When one door slams, another one opens. At least that’s what happened to songwriter Adam Herman, who moved to Minnesota after spending several years on the road with a Colorado-based rock band.

Herman was tired. He was looking for a change, a new direction, maybe even a break from music. What he found in Minnesota was a creative community filled with local musicians like Craig LaSart, Matt Johnson, Mike Randolph, Pat Hawkinson, and Craig Skalko, all of whom had cut their teeth with other bands in the Upper Midwest. Together, the five musicians formed the Slamming Doors in late 2011, carving out a unique sound rooted in Southern rock, soul, and the jam-band movement.

The Slamming Doors wasted little time establishing themselves in the Iron Range, a blue-collar area in northeastern Minnesota where Bob Dylan once attended high school. “It’s mainly known for its mining, cold weather, Bob Dylan, beautiful countryside, and people who like to have a good time,” Herman explains. “I guess like the old cliché goes: the more they drink, the better we sound.”

With their funky grooves and bluesy melodies, The Slamming Doors do sound like the sort of band you’d want to hear at your favorite watering hole on a Friday night, once the working week has given way to a hard-won weekend. Even so, you don’t need a beer in your hand to appreciate the band’s self-titled EP, recorded in early 2012 with producer Mark Saari.

“Heartache, anger, and cynicism have been major catalysts for a lot of songs on this record,” Herman admits, but the music is brighter than you’d expect, more reminiscent of Dave Matthews’ melodic jams or the Allman Brothers’ countryfied rock & roll than anything else.

This is an EP that tackles the harder aspects of adult life and turns them into something worth celebrating. It’s the sound of five musicians coming together, fusing their influences into a musical hybrid that rocks and rolls in equal measure. It’s an open door, an invitation to come see what sort of southern-styled music these guys have been brewing up north.

-Andrew Leahey


Adam Herman - Vocals, acoustic guitar
Pat Hawkinson - Lead guitar, banjo
Mike Randolph - Pedal steel guitar
Craig Skalko - Keys, piano
Ben Anderson - Bass guitar
Matt Johnson - Drums