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'Sweet Home' Minnesota; Reality TV star to perform in New York Mills charity event

Photo by Dain Sullivan Jeremiah Korfe, winner of CMT's reality dating show "Sweet Home Alabama", along with fellow show star and girlfriend Paige Duke, visited Wadena's KWAD radio station Tuesday to play some music from Korfe's new album and talk about his upcoming performance at the Ronald McDonald House Ride in New York Mills.

One might think a reality TV star and big-time musician would be booked solid and unable to return home immediately after appearing on the CMT Music Awards. However, Jeremiah Korfe is bringing the CMT post party back to Minnesota.

Korfe, the Clarissa, Minn. man who recently won CMT's reality dating show "Sweet Home Alabama", visited some area radio stations this week to talk about his upcoming musical performance for a Ronald McDonald House fundraiser, set to take place 9 p.m. Thursday at the VFW in New York Mills.

As Korfe and fellow "Sweet Home Alabama" star and girlfriend Paige Duke strolled into Wadena's KWAD radio station Tuesday, they both talked about how excited they were to be back in the area they call home.

"We happened to be in the area," said Korfe, who wore casual jeans, a long-sleeved shirt and stocking cap Tuesday. "We still got things that have to be done on the farm, and her with work and me with music...building a life together."

Duke, originally from South Carolina, has worked at Kruger Farms in Starbuck, Minn. since late summer 2011. Sporting jeans, a flannel shirt and a smile Tuesday, she said life after "Sweet Home Alabama" is busy, but she is glad the couple could make it back after the CMT Music Awards.

"Between his shows and my bass derbies and archery shoots, we got a lot going on," she chuckled. "I love the fast-paced life."

Korfe agreed that life has been "nuts" since the show, and he was lucky a local family member brought the upcoming fundraiser to his attention.

"My cousin, he's the one that got me booked," Korfe said.

Korfe's cousin is Scott Anderson, owner of Scott's Paint and Tile Works in Wadena. Anderson and colleague Diane Lee, who have both been organizers for the Ronald McDonald House for 11 years, were also at the radio station Tuesday to talk about next week's Ronald McDonald House Ride, which Anderson said is the largest benefit ride for the organization.

Organizers at KWAD said Tuesday's interviews would be broadcasted at around 5:30 this morning.

"(Korfe) just got a new video on CMT now, and he's going to be on the CMT Awards Wednesday, and he's going to come to our ride Thursday and play," Anderson said as he walked through Thursday's festivities and this year's charity motorcycle event, which includes a route that extends from Parkers Prairie to Henning.

The motorcycle ride brought in more than 13,000 bikes and $131,600 bucks last year, Anderson said.

Anderson was also excited to update Korfe and Duke on the progress of the upcoming event, during which Korfe will give a one-man musical performance.

"We've got a big, round, cool stage that we've built," he said.

Korfe said he is excited to perform at the event, which will also feature four other bands.

"I wish I had my full band for stuff like that," he said.

"From Joyce" is the name of Korfe's band. And while the rest of the group group won't be able to play at the event, Korfe and Anderson were just happy they were able to be part of the festivities. Plus, the two enjoyed chatting Tuesday about the unique background story of the band's name.

"Joyce is my uncle that passed away," Anderson said. "(Korfe) named his band after him."

Korfe said he is looking forward to Thursday's Ronald McDonald House event, where there will be a free-will donation.

"It's going to be fun," he said.