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Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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All he wants for Christmas is whiskey (and for you to come to his show)

All he wants for Christmas is whiskey (and for you to come to his show)

Dan Rodriguez hopes to deliver a heartfelt and humorous performance when he returns to Rochester this weekend for a holiday-themed special.

The singer-songwriter, who opened up for Jeremy Messersmith in Rochester this past spring, is bringing his “All I Want for Christmas is Whiskey Tour” to the Rochester Civic Theatre’s Black Box this Saturday night.

The show will feature soulful renditions of some Christmas classics — such as Willie Nelson’s “Pretty Paper” — along with a few of Rodriquez’s own songs. Those include the recently-released single, “Green Christmas,” which he describes as a “funny new tune about the devil’s lettuce.”

"If I can make somebody laugh, somebody dance, somebody cry within the same album — or the live experience — I have accomplished my goal,” Rodriguez told us during a recent interview.

The 32-year-old is a self-proclaimed “whiskey & beer drinking, fishing & hunting loving, motorcycle riding, quality food eating, hippie” who got his start by sneaking into his older brother’s room and borrowing his guitar.

“It was kind of a forbidden thing at first,” said Rodriguez. “But music has been in my blood ever since then.”

From there, he began taking music more seriously — eventually making the move to Minneapolis in 2004. In recent years, he has shared the bill with the likes of the Civil Wars and Andy Grammar.

While Rodriguez has become a fixture in the Twin Cities music scene, he has also been able to build up strong followings in other cities across the region. For instance, in Appleton, his Christmas special has already sold 900 tickets.

Rodriguez said cities like Appleton and Minneapolis are examples of what Rochester can be with the right support. He said people are hungry for good, quality live music everywhere — it just takes somebody to step up and create the right environment for bringing concerts to Rochester.

“The people at My Town My Music are doing exactly that,” he said of the group hosting Saturday’s show in Rochester. “They are becoming the catalyst for change in the music scene.”

Rodriguez will be joined by Kevin and the Keepsakes on Saturday. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the show at 8 p.m. Tickets are available online.

Cover photo: Dan Rodriquez during a show hosted by My Town My Music this past May at the Rochester Art Center / William Forsman

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