The Minnesota Beatle Project, Vol. 1

Here’s a pretty cool situation for a tween trombonist from Susan B. Anthony Middle School concert band: A spot on the Minnesota Beatle Project Vol. 1 CD with more than a dozen established Minnesota musicians. Imagine the boast: "Yeah, well, I was on a CD compilation with Jeremy Messersmith when I was 12."

The compilation, which comes out Tuesday, includes Beatles’ covers by people like Mark Mallman, Messersmith, Tim Mahoney, Heatbox, Roma di Luna, and Dave Simonett of Trampled by Turtles.

Proceeds from the CD, which is a joint project of Vega Productions and 89.3 FM The Current, go to music and art programs in Minnesota public schools via grants from Minnesota Music Education Assistance and Art Educators of Minnesota.The CD will be available at Vega Productions, iTunes and Amazon. For those in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, it will be available at local record shops, Barnes & Noble and Borders, and Schmitt Music stores.

Track listing

1. Across the Universe by Nicholas Mrozinksi
2. Eleanor Rigby by The Pachyderm All-Stars
3. Norwegian Wood (The Bird Has Flown) by Jeremy Messersmith & Zach Coulter
4. The Fool on the Hill by Mark Mallman
5. I Will by Roma di Luna
6. Two of Us by Dave Simonett & Friends
7. Sexy Sadie by Lucy Michelle & the Velvet Lapelles
8. Slow Down (Live, 1976) by The Suicide Commandos
9. We Can work it Out by Tim Mahoney
10. I’ve Just Seen a Face, by The Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins
11. Something by Romantica
12. Strawberry Fields Forever by Ice Palace
13. Come Together by The Ronny Loew Band
14. Drive My Car/The Word/What You’re Doing by Casablanca Orchestra (CBO)
15. Octopus’s Garden by Heatbox
16. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Medley) (Live, 2009) by Susan B. Anthony Middle School Concert Band

I’m a sucker for cover songs, typically prefering it to the original — a pretty unpopular position to people who do music. (This is not to say that these bands are better than the Beatles, it just means that I like covers). My faves on this collection, which I’ve been listening to for two days straight, include:

Alt pop rocker pianist Mark Mallman version of "The Fool on the Hill," which has an epic 80s soundtrack sound. I’m seeing hair, neon tights and neon lights, someone super cool playing the synthesizer; "I Will" by Roma di Luna is adorable; "Two of Us," by Simonett & Friends is great: part singalong part solo. This song should always sound like a room full of friends are just sitting around eating Cheetos, havin’ fun and making music. Some songs add some funk, some lean a little Christmasy, there are Southern rock touches.

The CD release party is Dec. 8, with the 30th Anniversary CurtiSS A Tribute to John Lennon at First Avenue in Minneapolis, and will include some of the featured musicians.