Dakota Drifters inducted into hall of fame, enjoy performing locally

Each member of the Dakota Drifters band has been inducted into the Dakota Musicians Hall of Fame.

When asked what it felt like to be inducted, band member Dick Johnson replied, “It’s humbling. We were surprised when we were nominated and we were totally surprised when we won. It was an incredible experience.”

An area favorite band, the group will perform Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Sibyl Center in Stanley.

The Dakota Drifters are a quartet that performs music for those who enjoy listening to the likes of Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Chet Atkins and similar classic country. They put some old-style rock ‘n’ roll and gospel music in their shows as well, depending upon the event. The group’s four members are, Dick and Brenda Johnson from Dunseith, Kevin Ternes from Minot and Carl Kannianen from Stanley.

When asked his favorite place to play, Johnson replied he really enjoys playing at the Norsk Hostfest because of his heritage and the atmosphere the festival brings and the Sibyl Center.

Dick Johnson, who farms, plays the guitar and sings for the group. He also enjoys telling jokes. Brenda Johnson, his wife, organizes the group, plays the bass and scouts out new music for the group.

Kannianen, who also farms, has been playing the guitar for “many years with a unique style of picking,” according to a news release. He also sings lead vocals and harmony for the group.

Ternes is a local business owner who has played the drums since he was four. He picked up a guitar when he was 13. At 16 he joined the Minot Musicians Union and played with several different groups. During this time he added the bass guitar to his repertoire. He enjoys performing music at his church and around the community.

The Dakota Drifters formed in 2015, and have made three CDs that include a variety of genres.


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