Buy a Great Hall of the Vikings show ticket (Wed-Sat) and receive FREE general admission for all-day festival access! Come early and enjoy the festival!


Country Gentlemen

Gene Putnam and Curt Hiller are guitarists who play a mix of country, gospel and popular standards. Curt plays smooth jazz and rhythm and Gene plays (Chet Atkins) fingerstyle guitar making this a crowd pleasing combination. These two Country Gentlemen will have your toes tapping and your hands clapping to some of your favorite tunes. 


Gene Putnam is a North Dakota son with a life-long passion for fingerstyle guitar. As a teenager, his father (Bill) started him on a steel string flat top guitar and introduced him to Chet Atkins records. Guitarists Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Merle Travis, Doyle Dykes and Tommy Emmanuel have influenced his guitar playing style. Gene enjoys leading a Praise Team at his church and singing with his wife and children. Gene has also recorded two instrumental CD’s under the Sunflower Studio label.


Curt Hiller got his start at 5 years of age when his dad (George) put a ukulele in his hands. When Curt was old enough to play guitar, he became his dad's rhythm guitar player. Along with a younger brother, on the upright bass, they entertained mostly in churches. After Curt's dad died in 1971 he didn't have the time or passion for the guitar and did not really develop that passion until the late 1990's. Some of Curt’s guitar hero's are George Van Eps, Tony Mottola, Johnny Smith and of course, Chet Atkins. One of his great pleasures is playing in his church band and praise teams. He has a great time playing duo guitar with his good friend Gene Putnam and also plays in a local jazz trio of vocal, bass and guitar.


This guitar duo has made regular appearances at the Norsk Hostfest, ND State Fair, regional festivals, banquets, fund raisers, as well as various schools and churches.