Steve Barone (center)

Feed Loader,

Steve Barone and a Schecter PT guitar.

Feed Loader,

Local music notes: One man's guitar saga

  • Star Tribune
  • August 15, 2013 - 3:24 PM


Hard to believe that one not-so-great $400 Schecter brand guitar was enough to launch a promising new band, but nearly anything is believable when it comes to Steve Barone.

The former Lifter Puller guitarist is debuting his latest act at the Turf Club Saturday, a rather straight-ahead rock quintet called the Ronnie Buxtons. Not surprisingly, there’s a funny lil’ story to go with it.

After Lifter Puller played its final show in 2000, Barone remembers being so broke, “I had to sell everything.” He sold his Schecter back to the guy he originally bought it from, bandmate Tad Kubler, who moved to Brooklyn and went on to use it for the Hold Steady’s debut “Almost Killed Me.” Then Kubler sold it again.

In the interim, Barone went guitarless in the mock-rock act Hawaii Show (which used inflatable instruments). After months of scouring the web, he found his old guitar in a photo on a Brooklyn group’s MySpace page in 2007 (when bands still used MySpace). His offer to buy it was declined. Flash forward another half-decade, and out of the blue the guitar was for sale.

“It just means a lot to me personally, and I was excited enough to get it back I booked a rehearsal space and got the ball rolling,” he said.

A poppy classic-rocking band in the vein of Free Energy, the Ronnie Buxtons feature Jeaneen Gauthier (of Jan) and Misha Dashevsky (Die Electric). They’ll open for Me and My Arrow on Saturday’s Turf lineup (10 p.m., $6).

Random mix

The wide array of outdoor block parties in Minneapolis gets even wider on Saturday with the addition of the Phillips Music Festival, taking place in the Phillips Community Center parking lot and featuring Latino dance greats Malamanya, poetic rapper Guante, I.B.E., Bomba Umoya, Tall Paul and more (noon-8 p.m., 2323 11th Av. S., free). … Linden Hills eatery Tilia will host its Augtoberfest block party on Sunday with music by the Melismatics, Sleep Study, Kevin Bowe & the Okemah Prophets, Crankshaft, Southside Desire, Batteryboy and more, plus a kids area (noon-9 p.m., 2726 43rd St., $3 admission, benefits Linden Hills Power & Light). …

Fresh from a big gig at El Rey in Los Angeles, Nicholas David landed two weeks of very big gigs opening for the Avett Brothers in October out west. The “Voice” star will wrap up the year with two First Ave gigs Dec. 27-28. … Jeremy Messersmith will hit the road in October with the most un-Googleable band around, Boy. …

Set to play their first reunion gig next weekend in Toronto, the Replacements’ second reunion gig at the three-day RiotFest in Chicago (the nearest to Minnesota) was finally announced to be on Sunday, Sept. 15. One-day tickets are on sale via And no, don’t wait to see if there will be a local show in the interim. • 612-673-4658

© 2018 Star Tribune