Date: Friday, September 24, 2021
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Outdoor stage
Cash bar open
Galactic Cowboy Orchestra was started in 2009 by founding member/bass player John Wright. The band was born out of a desire to play technically challenging music derived from John’s influences ranging from Mahavishnu Orchestra, The Dixie Dregs and King Crimson, to name a few. Wright enlisted the aid of guitarist Dan Neale, who brought to the table many deep Jazz influences in his advanced playing and composing style. Along with the band’s first drummer, Mark O’Day the beginnings of Galactic Cowboy Orchestra were found. Soon after, violinist (and John’s wife) Lisi Wright joined the band with her aggressive “electric guitar player plays violin” style and engaging stage presence to complete the band’s sound and look. Fast forward 12 years: 5 studio releases (and one live), two Downbeat Nominations, a Minnesota Arts Tour Grant, collaborations with symphony orchestras, thousands of miles of touring and the band is just getting started. 2021 sees the GCO with a new drummer in Mario Dawson, a new studio release and a stronger than ever ethic to create the ultimate musical moment between the players and the audience with their Art Rock/Jazz Fusion creations.
What other bands do we sound like? We have been compared to King Crimson, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Dixie Dregs, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.
Lisi Wright – Violin/Vocals
Lisi started playing the violin at the age of 5 on a cute little 1/4-size violin. She grew up in a tiny town in southern MN that didn’t have an orchestra, so she took private violin lessons while playing French horn in the Blooming Prairie HS Band. From there, she has played with Tim Sigler Band, Mark Stary & The Whiskey Roses, Martin Zellar & The Hardways and you can still find her on stage with The Geoff Elvee Band and Mick Sterling. Lisi, aka Elisa, founded New Folk Booking. She is endorsed by Bridge Violins.
Important things to know about Lisi:
- I’M OBSESSED WITH RUSH! Witch Hunt, Circumstances, Armor & Sword, Driven, Anthem, Natural Science, Jacob’s Ladder, The Wreckers, Peaceable Kingdom, Passage to Bangkok, on and on and on, baby. They are, in fact, the GREATEST BAND EVER! I can tell you exactly why, just ask me some time. I’m also OBSESSED WITH BIG WRECK! They’re actually tied for my #1 with RUSH! Diamonds, Do What You Will, The Arborist, Hey Mama, A Speedy Recovery, Wolves, Look What I Found… just check them out. And, yes, I love The Beatles too. And Soundgarden. And Collective Soul. And Metallica. The list goes on.
- I fret for my lattes.
- I’m married to the bald guy in the band and we have a daughter. She has her father’s eyes…
- Best drum fill: Matt Cameron on Soundgarden’s “Burden in My Hand” at 4:35.
Dan Neale – Guitars/Vocals
Dan Neale is one of the Twin Cities’ most adored pickers. He has played with Bo Diddley and has performed as a guest artist and a fill-in for Pat Donohue on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” He also performed with Chuck Leavell (keyboard player, The Rolling Stones), Hutch Hutchinson (bass player, Bonnie Raitt) and Kenny Arnoff (drummer, John Mellencamp) in the 50th Anniversary Buddy Holly Tribute, backing such greats as Graham Nash and Wanda Jackson.
John Wright – Bass/Vocals
John Wright first made his mark in the Minnesota Music scene in 1989 where his versatility on the bass found him onstage with Pop Fusion/New Age guitarist Billy McLaughlin as well as his own Progressive rock band US, who’s debut recording made the cover of the College Music Journal. As the years ensued John found himself in many different musical environment’s from Blues and Soul legend Mick Sterling to a four year run with Minnesota Pop star Tim Mahoney. In 1999, he found time to form the critically acclaimed Celtic/American Folk-Rock trio Lehto and Wright, still active to this day. Concurrent to his live performances, John has developed his skills as a recording engineer/producer with over 75 full length CDs and countless other sessions on his resume, making him an in-demand producer in Minnesota and beyond. He is the founder of The Villa Recording Studio in Savage, MN.
Mario Dawson – Drums/Percussion
Mario Dawson born and raised in Chicago. He got his start playing in the Apostolic Church at the tender age of 6. Quickly excelling, he started playing for different blues acts in Chicago where he was discovered by R. Kelly. He started touring with him right after he graduated high school. Mario moved to Minneapolis and got busy in that scene playing with Walter Chancellor, Barbara LeShoure, The Family, recording drums and producing at Paisley Park and playing for many other artist in the area. Currently you can catch him playing with GCO, Bernard Allison, Seinabo Sey from Sweden and Vanja Skye from Croatia.