Loading Events

Pop Wagner & Bob Bovee

Thursday, June 13 @ 7:30 pm

Date & Time

Jun 13, 7:30 pm
Doors open: 6:30 pm


All Ages

Some of the most spirited traditional music around

Pop Wagner and Bob Bovee perform some old-time tunes on Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 7:30 pm. Doors will open at 6:30 pm. Tickets range from $20 to $25, plus Eventbrite fees. Ticket prices increase by $5 on the day of the show. Friends of the MPOH can purchase tickets starting on Monday, March 4 and the general public can purchase tickets starting Monday, March 18.

Pop Wagner and Bob Bovee met in 1971 over a bowl of chili one winter’s night in the West Bank neighborhood of Minneapolis. After dinner, they played some old-time music. They’ve been doing that off and on ever since. On their first “tour” together they traveled by thumb and boxcar through eleven western states covering nearly 5,000 miles, stopping to play along the way in folk clubs and taverns and on street corners. Separately and together, they have produced some of the most spirited traditional music around while developing and deepening their old-time craft during the 50+ years of their accomplished musical careers.

Pop Wagner, master finger-picking guitarist, fiddler and singer, lariat spinner, and purveyor of dry humor, lives in St. Paul and performs solo and in various other musical combinations. Bob Bovee resides in the rural area of southeastern Minnesota. He performs solo as well as with Wagner, plays guitar, harmonica, autoharp and banjo, sings and yodels, and is also a humorist and storyteller. Together they have entertained audiences spanning America, Canada, and across the pond, including the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the San Diego Folk Festival, the Five Colleges Folk Festival in Massachusetts, and four tours together in Europe.

A Wagner-Bovee performance offers a generous dose of authentic cowboy songs, old-time fiddle tunes and instrumental numbers, country blues, comic and sentimental songs of the south, and perhaps an original or two. The two are likely to also throw in a cowboy poem and some tall tales, along with history, folklore, and joke-lore.

Bovee and Wagner have been frequent performers at such seminal Midwest venues as the Coffeehouse Extempore and the New Riverside Café (Minneapolis), the Ginkgo Coffeehouse (Saint Paul), the Focal Point (Saint Louis) the Foolkiller (Kansas City) The Two Way Street Coffeehouse and the Shawano Folk Festival (Wisconsin) and Public Radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion”. Tours together around the U.S. have included shows in WA, OR, CA, NV, WY, CO, KS, NE, SD, ND, WI, IL, MA, PA, NY, OH, IN and MO. A television program featuring the two aired in July 2014 on Prairie Public TV from North Dakota.

The duo also made its mark on the dance scene in the Twin Cities. In October of 1979 Bovee, Wagner and Matt Haney, with the encouragement of Gail Heil who moved to Minneapolis two weeks later, started the Monday Night Square Dance. The Monday Dance has been key in the development of the old-time scene in Minnesota that has spawned a wealth of old-time bands and dances. Wagner and Bovee are still a pivotal part of this scene.