Black Widows Headline a Four-Pack of Local Bands for MWMF

Photo by Smouse

Last updated on April 24th, 2023 at 09:41 pm

Mid West Music Fest previewed their May 12th-13th event in Winona with a primer at the Hook and Ladder last night. The eclectic quartet of bands featured a blend of surf, punk, rock, and metal.

The Black Widows capped the energized evening with a smooth groove of surf rock, while openers The Reach Outs offered up their backyard as prime camping real estate for festival attendees traveling to Winona.

Check out our review and a full gallery of photos below.

Photo by Smouse

The Reach Outs

Fresh off the release of their single “Reach Out and Punch Someone,” The Reach Outs bring a punk-surf character in small doses. The Winona-based trio expertly shines in call and response while blasting forward in 2 minute hip-shaking ditties. Ending their set with a song about needing a vacation was the subtle hint that you should consider snagging tickets for the two-day festival. 

Photo by Smouse

Big Salt

The punch in the gut came next with Big Salt”s dynamic blend of garage rock, metal, punk, and hints of blues. The first thing that piques forward is lead vocals like a ready-to-ignite fuel tank. Then through heavy booming drums and infectious grooves, Big Salt delivers a dose of high cholesterol energy that will raise your heartbeat.

Photo by Smouse

Their newest song “Nerve” showcased their tight-knit musicianship, with ball caps falling off and smiles being thrown into the hungry faces of the crowd. “I Am Danger” stood as a personal favorite as it smolders in with simmering anticipation. Hooked, you’re then mesmerized as the song unfolds one level at a time.

Big Salt will make their very first festival appearance at MWMF next month.

Photo by Smouse


Suffering with bruised ribs from a birthday fall, Tim Dooley soldiered through for a highly engaging set of punk music with a side of metal. Their cover of “Holding Out For A Hero” (Bonnie Tyler) continues to be a major highlight, as they put their own stamp on the song with an extended drum solo and a zigzagging pace. The fact that somehow their drummer became shirtless during the barrage was even more impressive.

Photo by Smouse

The sailor dirge feel of “9 to 5” laments on the torture and drudgery of work, which timisarocker leans into with their lyrics and callbacks. Pillared between the duo of Matt Lentz on guitar and Dylan Dykstra on bass, Dooley spins, rolls, and charges on stage. This is an entertaining and engaging band that continues to stand out from the others.

Photo by Smouse

Black Widows

Capping off the evening was the MOJO alum trio, Black Widows. Shining in full sequin jumpsuits and silver rhinestone boots, Corinne Caouette (guitar/vocals), Pamela Laizure (bassist), and Kim Mancini (drums) sauntered in with a wave of reverb-washed surf guitar instrumentals. Pockets of dancing popped up, leading to Athereal Rose jumping on stage for “Helen Killer.”

Photo by Smouse

The Black Widows command the stage with their steely smirks and fluid ability to jump from a country song to surf or punk. “Big Daddy” exemplified the trio’s balanced blend of echo guitar and gritty bass. Heavy on the shell but craftily smooth in the performance, the trio generates intensity through their instruments.

Photo by Smouse

If you had to describe the band in one word, it would be “shred”. Mancini channels the raucous and primal style of Meg White while the guitar and bass deliver a one-two punch. Set to tour oversees, the Black Widows will represent Minnesota’s diverse music scene well.

Photo by Smouse


Written by Smouse

Having spent 13 years recording and producing Minnesota artists, along with running a small record label, Smouse is a passionate advocate of musicians and artists in Minnesota.


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