Martin Zellar returning to midwest for a small holiday tour
Austin, MN native musician Martin Zellar, of The Gear Daddies, and “I Want to Drive the Zamboni” fame will be kicking off a Minnesota tour on November 21 at the Pioneer Place Theatre in St. Cloud, MN. Though he now permanently resides in a small mountain village in Mexico, Zellar makes it a point to come back every so often to reconnect with his devoted fan base, which has been building since 1984 when Zellar moved from Austin, MN to the Twin Cities to create the band “The Gear Daddies.”
In recent years, Zellar has become a welcome guest of the Americana Showcase in Rochester, MN, hosted by Six Mile Grove lead singer Brandon Sampson. Sampson, who is only a few years younger than Zellar, grew up just 20 miles south of Austin, MN listening to Zellar’s music, hoping to follow in his footsteps by cracking into the MN music scene. In addition, Six Mile Grove has been Zellar’s opening act numerous times throughout the years, and now the musicians will be partnering for a handful of shows across the midwest.
“I remember the first time Martin played the Americana Showcase a few years ago,” says Sampson. “It was kind of surreal to get to sit on a stage with a guy I’ve looked up to my whole life.” Zellar shares Sampson’s enthusiasm, “It’s refreshing to play with someone as dedicated to songwriting as Brandon is. It definitely motivates me to keep going, to keep writing, to keep playing.”
The first show of the tour, at the Pioneer Place Theater in St. Cloud on November 21 will be a solo acoustic show featuring Sampson as the opening act. Subsequent shows, at the St. Mane Theater in Lanesboro (Nov. 22), Vangarde Arts Center in Sioux City, IA (Nov. 23) and The Olde Pine Theatre in Pine Island, MN (Nov. 24) will feature Sampson’s band Six Mile Grove as the opening act, and backing band for Zellar.