In a recent collaboration, Twin Cities PBS shot a new music video for the local old-timey/bluegrass band The Roe Family Singers’ new single, “Don’t Worry About the Rich Man,” off of their upcoming album, Roll Up the Rug. The video blends performance footage captured in TPT’s Lowertown studios and footage from old Channel 2 KTCA programs.
“The title of the song came from a sermon the Reverend Russell Rathbun gave at House of Mercy church in January or February of 2019,” remembers Quillan Roe, the band’s singer and chief songwriter. “I do that a lot with songwriting: I hear or read something, a quote or an idea, and I hold on to it until it turns into a song somehow.
“After that, within the span of three months, Paul Manafort only got seven-and-a-half years for all the money he stole; Trump was going to go around both the House and Senate to spend $3.9 billion on his Wall; and a bunch of Ivy League schools got busted for accepting bribes to enroll unqualified rich kids over qualified poorer students,” he continues.
“It feels like we live in a time when the rich can do whatever they want, where they are not held to the same standards. They don’t have to follow the same rules, as every one else. It’s frustrating and maddening.
“With the video we wanted to draw a parallel between the poverty of the Great Depression and the poverty of today. Using the footage from the 1980s was interesting because, in going through all of the old footage, it became clear very quickly that these same issues -and other issues, like global warming, for example – have been a growing concern over the last 30 or 40 years, if not longer.”
Roe, who is also a cartoonist, designed storyboards – some used, some not – for the music video:
“Don’t Worry About the Rich Man” Song and Music Video Credits:
By the Roe Family Singers
Written by Quillan Roe
Dan Gaarder, vocals and guitar
Richard Kriehn, fiddle
Eric Paulson, upright bass
Kim Roe, washboard and vocals
Quillan Roe, banjo and vocals
Breadline Standers: Kurt Froehlich, Rich Rue, Tony Wirth, and Adam Wirtzfeld
Producer: David Roth
Director of Photography: Mike Phillips
Editor, Color Correction, Digital Effects: Carrie Clark
Lighting Director: Ryder Seeler
Assistant Director: Anne Guttridge
Paper Wranglers: Kurt Froehlich, Rich Rue, Tony Wirth
Fog Wrangler: Adam Wirtzfeld
Burn Barrel courtesy of Jamie Parker and Little & Company
Fog Machine courtesy of TC Slicker and Leah Slikr
Wardrobe courtesy of Kymn Paulson and Neighbors Clothes Closet Thrift Store
This story is made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the citizens of Minnesota.
Need a little more of The Roe Family Singers in your life? Who could blame you. Good thing we can offer up this 30-minute performance they gave a few years ago in our Lowertown studios.
Still need a little more Minnesota-made country music? Check out these “7 Minnesota Music-Makers Who Put Their Own Stamp on Country.”
Check out this video story about The Okee Dokee Brothers, a duo that takes inspiration from experiences in the great outdoors to inspire others to connect with the natural world.