Kitchi Boogie to perform release concert for 'Airconditioned Fish House' album

Sep. 27—PENNINGTON — "Airconditioned Fish House" is more than just an album title and the name of a song. It's a real thing.

Kitchi Boogie, a local five-piece band, recorded the album at Flying Dog Studio in the home of bass player "Papa" Steve Ross in Pennington. They will host a CD release party for "Airconditioned Fish House" at the Rail River Folk School in downtown Bemidji on Saturday, Oct. 1. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the concert will start at 7. It's an all-ages show. Free-will donations will be accepted at the door.

Ross has used his Ice Castle fish house on wheels for more than just ice fishing. It's been at numerous music festivals, including ones that Ross hosted in his Pennington backyard.

"We use it as a green room for the bands," Ross said. Since the fish house can get hot at summer events, an air conditioner was installed in it. That was fodder for one of Kitchi Boogie's original songs, and eventually an album title.

Kitchi Boogie describes itself as a roots rock funk jam band. It features original members Ross on bass and Shane Corning on guitar. Newer members are Jason Dowell on guitar, Doug Quance on drums and percussion and Mattea Elhard on keyboards. Corning is the lead songwriter and Dowell also writes songs.

Corning wrote the main part of the music and lyrics for the song "Airconditioned Fish House. "Other than that it was a collaborative effort with the band," Ross said. "We kind of write our songs organically. We all put our stamp on them."

Kitchi Boogie plays the local bar scene and events. They have been featured on the Lakeland PBS "Backroads" series and Bemidji State University's "Live at BSU."

Their first album was recorded at the late Gary Burger's studio in Turtle River, and a second CD is a compilation of live performances. They got started on "Airconditioned Fish House" in 2019 but halted production when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Kitchi Boogie was sidelined from February 2020 until July 2021.

At Saturday's concert, the band will pay tribute to former member Donny Williams, who played guitar on some of the album's tracks. Williams died of cancer on March 3, 2021. He played in local bands for 56 years.

Kitchi Boogie also will perform on Friday, Oct. 14, at the Chief Theater in Bemidji and Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Mississippi Headwaters Fest near Itasca State Park.