Bart and Ross Sutter have established individual reputations as a musician and a writer, but when they perform as a pair their work has the kind of counterpoint and easy intimacy unique to sibling acts. A Sutter Brothers performance is a fun-filled blend of music, storytelling, and poetry, highlighting their small town, preacher’s kid roots and Scandinavian heritage.
Poet, essayist, and writer Bart Sutter is the author of eight books and has had four plays produced. Awards for his writing include the George Morrison Artist Award for his many contributions to the arts in northeastern Minnesota, and three Minnesota Book Awards in three different categories. In 2006, he was named the first Poet Laureate of Duluth. He has received other awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Bush Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation.
Bart was educated at Southwest Minnesota State University and Syracuse University. He has taught at St. John’s University, University of Minnesota campuses in the Twin Cities and Duluth, and the University of Wisconsin in Superior. Considering Sutter’s work, the late Icelandic-American writer Bill Holm remarked, “Barton Sutter is so thoroughly a Minnesota Scandinavian that he becomes something larger, a type of American artist and culture maker, an emblem of us at our best.”
Ross Sutter is best known as a singer of Scandinavian, Scottish, and Irish songs, and for his wide repertoire of American traditional and popular songs. He accompanies himself on guitar, dulcimer, button accordion, and bodhran (the Irish goat-skin drum). He has performed at numerous venues throughout the region and beyond, from concert halls to libraries and schools, from outdoor festivals to senior centers, and has appeared on “A Prairie Home Companion.” His music is featured on the recordings Walking on Air, Up the Raw, Crossing the Shannon, Hunger No more, and many others, including his popular children’s CD, Mama Will You Buy Me A Banana.