Jonathan Rundman

Jonathan Rundman

 Edina, Minnesota, USA
BandAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

Astute multi-instrumental Nordic-American folk/rock music from the Upper Midwest.
"bright, catchy indie pop" NEW YORK TIMES
“clever, intelligent songwriting” PASTE MAGAZINE

Biography

Born and raised in the isolated Finnish-American communities of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Jonathan Rundman has been writing songs and performing across the country since he was 18 years old. He emerged on the national music scene as a Chicago-based touring artist, generating rave reviews in Billboard, The New York Times, Performing Songwriter, Paste, and countless regional publications. Now living in Minneapolis, he continues to tour and record. 

Jonathan's songs can be heard on radio stations across America, in Scandinavia and England, and have been featured on television's Ellen Degeneres Show and CBS This Morning. He has performed live on NPR's Mountain Stage Radio Show and on Iowa Public Television.

In January 2015 Jonathan Rundman has released a new album titled LOOK UP. A hi-fi tour de force, it marks a mature new phase in Jonathan's critically acclaimed discography. These ten songs explore themes of technology, linear time, and optimism, and navigate the uncharted spaces between midcentury heartland twang, ‘80s New Wave, and archaic Euro-folk.

Rundman's Nordic heritage sets him apart from other American singer-songwriters. In recent years, his immersion in Finland's folk music tradition has deeply impacted his songwriting and recording career. In 2013 his instrumental trio album with Arto Järvelä & Kaivama was nominated for Folk Music Album of the Year in Finland, and his original fiddle tune composition "Norman Borlaug Polka" was performed at the World Food Prize Laureate Ceremony in the Iowa State Capitol Building.

Rundman uses traditional Finnish instrumentation like harmonium and mandola to roam freely between disparate genres; classic rock, sacred music, bluegrass, power pop, and Scandinavian sounds are all present in his performances. Rundman's versatility has allowed for many multi-artist collaborations, and he has conducted instrumental and composition workshops at various colleges and events including the Great Lakes Folk Festival, the Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival, the Nisswa-Stämman Scandinavian Folk Music Festival, FinnWest in Vancouver BC, Valdosta State University, Luther College, and Finlandia University. 

DOWNLOAD 2015 LOOK UP ALBUM PRESS KIT HERE http://jonathanrundman.com/press-kit/

JONATHAN HAS SHARED THE BILL WITH THESE ARTISTS: BoDeans, Jill Sobule, The Silos, Walter Salas-Humara, Switchfoot, The Minus Five, Jon Langford, John Gorka, Pierce Pettis, Jake Armerding, Pokey LaFarge, Tom Freund, Half Handed Cloud, Over The Rhine, Stacey Earle, Joe Newberry, Justin Roberts, Charlie Parr, Red Tail Ring, Arto Järvelä, Frigg, and many more.

JONATHAN HAS PERFORMED IN THESE VENUES: arena events at the Superdome (New Orleans) and the Edward Jones Dome (St. Louis); festivals like Great Lakes Folk Festival (East Lansing, MI), Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival (Marquette, MI), Porcupine Mountain Music Festival (Ontonagon, MI), and Kirchentag (Germany); arts centers like Salmagundi Center for American Art (New York City) and the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis); and music venues like Old Town School of Folk Music (Chicago), Schuba's (Chicago), Cedar Cultural Center (Minneapolis), Memorial Union Terrace (Madison, WI), Red Eyed Fly (Austin), Hotel Utah (San Francisco), CSPS (Cedar Rapids), Focal Point (St. Louis), Cafe Nine (New Haven), Club Passim (Boston), Seattle Folklore Society (Seattle), Alberta Street Pub (Portland), WOW Hall (Eugene, OR), Mondo/Debaser (Stockholm, Sweden), Pet Sounds/Hannas Krog (Stockholm, Sweden), Mendocino (Helsinki, Finland), Säätämö/Klubi (Turku, Finland), Paviljonki (Jyväskylä, Finland), and dozens of colleges and universities.

Lyrics

Smart Girls

Written By: Jonathan Rundman

listen to me boys and learn important things
benefit from wisdom that experience brings
I will be specific, I will be direct
when you look for love, look for intellect

smart girls shine like laser light
‘cause they’re so sharp and they’re so bright
smart girls know the human heart
‘cause love is science, love is art

smart girls do their best and take a second look
smart girls wear their glasses to read their books
practice the piano in the afternoon
and hold your hand by the light of the moon

smart girls shine like laser light
‘cause they’re so sharp and they’re so bright
smart girls know the human heart
‘cause love is science, love is art
you’ll do well if you take my advice:
fall in love with a smart girl

smart girls make the grade, study through the night
smart girls pass the test, get the answers right
they’ll meet you after class at the library
and speak your name so quietly

smart girls shine like laser light
‘cause they’re so sharp and they’re so bright
smart girls know the human heart
‘cause love is science, love is art
you’ll do well if you take my advice:
fall in love with a smart girl

