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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 guitar playing with multi-part harmonies, sweet organ sounds, and an unstoppable rhythm section, putting their own stamp on an eclectic mix of classic rock, Americana, country, and alt-rock favorites from every decade.  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.

Fred the Bear is at home on any size stage, and has performed at large festivals including Thursdays Downtown (Rochester), Blue Collar BBQ (Faribault), and opening for ".38 Special" at Down by the Riverside (Rochester).  They have performed multiple times at the Paradise Center for the Arts Theatre in Faribault, including two highly acclaimed tribute shows featuring the music of Tom Petty in 2019 and Bruce Springsteen in 2021.  They believe sincerely in music with meaning, using such events to raise more than $20k for local organizations.

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 just 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”, “Med City Jazz Collective”, and "Up-Town Jazz". 

Bob Kanzelman (drums, vocals) originally hails from North Dakota but is a 30 year resident of Rochester, MN. This mild-mannered electrical engineer plays several instruments and honed his skills in worship bands. His strong vocals and country-rock influences add a key ingredient to FTB's sound.

Beth Kanzelman (keys, flute, vocals) 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 magic touch on organ, piano and flute to add a whole new dimension to the FTB sound.

Bo Aylin (guitar, vocals) is the newest member of FTB.  This Northfield entrepreneur has Texas roots, bringing guitar virtuosity and a southern rockabilly influence to the band.

FTB Live
Fred the Bear Originals
Sample of 2023 Album
Just This: Live From Imminent Brewing
Album Cover.jpeg
01 - Promised Land - Fred the Bear
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02 - Just This - Fred the Bear
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06 - Ride to the River - Fred the Bear
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07 - Invisible Man - Fred the Bear
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09 - Locally World Famous - Fred the Bear
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  • iTunes - White Circle
  • Amazon - White Circle
  • Spotify - White Circle
Sample of 2017 Album - Just For A While
I Used to Dream - Fred The Bear
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Six Miles From Hope - Fred the Bear
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Sometimes... - Fred The Bear
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Taking Pictures - Fred the Bear
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Just for A While - Fred The Bear
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  • iTunes - White Circle
  • Amazon - White Circle
  • Spotify - White Circle
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)

Space Oddity (David Bowie)



Drift Away (Dobie Gray)

Willin' (Little Feat)

Use Me (Bill Withers)

Don't Mess Around With Jim (Jim Croce)

Doctor My Eyes (Jackson Browne)

Amie (Pure Prairie League)

Can't You See (Marshall Tucker Band)

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)

867-5309/Jenny (Tommy Tutone)

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.)

Speed of the Sound of Loneliness (John Prine)

It's Only Love (The BoDeans)

I Can't Wait (The Replacements)

Fadeaway (The BoDeans)

End of the Line (Travelling Wilburys)

Feels Like Rain (John Hiatt)

Free Fallin' (Tom Petty)

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)

What's Up (4 Non Blondes)

Breakfast At Tiffany's (Deep Blue Something)

It's Good to Be King (Tom Petty)

Wild Night (Van Morrison / John Mellencamp)

3 AM (Matchbox 20)

Heart Of The Matter (Don Henley)

Pretty Little Adriana (Vince Gill)

Angel Dream #2 (Tom Petty)

One Headlight (The Wallflowers)

Yer So Bad (Tom Petty)

I Got You (Wilco)

It's All Been Done (Barenaked Ladies)


The Middle (Jimmy Eat World)

Be My Winding Wheel (Ryan Adams)

Beauty Way (Eliza Gilkysen)

​Real Live Bleeding Fingers (Lucinda Williams)

Wagon Wheel (Old Crow Medicine Show)

Save It For A Rainy Day (Jayhawks)

Tampa to Tulsa (Jayhawks)

Chicken Fried (Zac Brown Band)

Luckiest Man (The Wood Brothers)

Dead Sound (The Ravonettes)Keep Me In Your Heart (Warren Zevon)

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

Invisible Man

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