Singer-songwriter brings well-worn shoes to the stage

In the early 1980s, Bill Lauf (pictured) and fellow musician Horace Williams undertook three “minstrel walks,” traveling hundreds of miles on foot in New England and Canada and performing at town halls, churches and schools at each city they visited. (Photo submitted)

Former ‘minstrel walker’ Bill Lauf’s CD-release concert is Nov. 17 in Rosemount

If there’s a difference between the concerts Bill Lauf Jr. is doing now and the ones he was doing 30 years ago, it’s that these days there isn’t quite as much walking involved.

Back in 1980, Lauf, a singer-songwriter who plays the tenor (four-string) guitar, teamed up with fellow musician Horace Williams to create the Follow the Fire “minstrel walks,” three successive musical walking tours of New England and Quebec.

The first minstrel walk saw the duo traveling the length of Vermont Route 100 from the Canadian border to the Massachusetts border in 14 days, performing at town halls, churches and schools at each city they visited.

They undertook two more minstrel walks – in 1981 and 1982. The final one was also the longest, with Lauf and Williams playing 86 shows in 26 days in a 430-mile journey from Montreal to Manhattan.

A year later, Lauf released his debut solo album, “Songs From the Heart,” and he’s been giving his feet a rest ever since.

Rosemount’s Steeple Center will be playing host to Lauf on Saturday, Nov. 17. It’s a CD release concert for “For the Snow,” Lauf’s latest collection of songs.

He will be accompanied at the 7 p.m. Steeple Center concert by two Twin Cities musicians – jazz bassist Gordon Johnson and percussionist Lamont Sandifer. Johnson and Lauf are longtime collaborators, with the bassist performing on all four of Lauf’s CDs spanning a 30-year period.

Tickets are $12.50 in advance or $15 at the door, and can be purchased at For more information, call, (952) 255-8545.