Rockin' Rendez Vous - The online voice of cambridge campus students
The online voice of cambridge campus students
by Tom Bolan

Contributing writer

The coffee house series returned to the Cambridge Campus of Anoka Ramsey Community College on Tuesday, March 22. This time, the featured artist was Paul Imholte.

Imholte, a folk singer and lifelong Minnesotan, was playing his music to a small, but enamored crowd. People came and went through the cafeteria, many stopping for a moment, and some sitting down to enjoy the free show.

Imholte is a career musician, folk singer, and master of stringed instruments. On stage with him were the tools of his craft: a guitar, violin, fiddle, banjo, lute, harmonica, and hammer dulcimer, which is an instrument that was a transition between the harpsichord and modern piano.

He has been playing music since he was in the eighth grade, and getting paid to do what he loved since.

"The space here is really small,; it's really intimate. I could almost play without amplification, it feels more personal in places like these," he said.

Imholte is no stranger to small venues, but he has played to larger audiences as well. He's played across the country from New York City to California, but the vast majority of his work has been in the upper Midwest. Although more than 80 percent of his work is his solo career, including the release of a number of solo albums, he plays with different bands on occasion. He will be playing with an Irish music group called Ring of Kerry at a festival in Duluth next week, and has played to audiences numbering in the thousands at various festivals.

During his Cambridge Campus show, he took a few requests from the audience: a Johnny Cash song as well as a tune written by Bach. However, folk music is what he does best.

"People in Iowa and Minnesota, they get these songs. They know what a song about raising a barn is about," Imholte said just before he played one of his original folk songs.

"I enjoy the connection with the audience, when they're dancing or getting into the music," Imholte remarked. "There's an energy transferred there, that's my favorite part."

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