Minneapolis-based folk and blues troubadour Jack Klatt will perform at 7 p.m. March 11 at the Richard G. Hardy Performing Arts Center at Cambridge-Isanti High School as part of the Hardy Center’s “On Stage With” series, which sees a number of audience members seated on stage.
Although Klatt’s music is steeped in those influences, he considers himself a songwriter first and foremost, and prioritizes honest expression in the music he makes.
“I’m a writer primarily,” Klatt said, “and genre’s never been a big concern for me.”
Klatt settled down in Minneapolis after years on the road. He often plays gigs in rural Midwestern communities like Cambridge.
He has released three full-length albums, two solo and one with an all-star group of Minnesota folkies called the Cat Swingers.
His most recent album is last year’s “Shadows in the Sunset.”
Although Klatt is still showcasing many of that album’s songs live, he says he will likely throw in a few unrecorded songs at his
Hardy Center concert as well, sourced from a new batch he has been working on. He likes to break new material in live.
“I’ve got a new batch of songs,” he said, “and I’ve been starting to perform those, give them some legs.”
Klatt started his music career in earnest about a decade ago, but he had been playing piano and guitar before he started getting serious about performing as a career. Some of his early performing experiences took place in church. Klatt believes he came upon much of the music that now informs his style in friends’ record collections.
“We have all this recorded material, especially blues stuff,” Klatt said. “It’s this big community well that anyone can dip into.”
Blues is one of his primary influences. He cited blues men John Lee Hooker, Reverend Gary Davis, Lightning Hopkins and Blind Blake as favorites.
“The honesty of that music, a lot of those songs are just some dude making stuff up,” Klatt said. “It’s like a meditation, if you’re feeling like you’re losing your mind, music has always been there for me.”
Tickets for Klatt’s performance are available at hardycenter.com, by calling 763-689-6189 or by visiting the Community Education Office, at 625B Main St. N., Cambridge. Tickets will also be available at the ticket booth beginning 30 minutes prior to the performance.