The intimate, low-lit bar added to the chill atmosphere at Troubadour. The performers clearly felt comfortable on stage as they cracked jokes between songs.

Roz Prickel and Quienten David met in 2019 at an open mic night at Camp Bar & Cabaret in St. Paul. “After I heard Roz sing, I knew there was something there,” said David. “Whether it was friendship or curiosity to see how our voices would sound together, I knew that there was something there. So we finally got together and we wrote a few songs.”

Roz Prickel belts her heart out during an acoustic cover of “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper from the film “A Star Is Born.” Prickel’s musical background is rooted in musical theater and opera singing. She began songwriting in 2018 and found it a refreshing creative shift from the rigidity of learning parts for theater.  

“The culture of theater and opera, I love it, but it's creativity in a completely different way. You're given what to say, what to sing and how to sing it. Whereas what we [Middle Road] do is creating something from nothing, something completely different. And in my opinion, there’s a much more profound responsibility and it's harder work,” she said.

Prickel noted how the Minneapolis music scene feels small and supportive. “Everyone knows each other, to a certain degree. Especially if you've been involved in the open mic communities, everyone's up to date with each other. There's no feeling like people don't want you to do well,” she said. “We’ve been doing this for five years and we have made so many friends in this community.”

Reflecting on how the music scene has changed over the course of the pandemic, both musicians believe that the community is “100% back” to the energy and activity it possessed before COVID.

Being reunited with live music as people emerged from the pandemic has made Middle Road cherish live performance and its motivating energy.

“We appreciate things a lot more now that we know what can be taken away,” said Prickel.

Quienten David strums his guitar, an instrument he’s quite familiar with since he began teaching himself to play at age 11. “I didn’t realize how much I needed this,” he noted, reflecting on how the pandemic affected him. “​​I didn't realize how much I'm wired to get out, to be amongst other people and play shows.”
Toward the end of the set, Quienten stepped offstage and Prickel performed a solo original song. The duo often brings elements of their solo work into their work together. “We still create solo,” noted Prickel. “Without losing our individuality,” added David.

They continued writing music throughout the mental tolls that COVID isolation took on us all. “As artists, we develop this resilience. Oftentimes it's that resilience that fuels the music,” said David.

Where to catch them next:

Every Wednesday at Troubadouur Wine Bar from 7 - 9 p.m.

They’ll soon be releasing their first single, “Broken,” produced by country musician Bryan White.