Homeward Bound is the “house band” for Good Samaritan United Methodist
Church in Edina, MN. This song was recorded as part of the band’s
Minneapolis Parks “Concerts in the Park” series, which was produced
entirely online this year thanks to the pandemic. It was recorded
outdoors and using social distancing to ensure safety. The musicians on
the recording are:

Austin Albert, tenor saxophone and percussion
Brad Carlin, keyboard and vocals
Josh Carlin, drums
Nate Carlin, bass
Steve Kumagai, electric guitar
Susan Thompson, acoustic guitar and vocals
Heather Succio, percussion and vocals


During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been so hard for musicians to get together and play. However, many bands and other performing groups have gotten by with programs like Acapella, which enable combining multiple video tracks into a single video for online posting. Such platforms are also great for making demo videos for bands to build upon.

Here is such a video of me performing all the parts on “Stuck in the Middle With You”, by Gerry Rafferty. The famous line, “clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right” inspired me to “cast” the two backup singers as the Clown and the Joker, respectively. It was also fun to add a surprise trombone solo at the end as well.

Brad Carlin: drum programming, piano, organ, trombone, and both lead and backing vocals.


This is a “hello song” composed for music therapy master’s program at Augsburg University. It’s dedicated to the folks living in the memory care program where my mom used to live, and where I have the privilege of playing once a week (pre-COVID). In the middle of the song, I name each resident and say one thing I love about them. I miss them all so much, and hope this video will give them a smile & let them know I’m still thinking about them.


With sweeping travel and social distancing restrictions being placed on cities and communities throughout the world in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, most people are facing a reality not experienced in their lifetimes. However, there is a documented precedent of infectious disease outbreaks like this one in relatively recent history — even here in the United States.

SARS, MERS, Ebola, and the so-called “Spanish Flu” of 1918 are all examples of recent infectious disease outbreaks. Some like Ebola had extremely high mortality rates, initially as high as 40%. Still, of these, only the 1918 Flu led to worldwide quarantines and…


By Bradley Carlin

Balkan Festival

The Balkan Festival will be held on Sunday, February 16th from 12pm to 5pm at the Landmark Center in St. Paul, MN. The festival pulls together lots of cultural activities including dance, music, foods, and arts & crafts — all inspired by the Balkan region of Eastern Europe

When: Sunday, February 16th from 12:00–5:00pm

Location: Landmark Center | 75 5th Street W., St. Paul, MN 55102

Event Website:

Mpls WinterSkate

Skating at the Wells Fargo Mpls WinterSkate in Loring Park is a great opportunity to ice skate under the Minneapolis skyline. The skating rink…


There’s no doubt that climate change is having effects on temperatures and weather patterns globally, but here in Minnesota we’re seeing some pressing environmental concerns that are causing policymakers and local residents to seek immediate efforts to help address the side effects of global warming.

One such concern is the expansion of the Minnesota River. The river’s width has nearly doubled in some areas since the 1940’s, encroaching on and threatening personal property, roads, and ecosystems. Higher-than-average rainfalls are a large contributing factor to the river’s overflow, with last year being the wettest year on record for Minnesota. According to…


Bradley Carlin

Many Minnesotans have taken note of warmer temperatures and higher precipitation amounts over the last several years. These are the effects of global warming caused by an increase in greenhouse gas emissions over the last several decades. Recently, the Minnesota Department of Health has been researching the health effects that these changes have on residents here in Minnesota, and has published a report detailing some of the more pressing concerns.

The health problems attributable to higher temperatures and increased precipitation brought on by global warming come in many different forms, and affect our state’s residents both directly and…


Northeast Flannel Fest

The 2nd annual Northeast Flannel Fest is taking place at the Columbia Manor in Minneapolis. Supporting Camp Bovey, a summer camp for kids focusing on environmental and nature education, the event offers tons of indoor and outdoor activities. Outdoor activities include sledding, shelter building, and fire-starting, while indoor activities include face painting, birdhouse building, arts and crafts projects, and cookie decorating. There will also be a dog adoption event on site through a partnership with .

When: Sunday, February 9th from 12:00–2:30pm

Location: Columbia Manor | 3300 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

Event Website…


By Bradley Carlin

Winter Fest Craft Beer Tasting

Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild’s WinterFest is going on this Friday, January 17th from 7:00–10:00pm. The annual event brings over 100 Minnesota breweries under one roof for a night of craft beer tastings and food pairings. Your $80 admission ticket gets you unlimited beer tastings, unlimited small-plate food pairings, and a commemorative tasting glass. All proceeds go to benefit the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild.

When: Friday, January 17 from 7:00–10:00pm

Location: Polaris Club | US Bank Stadium | 401 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55415

Things to know: No guests under 21 admitted (Photo…


Recent studies published by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) confirm what many Minnesotans have suspected for several years: that our state is getting warmer and wetter. Between 1951 and 2012, annual average temperatures in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have increased by 3.2 degrees Fahrenheit, even greater than corresponding increases nationally and globally. Average low temperatures have risen more quickly than average high temperatures, with northern parts of the state being even more affected than central and southern portions.

On the precipitation side, total amounts increased by more than 20% in the Twin Cities between 1951…

Bradley Carlin

Brad is statistician and a longtime musician who contributes to several bands throughout the Minnesota area.

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