Run Westy Run was one of the great Twin Cities bands of the '80s, but decades later, in retrospect, they tend to get lost in the glare of an effervescent Minnesota music scene that at the time had no shortage of bright lights: The Replacements, Husker Du, Soul Asylum, The Jayhawks, Prince, Flyte Tyme, plus countless other sparkling contenders, many now lost to the sands of time.
Run Westy Run was formed in 1984 by 3 brothers from St. Louis Park, MN - Kirk, Kyle, and Kraig Johnson - along with Terry Fisher and Bob Joslyn, and were named after a 1966 children's book of the same name. The “Westies”, as they soon became known, started out as an intensely chaotic, Stooge-y hard rock band, but later evolved into a hard-to-define amalgam of indie, rock, roots, punk, and funk, driven by a ferocious, lusty energy that infected any audience they came into contact with at one legendary live show after another. The Westies have released 3 studio LPs along with a handful of singles and EPs over the years – and there are at least a few albums worth of material that got lost along the way – but their enduring legacy is a well-earned reputation as one of finest live bands to ever come out of the Land of 10000 Bands.
Things quietly ramped down for the Westies in the late '90s as various band members pursued other projects (So-So, The O'Jeez, Iffy, Golden Smog, and The Jayhawks, to name a few) but the band never officially called it quits. After a 15 year hiatus, Run Westy Run returned to the action in late 2013 with a gala holiday show at First Avenue. They finally issued a live album in 2014 that captured some of their live magic and released a digital EP in late 2017 that shows them evolving in new, exciting directions.
Still rocking local stages on a semi-regular basis while continually working on new material, the current lineup of RWR consists of founding members Kraig & Kirk Johnson and Terry Fisher, supplemented by a crackerjack rhythm section of drummer-about-town/producer Peter Anderson, and bassist Paul McFarland. In January 2021, the band recorded a new album's worth of tracks at Flowers Studio in Minneapolis with plans for a late 2021/early 2022 release. Well into their fourth decade of uncompromising creativity, anyone who has experienced the Westies lately can attest that they're still as vital as ever, maybe even more so.
A more detailed history of the Run Westy Run universe can be found here: bit.ly/RWRhistory