A little bit more to the story...
Duke Otherwise might not be Noah Riemer’s real name, but this slightly off-kilter stage character Mr. Riemer has developed is very real to his audience members. His zany show features his clever and thoughtfully composed original songs, wild dancing, and storytelling which all highlight his offbeat sense of humor--oft times catching children and adults unawares.
Performing family shows is Duke’s forte ́. “It’s a delight to scan the crowd,” says the Duke, “and see the children in uproar and really enjoying themselves. But it’s just as gratifying to see the adults reacting the same way and the beautiful camaraderie between them and the kids. I love it when I see them exchange glances and smiles after a funny lyric or an unexpected twist in the song.”
Although Riemer began performing very early on as a child, putting on plays with his sisters and charging Grandpa and Grandma 50 cents to get into the shows, the realization that he had the potential to mesmerize a crowd came in high school when he was the unofficial halftime dance show at all the basketball games.
After high school, Noah started the nationally touring folk band, Ticklepenny Corner. Being the primary songwriter in the band, the tunes were wry and clever and won many critics’ hearts. They saw moderate success and were able to share the stage with the likes of Andrew Bird, Victoria Williams, Over the Rhine and GRAMMY-winner Ashley Cleveland, among many others. Their hard work landed them a deal with Fundamental Records (Camper van Beethoven). After all the members--but Riemer--were getting married and having babies, the group disbanded, which eventually led him to a wonderful discovery: children’s music!
“There has been nothing more rewarding to me in music than playing for children. When a room is filled with intrigued kids dancing and laughing, I thank God for this job I have!” Riemer began performing at schools, festivals and wherever kids congregated and was growing more passionate by the gig. Eventually, House of Mercy Recordings in St. Paul, MN took notice and offered a deal to Mr. Otherwise. The result was his debut album, “Creepy Crawly Love,” of which Zooglobble.com wrote “nifty, brainy lyrics...in a musical packaging that’s like a slightly peppier Tom Waits.”
What’s next for Duke? “Well, a great many audience members have expressed their desire to see a Duke Otherwise children’s TV show. I think that would be a hoot.” Until then, he can be seen at your school, library, club, festival, wherever...having a ball and making sure you are, too.