRS in the Twin Cities to satisfy his blues hankerings, there is a sense of responsibility for the music.

Like a lot of youths in the 1960s and 1970s, Halverson's first exposure to blues music came from the British Invasion. As his understanding grew, so did his appreciation. While living for a time in Minneapolis after graduating from then-Mankato State College, he was around for the halcyon days of the West Bank music scene. When disco took over live music in the 1970s, Halverson said he sought further refuge in blues, bluegrass and roots music.

Though the local blues influence has ebbed and flowed, Halverson has made a point to support area blues acts and is said to own one of the largest collections of blues festival T-shirts in the Midwest.

"Blues is still a niche around here," he said. "But I'll keep doing it as long as I'm around town."

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