Black Gold Boom Hits Marketplace, Gets Musical

Kai RyssdalThis week, Marketplace is featuring Localore producer Todd Melby's vignettes about people and scenes from North Dakota's oil rush—listen to his stories about a worker who misses his family, and a raucous fight night, and keep an ear out for one more piece tonight.

Melby's immersion in oil country has allowed him to report on myriad facets of the boom. Recently his team produced a series of pieces highlighting the role of music in the region's shifts—as protest, stewardship or rueful humor.

Black Gold Boom reporter Diane Richard interviewed Kris Kitko, a singer/songwriter from Bismarck whose acerbic guitar numbers critique the societal and environmental effects of drilling:

Melby teamed up with photographer Ben Garvin to film this video with Watford City resident Jesse Veeder, featuring the song "Boomtown," which appears on her new album, Nothing's Forever:

Wes St. Jon is no North Dakota native; instead he's made a series of booms his home. Known as the "Oilfield Cowboy," St. Jon has released three albums featuring country tunes about digging, fracking and roughnecking. He came to the Bakken to sell his albums from rig to rig. Listen to Melby's entertaining interview with him, and see the video that Melby and BGB intern Laura Candler shot for his song "Boom or Bust":

Visit Black Gold Boom to discover more about how oil is changing North Dakota.

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