St. Paul, Minnesota Concert Review

Daniel Boucek

My seven year old son, summed up the concert by saying, "Dad this is the greatest!" It was only proper for me to take him to see the Ragamuffins et al for his first concert.

Mitch McVicker and the Ragamuffins visited the Northwestern Book Store (Har Mar Mall), in Roseville, MN at about 3:45 p.m. Mitch sang a few songs (He said he had over 50 songs to choose from and decided to sing a couple that he wasn't going to sing at the concert) and spoke to those in attendance. Dave Mullins and Alyssa Loukota shared about their involvement in the ministry, Kid Brothers of St. Frank. The usual question and answer session followed. When asked what the Ragamuffins planed to do after The Jesus Record, Rick Elias said they intend to work on another album together.

At about 7:30 p.m. on November 14, 1998, The Homeless Man: A Tribute to Rich Mullins featuring the Ragamuffin Band, This Train, Mitch McVicker and the Kid Brothers of St. Frank, along with special guests David Mullins and Alyssa Loukota graced Benson Great Hall on the campus of Bethel College and Seminary in St. Paul, MN. This Train led off the program with an energetic set of tunes from their "Mimes of the Old West" album. Mark Robertson's humor and unique playing style on the upright bass helped to break the ice.

Mitch McVicker and the Kid Brothers (Michael Aukofer and Eric Hauck) were next on stage. Mitch spoke a little about how he is still recovering from the accident. He commented that he has double vision - which made the audience of 1600 look like it were 3200! Mitch said somehow his voice was also impacted by the accident and has yet to fully recuperate and return to normal. What a talented trio - Mitch played guitar and harmonica, Eric played the cello and bass guitar, and Michael played the congas, washboard, and anything else he could get his hands on. Mitch and others were clearly touched by their visit to Elgin, Illinois earlier this month - he and others in the entourage made comments (on and off stage) how it was a very emotional visit since it was the last time many of the band members saw Rich Mullins.

After the Ragamuffins performed about a half dozen songs from The Jesus Record they introduced Dave Mullins and Alyssa Loukota who a little talked about Rich Mullins and the ministry of the Kid Brothers of St. Frank. The last segment of the concert was devoted to Rich Mullins songs. After the first two songs everyone remained on their feet until the encore - "That Where I Am, There You" followed by the doxology. (Dave, Alyssa, Marita, and Kathy came on stage for the last couple of songs)

Also in attendance were some of Rich's friends, Marita Meinerts, who opened up the concert, and Kathy Sprinkle. Jim Chaffee from Myrrh Records was also seen. There were others, not known to me, from Nashville who came up for what was supposed to be the last tour for the year. However, two additional Minnesota dates followed.

What a worship event!

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