Fred the Bear


Fred the Bear is a Southeast Minnesota band and recording artist.  The band was co-founded by Ray Coudret, a veteran song writer, guitarist, and vocalist who has been delighting crowds for over 30 years.  Fred the Bear blends Ray's soulful, bluesy vocals and skilled picking with tight harmonies and an unstoppable rhythm section, playing unique arrangements of an eclectic mix of classic rock, Americana, country, and alt-rock music by great artists from every decade since the 60s.  Fred the Bear also writes and performs its own original music, highlighted by insightful lyrics reflecting on life’s promises and disappointments, set to dynamic melodies and rhythms. They released their debut CD, “Just For A While”,  in 2017, containing nine of their original songs. The band regularly performs several of these along with other great original titles.

The band’s name is a tribute to the late Bruce “Fred the Bear” Eschler, the owner of “The Bear’s Den” bar in Donaldson, MN, whose support of live music gave Ray his start some 30 years ago.  FTB is grateful to be an active part of the SEMN music scene, sharing their music at a variety of festivals and venues in Rochester, Northfield, Faribault, and throughout the region.


Member bios:


Ray Coudret (guitar, lead vocals) came from “way up nort’”, but has called Northfield, MN home for over 20 years.  When not teaching the next generation of mathematicians or producing highly acclaimed high school musical productions, he is a prolific songwriter and has performed with a variety of bands over the decades, including “Area 51” and “Why Not?”. Ray is the co-creator and producer of the long-running 411 Concert Series in Northfield, which brings professional acts to the city through the Northfield Arts Guild.

Jerry Spencer (bass, vocals) is a lifelong resident of Rochester, MN, and has played upright bass and electric bass since he was a kid.  He has a wide and diverse musical palette and has played in a variety of orchestras, musicals, church bands, bluegrass groups, and jazz combos, including the "RCTC Jazz Band", “Root River Jam”, the “Med City Jazz Collective”, and "Up-Town Jazz". 

Bob Kanzelman (drums, vocals) originally hails from North Dakota but is a 25+ year resident of Rochester, MN. This mild-mannered engineer never planned to join a gigging band until one day he reluctantly agreed to sit in with FTB on cajon for a set. He soon became a key ingredient of their sound, delivering a rock solid groove and lynch-pin harmonies.

Beth Kanzelman (keys, vocals) is the most recent addition to FTB.  She was born and raised in southeast MN and is happy to be back home in Rochester. She has a music degree from Hamline University and a long history of music in a church setting, but now brings her "just right" touch on piano and organ to add a whole new dimension to the FTB sound.

Just For A While - Fred the Bear
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Six Miles From Hope - Fred the Bear
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Taking Pictures - Fred the Bear
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Small Dreams - Fred the Bear
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I Used to Dream - Fred the Bear
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Sample Song Catalog


Don't Be Cruel (Elvis)

Act Naturally (Buck Owens)

The Weight (The Band)

Proud Mary (Creedence Clearwater Revival)

Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash)

The Thrill Is Gone (B.B. King)

I Want You Back (Jackson Five)



Drift Away (Dobie Gray)

Willin' (Little Feat)

Use Me (Bill Withers)

Doctor My Eyes (Jackson Browne)

Amie (Pure Prairie League)

Ophelia (The Band)

Cortez the Killer (Neil Young)

American Girl (Tom Petty)

Listen To Her Heart (Tom Petty)

Fat Bottomed Girls (Queen)

Sultans of Swing (Dire Straits)



Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Queen)

The Breakup Song (Greg Kihn Band)

From Small Things (Bruce Springsteen)

Melt With You (Modern English)

Brilliant Disguise (Bruce Springsteen)

Downbound Train (Bruce Springsteen)

Dancing In The Dark (Bruce Springsteen)

Atlantic City (Bruce Springsteen)

Cover Me (Bruce Springsteen)

The One I Love (R.E.M.)

I Can't Wait (The Replacements)

Fadeaway (The BoDeans)

It's Only Love (The BoDeans)

Feels Like Rain (John Hiatt)

Built To Last (Tom Petty)


Don't Go Back To Rockville (R.E.M.)

One (U2)

Into The Great Wide Open (Tom Petty)

Lines Around Your Eyes (Lucinda Williams)

Wild Night (Van Morrison / John Mellencamp)

Heart Of The Matter (Don Henley)

Pretty Little Adriana (Vince Gill)

One Headlight (The Wallflowers)

Yer So Bad (Tom Petty)

I Got You (Wilco)

3 AM (Matchbox 20)


The Middle (Jimmy Eat World)

Wagon Wheel (Old Crow Medicine Show)

Save It For A Rainy Day (Jayhawks)

Dead Sound (The Ravonettes)

Luckiest Man (The Wood Brothers)

Keep Me In Your Heart (Warren Zevon)

Beauty Way (Eliza Gilkyson)

Real Live Bleeding Fingers (Lucinda Williams)

I'm Yours (Jason Mraz)

Whistle For The Choir (The Fratellis)

Times Like These (Foo Fighters)

Cry (Slaid Cleaves)


Time Spent In Los Angeles (Dawes)

Dearly Departed (Shakey Graves)

24 Frames (Jason Isbell)

North Side Gal (J.D. McPherson)

Lucky Now (Ryan Adams)

Down By The Water (The Decemberists)

If I Wanted Someone (Dawes)

Shake It Off (Taylor Swift / Ryan Adams)

Welcome To New York (Swift / Adams)

FTB Originals

Three Wise Men

Down In Omaha

Just For A While

Storm Rolling

Profane Saint


Locally World Famous


I Been

I Used To Dream

Six Miles From Hope

Taking Pictures

Small Dreams

Promised Land

Behind Dark Clouds

All Because of you

Within the Black Keys


Jerry Spencer                 Ray Coudret

 507-251-2075            507-403-9340




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