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‘Curtis & Loretta’ bring folk back to Worthington this Friday

Minneapolis folk duo Curtis & Loretta will perform at the Nobles County Arts Center on Friday at 7:30 p.m. (Special to The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — Curtis Teague and Loretta Simonet met 40 years ago in Santa Cruz, Calif.

Curtis, a native of Texas, and Loretta, from Stillwater, were there for two different reasons. Curtis had just disembarked from a sailboat voyage from Hawaii, while Loretta just finished a bachelor’s degree in theatre from St. Cloud State University and wanted to “hit it big” on the west coast.

Right away, music connected the two. On a quiet Friday at the beach, Loretta was practicing her guitar skills for a performance that night when Curtis came over and asked if he could play with her.

“We sat down and played, and we actually sounded really good together — our harmonies just meshed,” Loretta said.

Little did the two know they would get married, and they certainly didn’t expect to become a prolific folk duo, with nine albums released to date. What started as a part-time gig playing in Santa Cruz cafés for tips and a free meal became a full-time job touring around the country.

“We haven’t played in every state, but we’re getting close,” Curtis said.

Worthington is the first stop for Curtis and Loretta on their “going south tour,” which will run all the way down into Nebraska, Kansas and Texas. The Minneapolis-based duo will perform at the Nobles County Art Center at 7:30 p.m. this Friday.

Curtis and Loretta got into folk music long before they met in Santa Cruz. Loretta first fell in love with the genre listening to Peter, Paul and Mary, and a young Curtis got hooked on Pete Seeger.

Their most recent tour will focus on their 2015 album “When There’s Good to be Done.” The album’s title song highlights the journey of a Florida woman who donated a kidney to a little girl in Pine City she had never met before.

“My premise was to write about people that have overcome big challenges in their lives who can hopefully inspire others to do the same,” Loretta said. “It’s all people we know, that we’ve met, so it’s very close to our hearts.”

Though the focus is on the most recent recording, Curtis and Loretta will reach further into their expansive toolbox of songs during the performance.

“What we play does vary a lot, because it’s an exchange with the audience and you really just play off the audience,” Curtis said. “A lot of times the mood, the environment will inspire you to play a whole different group of songs.”

They’ll be bringing quite a few instruments for their show, including a mandocello, steel ukelele, guitars and Loretta’s signature harp.

It’s not the first time the duo has performed at the Nobles County Art Center. They last performed there in 2010, but that was part of a tour where they played traditional 1800s music while dressed up in old-fashioned attire. This time, they’ll bring their classic folk sound.

“We’re really excited to play there again — we love Worthington,” Curtis said.

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