One Step Closer


The CD project has lurched ahead one major step—we got the files uploaded last night, and assuming everything is good to go, production should be underway very soon! We should have physical CDs in-hand in a couple weeks, and digital downloads might be available before that. We’re still figuring that out. Rookies.

Stay tuned!

This project was made possible by a grant provided by the Five Wings Arts Council with funds from the McKnight Foundation.

Summer’s Coming!

Summer is starting to fill in! A few familiar places, a few new ones, and a few still in the works – looking forward to each one!

Private Event – June 2
Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge Campfire Series – June 16
Laurel Street Market, Brainerd – June 18
Ruttger’s Campfire Series – June 23
St. Mathias Church Community Bazaar, Fort Ripley – June 30
Laurel Street Market, Brainerd – July 2
Park Rapids Growers Market – July 6
Private Event – July 13
Roundhouse Brewery – July 20
Ruttger’s Blues & BBQ Bash – Aug 10
Zig’s Restaurant – Aug 16
Park Rapids Growers Market – Aug 31
Ruttger’s Campfire Series – Sept 1

Stay tuned!

Successful Grant App!

IMG_7080I am very excited! I was recently notified that I will receive an Individual Artist Grant from Five Wings Arts Council! I’ll be using the funds to go into the studio to record my original music for CD production, streaming, and download.

I’ve been waiting for the official word to go public with the info and, frankly, explain my light schedule this winter. I’m spending the time practicing, writing, and basically getting ready to hit the studio and lay down some tight, high-energy tracks!

I have to give my wife, Liesa Thill, credit for helping me put the application together. She somehow manages to listen to and read the profuse information, opinions, and digressions I give her and form it into a winning grant proposal.

With more than 40 years of playing and writing, my biggest challenge, now, might be picking just ten songs to record!

Stay tuned for updates as I go through this process!

Here’s the formal news release I’m sending out with details about my background, the grant, and Five Wings Arts Council:

BAXTER—Bruce Archer was recently named a recipient of an Individual Artist Grant by Five Wings Arts Council. Archer will use the funds to complete studio recordings of his original music for CD production, streaming, and download.

Archer, currently of Baxter, Minn., has been playing guitar, singing, and writing music for more than 40 years, with over 20 of those years as a professional musician working in Minneapolis and, since 2017, throughout northern and north central Minnesota. He has been featured on Lakeland PBS’s revival of their Backroads show (Season 2, Episode 2) and has played with a range of regionally and nationally recognized musicians. In the summer of 2018, Archer and his wife, Liesa Thill, coordinated the Seeing Music/Hearing Canvas live music/visual arts event in Brainerd, Minn., as part of deTOUR Downtown—a creative placemaking initiative to inspire people to visit downtown despite road construction.

According to Archer, his music does not fit tidily into a single genre but draws on historical or original sources as influences including bluegrass, blues, and the storytelling traditions of folk music. He is recognized for his finger-picking and slide guitar techniques, which display a level of talent and mastery that comes from years of “sifting through musical styles and keeping the bits that resonate” with him. Whether he’s performing an original song or a deep cover, he coaxes an instrumental voice from his guitar that is authentically his own.

Your next opportunity to catch a live performance in Brainerd is April 6, 2019, at Roundhouse Brewery.

For more information on Bruce Archer, visit or find him on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

The Individual Artist Grant program provides assistance for artists at various stages in their career development. Artists must provide a match of at least 25% of the total project cost. Serving Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena Counties, Five Wings Arts Council is one of Minnesota’s eleven Regional Arts Councils. FWAC provides stewardship and distribution of funds acquired from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage fund as well as funds allocated from the general budget through the Minn. State Legislature.

This project was made possible by a grant provided by the Five Wings Arts Council with funds from the McKnight Foundation.

For more information on Five Wings Arts Council, visit

Demo Videos

I recently had the pleasure of recording a few demo videos at Hollywood To Go, with Sean Costas. Sean is a pro and made me feel at ease in his studio – hopefully that comes out in the vidoes:

Me and My Buddy Abes
This highly autobiographical blues-bluegrass breakdown captures the kinetic restlessness of youth, but it’s no melancholy look back. “Time stands still in Nowheresville, and then it flies.”
Music and lyrics (c) 2017 Bruce Archer | Video production by Sean Costas, Hollywood to Go


Rosie the Nights
Rosie the Nights explores the idyllic dreams shared among friends on the brink of adulthood and wondering if those friends would still recognize each other after time and experience had changed them. Music and lyrics (c) 1991 Bruce Archer | Video production by Sean Costas, Hollywood to Go


Little Red Rooster
An original take on the blues classic. I first heard this at a young age on The London Howlin’ Wolf Sessions album, and it made a strong impression. I was drawn back to it as I developed my finger picking and bottle neck slide techniques and love for the blues masters.
Arrangement by Bruce Archer | Video production by Sean Costas, Hollywood to Go

God Willin’ and the Weather Holds

Looking forward to playing a few winter gigs (as long as weather and road conditions cooperate):

Dec 8 – Sprout Market, Little Falls, MN – 10a-12p (event runs 10a-3p – be sure to check out the vendors!)
Dec 29 – Copper Trail Brewing, Alexandria, MN – 7-9p
Jan 19 – Roundhouse Brewery, Brainerd, MN – 6:30-8:30p
Feb 2 – Disgruntled Brewing, Perham, MN – 7-10p

I’ve been enjoying giving guitar (and a bit of ukulele) lessons at Brainerd’s Bridge of Harmony. It’s so fun to hear the students in all the lesson/practice rooms working on Christmas songs! Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, and I hope to see you soon!

Busy Summer!

The Seeing Music/Hearing Canvas event was a blast to play, and the artists created stunning pieces. Their pieces can be viewed at businesses throughout downtown Brainerd – Fancy Pants Chocolates, Picture Perfect Framing Studio, and Sage on Laurel. Overall, a great success!

Upcoming dates:

August 5 – A private event – I’m part of a BBQ Shindig that was auctioned off for my daughter’s school – should be interesting!
August 11 – Ideal Farmers Market, at the Ideal Green Market Cooperative, Pequot Lakes, MN
August 21 – Farmers Market on Laurel, downtown Brainerd, MN
August 25 – 7-9p – Copper Trail Brewing, Alexandria, MN
August 31 – 6:30-8:30p – Roundhouse Brewery, Brainerd, MN
September 1 – 7-10p – Disgruntled Brewing, Perham, MN
September 8 – Cuyuna Range Farmers Market, Crosby, MN
October 20 – 7-10p – Disgruntled Brewing, Perham, MN
December 8 – Sprout Growers and Makers Market

If you think my unique spins on deep covers and original music would be a good fit at a venue, festival, market, or front porch near you, shoot me an email. Thanks!