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Heart Bones serve 'Hot Dish' in The Current studio

Sean Tillmann and Sabrina Ellis perform as Heart Bones at The Current.
Sean Tillmann and Sabrina Ellis perform as Heart Bones at The Current.Nate Ryan/MPR
  Play Now [21:33]

by Andrea Swensson and Sylvia Jennings

February 18, 2020

Heart Bones - Open Relations
by MPR
Heart Bones - Don't Read the Comments
by MPR
Heart Bones - I Like Your Way
by MPR

"The energy we can put out together in a live show is unstoppable." That's a bold claim from Sean Tillmann, but he and his Heart Bones bandmate Sabrina Ellis can back it up. Ahead of the release of their new record, Hot Dish, Heart Bones visited The Current to play a few songs and chat with Local Show host Andrea Swensson.

Heart Bones are a duo comprising Tillmann (Har Mar Superstar) and Ellis (Sweet Spirit/A Giant Dog). The duo had their start performing together when Sweet Spirit were on tour with Har Mar Superstar, and the two sang a cover of Prince's "When You Were Mine." The two instantly loved the way that their voices sounded together, and figured they should make use of that somehow. Nearly a year later, Heart Bones were busy writing songs before they debuted their live act at the Turf Club — coincidentally, where they just played a sold-out show this past Valentine's Day.

With Tillmann and Ellis both being prominent figures in their respective music scenes — Minneapolis, Minnesota and Austin, Texas — and fronting their own groups, they are enjoying being able to step to the side and share the spotlight with each other. Tillmann noted how fun and rewarding it is to have someone to bounce ideas off of. Since Heart Bones' debut, they have wowed many audiences with their explosive and fun live performances. "When we work together, we complement each other...we're stretching each other and learning from each other," said Ellis.

Following the release of their record, Heart Bones are heading out on tour through March and April, including a performance at First Avenue on April 2, as a part of First Avenue's 50th Anniversary celebration, which could be quite a sentimental show.

Tillmann and Ellis are no strangers to First Avenue, having played both in the Entry and in the Mainroom with various projects over the years. Tillmann said, "First Avenue is the ultimate place to go. It's kind of where I grew up, playing shows in the Entry and just dreaming of playing on the First Avenue stage and then finally getting to do it. It never wears off, the magic of that place."

More Video

Songs performed

"Open Relations"
"Don't Read the Comments"
"I Like Your Way"


Sabrina Ellis - vocals
Sean Tillmann - vocals and guitar
Aaron Baum - synthesizer and vocals
Ryan Mach - drums and percussion
Adam Hurlburt - bass and guitar

Hosted by Andrea Swensson
Video and photography by Nate Ryan
Produced by Jesse Wiza
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Web feature by Sylvia Jennings

Heart Bones - official site