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May 17, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm


STORYHILL is a modern folk duo based in Bozeman, Montana that brings brotherly harmonies, infectious melodies and smart story songs together in one perfect package. Their beautiful music and passionate performances have won them much critical acclaim and devoted fans (“Hill Heads”) all over the country. Celebrating over 30 years of playing together, members Chris Cunningham and John Hermanson breathe and play as one unit, showing why Billboard and the Austin Chronicle have likened them to the great songwriting duos of our time–Simon & Garfunkel, the Indigo Girls, The Everly Brothers and The Jayhawks’ Gary Louris & Mark Olson. They have charted on Billboard and have been favorites on national radio shows like Mountain Stage and A Prairie Home Companion.


Chris and John started performing together as teenagers, while growing up in Bozeman. Both were musical from the get-go, singing with choirs and playing in bands. Although their 7thgrade world geography class is what ostensibly brought them together, it was their musical passions that made them close friends and lifelong musical collaborators. They recorded their first tape as Chris and Johnny in 1989, upon graduating from high school. Although they then temporarily parted ways—Chris going to Spain and John to Minnesota for college—they continued to play music, reuniting at St. Olaf College. After graduating in 1993, they toured the country full-time for four years–recording as independent artists and selling more than 50,000 records. Although Chris and John, or Storyhill as they were now known, were at the pinnacle of their career, they were exhausted from the travel and finding themselves pulled in different directions. They decided to call it quits. Chris went west and eventually settled down back in Bozeman while John moved to Norway and then back to Minneapolis. They each started families, built their own recording studios and worked on separate musical projects.


Storyhill fans continued to clamor for more, so in 2001 Chris and John played a few sold-out reunion shows in Minnesota and Montana. Discovering the old chemistry was still there along with some new creative energy, they reformed Storyhill and fully committed themselves to touring and recording as a duo. They enlisted the help of rock/pop songwriter and Grammy winner Dan Wilson (Semisonic, Dixie Chicks, Trip Shakespeare) to produce Storyhill’s next album, their first to be released on independent roots label Red House Records. The album, simply named Storyhill, was a return to the basics that had made the duo so popular—strong melodic songs. While the album was largely acoustic, Wilson added some extra instrumentation while noted drummer Eric Fawcett (N.E.R.D., Mike Doughty, Spymob) rounded out the Americana sound. Released in 2007, Storyhill received rave reviews and was selected as the Best CD of the Year by the Indie Acoustic Project. They also went on to win the prestigious Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Contest, which launched such acclaimed songwriters as Anais Mitchell, Robert Earl Keen and James McMurtry.

After recording two critically acclaimed albums on Red House, the duo decided to take an open-ended hiatus to reflect and recharge, focus on their families and work on some of their individual projects. Chris continued producing records for other artists out of his studio, Basecamp Recording while releasing solo recordings and playing periodically with select local players. John also released several solo albums and founded a music production company called Egg Music.


Meanwhile that magical spark, born out of years of writing, recording and performing together, continued to burn brightly. Inspired by their sold-out 30th Anniversary shows and the old material that they relearned for the tour, Chris and John are back at it with renewed energy, releasing two new albums within a year–Where to Begin and their holiday album Bethlehem. They are currently working on a new album. Storyhill also continues to host their annual Storyhill Fest, a popular summer festival that takes place in Deerwood, MN, featuring performances by some of their favorite songwriters and bands from across the country like Lucy Kaplansky (NY), John Gorka (MN), Carrie Elkin(TN), Danny Schmidt(TN), Ben Kyle (MN), Edie Carey (CO), Chad Elliott (IA), Peter Mayer (MN) and Ira Wolf (TN).


For more about Storyhill and their annual festival, please visit


May 17, 2023
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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The James Theater
213 N Gilbert St
Iowa City, IA 52240 United States
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