Local Talent: Buckets and Tap Shoes

Jenny Krane, Staff Writer

Brothers Rick and Andy Ausland tap dance, play percussion, sing, and play guitar––often performing two or more at once, incorporating all of their talents into one unique and entertaining show. With a sound similar to that of Stomp, the Ausland’s group, Buckets and Tap Shoes, has been dubbed “utterly brilliant” by the New York Times.

Before founding Buckets and Tap Shoes in 2004, Rick and Andy started out as street performers in Minneapolis and were involved at Lundstrum Center for the Performing Arts. Both talented tap dancers and percussionists, they decided to fuse the two together to form an act, starting by tapping and drumming simultaneously.

Buckets and Tap Shoes’ main instruments are five-gallon paint buckets and the tap shoes the performers wear on their feet. Throughout their performance, all of the performers sing and play percussion, and both brothers tap––Andy can play guitar and tap at the same time, and, with a ballet background, do over ten turns on the taps on the balls of his feet.

Rick Ausland

Starting out, the Ausland brothers, and other members of Buckets and Tap Shoes that joined the group over the years, performed in the Twin Cities until they created a buzz. Then the group performed in other big cities like New York and St. Louis, and returned to the Twin Cities this summer with great reception and a developed reputation.

The Auslands and the rest of the group are high-energy and fun to watch; it’s obvious they love what they’re doing. Since they’ve returned from New York at the start of this summer, Rick and Andy have continued to stay active, teaching and performing at Lundstrum Center for Performing Arts, and are seen frequently outside Target Field, performing after Twins games.