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The Scouting Report

Minnesota Music Month Scouting Report 2024: Chutes

ChutesPhoto: Nick Greseth, Graphic: Natalia Toledo | MPR

by Anna Devine

April 10, 2024

For Minnesota Music Month, The Current polled the local music industry for April’s edition of The Scouting Report. More than 90 people filled out this year’s Minnesota Music Month Scouting Report ballot, and 253 unique artists were chosen overall. The top 10 artists — well, 11 because of a tie — who received the most support include Chutes.

When Ryan Kemp performed his first show as Chutes, he was fighting off Salmonella poisoning.

“I was doing very poorly. I had lost, like, 20 pounds in a week. Then I got an email from James Taylor from First Ave asking us to play 7th Street Entry,” he recalls. “I was very eager to play shows, but I was in a terrible physical state.” He still said “yes,” and scrambled to assemble a live band. Ever since that first 7th St Entry show in July of 2022 the band has been pretty busy.

Chutes is the indie rock project of Kemp (vocals, guitar, songwriter) who is joined onstage by John Kearney (guitar), Chet Goldsberry-Hill (bass), Jack Sonnabend (drums), Connor Bahauddin (keys) and Connor Hryhorysak (banjo). Chutes’ first EP, Wicker Chairs, came out in May 2023, which the band celebrated with a sold-out release show at Green Room in south Minneapolis.

They are currently recording and tracking a second EP, which is slated to release in the summer of 2024. Kemp believes these upcoming tracks are the most authentic to the Chutes sound, incorporating new influences, inspirations and lived experiences from the past year. “[It’s] the project that I’ve been the most excited about working on since starting Chutes,” he says, as we shout over the wailing guitar tones of another band’s soundcheck that’s still very audible in the Icehouse green room.

Before Chutes was created, Kemp got his start in the music scene playing guitar for Twin Cities-based Afrobeats and hip-hop acts such as Kwame J and Libianca. Kemp recently went on tour with Libianca on dates supporting Alicia Keys, playing stadiums across the United States and Canada. He expressed his immense gratitude for this experience, but felt some of the cities he visited lacked the welcoming and friendly nature of the Twin Cities music community.

“I think a part of it [the friendliness] is the Midwest culture, but also I think a part of it is that there’s a lot of overlap in the scene,” he says. It’s impressively common for musicians to play in multiple bands, and they are great at connecting each other when a band is seeking a fill-in or a new member. “From indie rock to pop, [and] punk to hip-hop, I think overall everyone in Minneapolis just wants to see each other succeed.”

At Chutes’ live shows, you can’t help but dance to music that packs such an electrifying punch. It’s clear that the band members are having the time of their lives onstage — especially when Kemp jumps off the stage and starts moshing mid-song.

With a smile on his face, Kemp recalled his favorite music scene memory: the Ivers Best Behavior EP release show at Fine Line with Chutes, Aiden Intro (the author of this piece performs in this band), and WHY NOT as local support. “It was very validating, and sort of a landmark point for all of us in our music careers,” he says, “playing Fine Line for the first time and doing it with our friends … We have a very special thing in Minneapolis, a very unique and loving music scene.”

Chutes will perform at Pilllar Forum on Friday, April 12, with Emma Jeanne and Harlow, and at Midwest Music Fest in Winona, Minnesota on Friday, May 10.

Related:  Minnesota Music Month Scouting Report 2024: The top 11 new local artists

Minnesota Music Month Scouting Report 2024: The complete ballots

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This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.