After storms intruded onto last month’s Music on the River concert date, fingers are crossed that Aug. 16 will let the sun shine, the music play and the good times roll.

The Danielson Stage will feature GB Leighton, a band playing more than 200 shows a year, who has been named one of's “Top 10 Artists to Watch.”

GB Leighton, is a band named after one of the regions’ most incendiary live performers and consistently solid songwriters, Brian Leighton. Through more than two decades, Leighton and his five piece band have been tearing up rock clubs, festivals and even a few fan’s living rooms with a slew of songs that connect with the heart and couples singing along out on the dance floor.  “A man of the people” is a phrase usually reserved for statesmen and politicians, but for Leighton, it’s a fitting description when you see him in action working a crowd. 

GB Leighton has 10 studio releases, 4 live albums and has sold over 70,000 albums. The band is currently recording a new studio album.

According to Leighton’s website, “Jubilant fans follow him from Minnesota to Mexico. He has more than 70,000 albums sold, a new release “2nd Chance” and a state-of-the-art nightclub named after one of his songs -- all without the support of a major record label.” 

The Grateful Web music site said, “Brian and his band seem to generate a good time wherever they play, whipping up audiences in warm friendly places where people dance till they drop and sing along with Leighton standards. The band creates a Cheers type of atmosphere, where everyone knows your name–or soon will–while couched in musical refrains.”

Opening for GB Leighton is local favorite Nici Peper. Peper is an Americana singer-songwriter based loosely based in the Minnesota/Wisconsin region. According to her website, “Growing up around gospel music and a family of storytellers, her lyrics reflect the soul and honesty of their influences. Her music exposes a gentle heart- one that writes of love, heartbreak anddreams.”    

She has recorded in Nashville, toured Alaska, the Ozarks and the Midwest, has been on Twin Cities Live, Fox 9, Box of Chocolates, and done numerous radio interviews, including "Voices in the Valley" and "Northern Spirit Radio." Peper has played every type of show from private parties, dive bars andtheaters, to the main stage of the Girdwood Forest Fair in Girdwood, Alaska, to Two Wheels on the Pig Trail at a biker/blues/BBQ festival in Eureka Springs, AR, to The Warming House, the listening room of Minneapolis, MN to Deronda Lutheran Church on Easter morning. In 2016, Peper took home the title of Minneapolis’ "Most Authentic Artist" in the contest sponsored by Wholly Guacamole and was one of 6 finalists nationwide.

As always, the tunes are just part of what M.O.T.R. has to offer. Classic cars, friends, food and drink are sure to make it a summer night to remember.

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