747s

Written By: Jonathan Rundman

let’s go out to the airfield
for them transatlantic flights
stop out by the chain-link fence
at the end of the runway lights
see the sunshine on the wingspan
see the wheels lifting off the ground
yeah, I think our love’s going somewhere baby
can’t you hear the engine sound

747s look beautiful
soaring into skies of blue
747s are taking off
like my love for you

let’s lay back on the tarmac
just looking up at the clouds
see that jet pass overhead
and our hearts start pounding loud
love is fast, love is dangerous
love can take you high
like a hundred tons of steel and fuel
graceful in the sky

747s look beautiful
soaring into skies of blue
747s are taking off
like my love for you

I wanna be your darlin’
in the shadow of the planes
we can build our home in the flight path
so we can hear them call our names
and when those engines roar up in the air
you can turn your eyes above
and see that silver angel fly
and know how much I love you

747s look beautiful
soaring into skies of blue
747s are taking off
like my love for you

Second Shelf Down

Written By: Jonathan Rundman,Beki Hemingway, Beki Hemingway

on the top shelf of the bookcase to the left inside the door
is the keychain that you carry and the earrings that you wore
and the paper that you took with you this morning on the train
but the story underneath it all remains

there’s a bottle filled with water from the ocean
there’s a ribbon from my mother’s wedding gown
there’s a Bible with your family name inside it
never had a home without these things around
there on the second shelf down
there on the second shelf down

you were wearing that perfume on the day that we first met
and you sprayed it on your letters so i never would forget
and i saved them in a shoebox and I kept them for myself
but now we keep them on the second shelf

in the span of every lifetime there’s a story that unfolds
in the present all too often the best stories go untold
so we keep a few reminders of what was and is to be
we remember us together when we see
a bottle filled with water from the ocean
a ribbon from my mother’s wedding gown
a Bible with your family name inside it
never had a home without these things around
there on the second shelf down

Northbound Traffic

Written By: Jonathan Rundman,Beki Hemingway

i could take the two lane road
to avoid the stop and go
get away from what I know and drive

i could lose the GPS
leave behind the freeway mess
put my compass to the test
and glide past the northbound traffic

and it’s all that stands between us
this one here and that one there
i won’t let the miles defeat us
i’ve got time to spare

i could roll the windows down
find another way through town
bypass all the runaround
and fly past the northbound traffic

if i take the scenic route
would it help me figure out
what this love is all about
despite the northbound traffic

weary of negotiation
steer away from where i’ve been
headed for a destination
where we both can win

doesn’t have to be a standstill
endless taillights losing ground
honey, you’re the reason
i will find a way around
the northbound traffic

Home Unknown

Written By: Jonathan Rundman

i have never set my feet upon that rocky shoreline
i have never seen the sundown at the cold blue sea
i have never heard the wind in blood-red birch leaves falling
yet my heart is longing for my home unknown

in my dreams i follow the steps of my Mother’s Mother’s Mother
there by the lakeside bellflowers grow beneath the wooden spire
i call out the name of my Father’s Father’s Father
can they hear me calling to my home unknown?

years ago we spoke your words and joined you in your singing generations later now we’ve nothing left to say
too much time has passed away and all the words have vanished
can I ever come back to my home unknown?

Librarian

Written By: Librarian

when I was just a baby, before I could speak
I would line up all my letter blocks alphabetically
and now it’s my vocation and my passion to assign
every decimal-numbered shelf to every decimal-numbered spine

I’m a librarian, I’m a librarian
and I like it quiet so the pages can be heard
I’m a librarian, I’m a librarian
and I do it for the love of the word

I bring order out of chaos, I shine light into the dark
because power comes from knowledge just like fire from a spark
and like Gutenberg and Luther with press and pen in hand
I take the message to the masses in a form they understand

I’m a librarian, I’m a librarian
and I like it quiet so the pages can be heard
I’m a librarian, I’m a librarian
and I do it for the love of the word

and when the day is over I go home at 5:03
and I give thanks to God and then to Andrew Carnegie
and the U.S. Constitution and Orwell, Poe, and Twain
and I’ll return at 8AM to open up again

I’m a librarian, I’m a librarian
and I like it quiet so the pages can be heard
I’m a librarian, I’m a librarian
and I do it for the love of the word

Discography

2015- Look Up
2012- Jonathan Rundman (compilation)
2012- Arto Jarvela & Kaivama
2011- Kaivama
2007- 20 Songs from the 20th Century (compilation)
2004- Public Library
2004- Tennesota (duet album with Beki Hemingway)
2000- Sound Theology

Set List

In 2015 Jonathan Rundman will be supporting the new album LOOK UP and will be performing songs from that project, as well as favorites from earlier recordings, including traditional tunes from Finland. Jonathan primarily tours solo acoustic, but also performs in an acoustic duo, trio, and electric quartet ensembles.