Former Big Lake Mayor Mike Wallen has traded in his gavel for a bass guitar and has formed a local band called Humboldt Station.
Big Lake was originally called Humboldt when it was formed until 1867. Due to the rich amount of ice Big Lake provided, it needed to be transported quickly, enabling Big Lake to be suitable for a railway station which was built in 1871.
Hence the name, Humboldt Station.
“We wanted to pay tribute to the area and the name just sounded perfect for our new band,” said Wallen.
The “we” he is talking about is the rest of the band that includes: Todd Wick on keyboards, Jon Peterson on guitar, Joe Boelke on drums and Emily Wallen on lead vocals. Emily is Mike and Shelly Wallen’s daughter and she also performs on the keyboard on certain songs they play.
Their debut performance will be Aug. 4 at the Big Lake Music in the Park event.
“We play 80’s, 90’s pop and rock and some country,” said Mike. “We cover bands like Chicago, Toto, Bon Jovi, Joan Jett, Jefferson Starship and Marshall Tucker.”
They’ll have 25 or so songs to play in the 90-minute segment. They’ve been practicing in Wick’s basement in Big Lake on Tuesday nights to get ready for their kickoff concert in a couple weeks.
“Corrie Scott (Big Lake’s Recreation and Communication Coordinator) reached out to me a while back and asked how the band was forming,” said Mike. “I said, ‘I think we’re ready’, so she booked us!”
Despite the Music in the Park gig being their first, full-fledged exposure in front of a crowd, they will have an opportunity the week before to have a “full dress rehearsal” in St. Michael to prep for the gig.
Wick and Peterson have played together in bands while Boelke, Mike and Emily are pretty green to the music scene despite being involved in worship and praise bands in the past.
The band hopes to have a website and Facebook presence soon. They encourage all to come out to their concert and show them support Aug. 4.