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Pine River Place Event Center

Serving your entertainment needs in the north woods!

"No one can sing a story like Doug Spartz. While most of today's artist were still cutting their teeth, he was playing in dance halls, beer joints and road houses across the country. There is no doubt that he has earned every line in his weathered face and has many stories to share in his songs."

In 2006 and 2007, Doug took the Americana Music world by surprise when his first CD release entitled "American Stories, Lies & Tales" grabbed the attention of program directors all across the country. The first song they released from that CD was a Fred Eaglesmith tune called "Number 29. That song caught the attention of John Hendricks, the head of programming with the digital music service Music Choice. John added the song and it stayed in rotation for months. 

But, there was one song in particular from that CD that really stood out. "Name on the Wall", penned by Spartz and his producer Doug Deforest; is a poignant tale of a father and son exchanging letters during war time. This release had barely been out before a call came from XM Radio in Washington, DC, asking him to come out to the studio there and do a special live show. The XM radio DJ had played the song on his show the night before and the switchboard went crazy. Everyone wanted to know who this singer was. Doug went out and did the live show in Washington and from there, the song continued to attract the attention of people in the music business and charted at #66 on Billboard's Country chart and was also featured on Blair Garner's "After Midnite" program where it earned recognition for the largest increase in spins in a 24 hour period. Doug's powerful and emotional vocal style was embraced by Americana Radio and emails and letters came in from veterans and families of soldiers who were unbelievably touched by "Name On the Wall".  

But as fate would have it, Doug suffered a heart attack and record charts were replaced by medical charts. He went back home to rest and recuperate, but after a couple of months of still not feeling well, the doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, discovered colon cancer and he underwent major surgery. Uncertain of the future, he headed back into the studio and recorded another CD entitled "The One Who's Leavin'". When the CD was released to Americana radio, there was no stopping it from going right up the chart. It peaked at #4 and spent 7 weeks in the top 5 on Billboard's R&R Magazine Americana chart. That was no small feat for an independent artist up against all the major label artists.

Doug and his wife, Cindy built a theater on their Minnesota property and are doing shows there with his full band "Doug Spartz & Friends" in addition to keeping up an active schedule of shows at other venues, playing over 250 shows this past year. Doug is a consummate showman, bringing with him many years of fronting bands and an endless supply of "tales from life on the road". Cindy runs the theater and always has a welcoming smile for visitors at Pine River Place. The "Friends" band includes Merritt Bussiere, a superlative multi-instrument player. Merritt always brings the right musical blend and is a key part of every show. For complete list of the 2017 shows at Pine River Place, click on the Specialty Shows tab on this website.