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Ed Ackerson, Minneapolis musician & producer, rest in peace

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Sad news to report that Ed Ackerson, Minneapolis music vet, producer, engineer and recording studio owner, has died at age 54. He’d been battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. “He was peaceful and at home with his family and friends. He left this world smiling” his wife Ashley wrote. “Ed never looked to the past, he always looked to the future. I’m sitting here right now listening to his brand new, soon to be released record from his next project. He made art until the day he died and I think it’s some of his best work yet. He never stopped learning, dreaming, loving, exploring, finding new music and inspiration.”

As a musician, Ed played in punk and indie rock bands since the ’80s, including The Dig, Polara, 27 Various and, recently, BNLX, and most of those group’s records came out on his own Susstones label that also put out loads of records by other Minneapolis bands. Owner of Flowers recording studio since 1998, Ed was also an in-demand recording engineer and producer, working on records by The Replacements, The Jayhawks, Soul Asylum, Joseph Arthur, SAVAK, and more over the years, and his reach went well beyond Minneapolis. (Pete Townshend shouted him out on stage at The Who’s show in Saint Paul last month.) He lived and breathed rock n’ roll, and the world’s a little less joyously loud without him in it.

Rest in peace, Ed. You can donate to the Ackerson Family Fund, to help provide for his daughter and wife, and watch a short video for which Ed was interviewed. You can also read tributes from The Replacements, Anton Newcombe, Low, Craig Finn, Minneapolis club First Avenue, Atmosphere, Motion City Soundtrack, Har Mar Superstar, The Ocean Blue, and more — and listen to some of the great music Ed made over the 30+ years — below.

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