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northern lights above the mackinac bridge
Wall Boat / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, an explosive lawsuit against Michigan State University alleges that Larry Nassar raped an MSU athlete in 1992, and university officials covered it up. Plus, the best plays and musicals from Michigan’s local theater scene this month.

Elvis Presley
WikiCommons

 


On Thursday, August 16 we lost the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. But for countless Elvis fans, last Thursday was already a date marked by tragedy. 

On that day in 1977, the world learned that Elvis Presley had passed away. 

 

Derek Smith
Sarah Leeson / Michigan Radio

When you think of a mandolin, you may think of Europe during the Renaissance or bluegrass music from the South. But it turns out the mandolin actually has roots right here in Michigan.

This past weekend, mandolin enthusiasts descended on Marshall, Michigan for the Marshall Mandolin Summit. Visitors spent the weekend sharing their love for the instrument and learning under world-renowned mandolin players like Don Julin, author of Mandolin for Dummiesand Mike Marshall (no relation to the town).

Brotha James

This month’s check-in with Local Spins editor and publisher, John Sinkevics, takes a look at musicians plying their trade in the northern climes of the Lower Peninsula.

Sinkevics joined Stateside to highlight new work by Jake Allen, Brotha James, and Joshua Davis.

Headshot of Katie Else in the woods
Courtesy of Katie Else

With plaintive, lovely songs, Katie Else brings us the shared history between Ireland and Michigan's Beaver Island.

Mustard's Retreat
Facebook.com

 

For more than 40 years, Mustard's Retreat has been carrying the banner of folk music. The group's newest album Make Your Own Luck is out now. 

Band-members Libby Glover, Michael Hough, and David Tamulevich joined Stateside’s Cynthia Canty to talk about their long career in folk and the group's Defiantly Hopeful tour. 

the Four Tops in concert
Arnie Lee / Wikimedia Commons - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The Four Tops, the Temptations, and the Stylistics will be performing this Saturday at the Legends of Motown Show in Sterling Heights.

Abdul "Duke" Fakir, a founding member of the Four Tops, joined Stateside to talk about the show and the band's history.

Lauren Duski
Facebook.com

 

You just never know when life has a great big surprise waiting just around the corner for you.

Just when you think it’s time to put your music dream on the shelf and go to dental school, you get a call from producers of NBC's The Voice, asking you to audition for the TV singing competition.

That’s how Gaylord’s Lauren Duski wound up with Blake Shelton as her mentor, ultimately landing in second place on the 2017 season of The Voice and getting her big break. 

Frédéric Hamelin / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGLC0

This week brings the 26th go-round for Detroit's annual Concert of Colors presented by the Arab American National Museum.

The event starts tomorrow and runs through Sunday. It celebrates cultural diversity through music and the spoken word.

This year, the Concert of Colors has inspired a sister festival in Jackson. It's called the Jackson Unity Festival.

Mercedes Mejia/Michigan Radio

Her stage name is Stephie James, but friends and family here in Michigan know her best as Stephanie Hamood.

The Nashville based singer-songwriter got her start playing gigs at a coffee shop her family opened near Detroit. 

Now, after years of touring with big name bands, James is getting ready to release her debut album later this year.

Major Murphy
Daniel Topete / Facebook

This very hot summer week is a great time to find some new music to enjoy, preferably indoors and in front of an air conditioner.

John Sinkevics, editor and publisher of Local Spins, joined us once again for our monthly look at West Michigan's music scene. 

A black and white photo of Rabindranath Tagore
Wikimedia Commons - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 

As controversy swirled around Bob Dylan's 2017 Nobel prize for literature, some argued that Dylan wasn't even the first songwriter to win the prize. That honor may belong to Indian songwriter, poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore.  

Mercedes Mejia/Michigan Radio

It’s been a momentous couple of years for Jason Singer, who goes by the stage name Michigander.  

When Anna Burch moved to Detroit, she didn’t set out to make a record.

Now, she’s out with her debut solo album, Quit the Curse.

A West Michigan native, Burch got her start singing in the folk-rock band Frontier Ruckus, and more recently co-fronting in the group Failed Flowers.  

"2 Cool 2 Care" is the single that launched the new record, which explores the complexities of moving to a new town and navigating new relationships.

Courtesy of guest

 

The 35-minute, four-movement concerto by Michigan State University associate professor of composition Zhou Tian caught the ear of The Recording Academy, and it led to a Grammy nomination for him. 

Photo courtesy of Solis family

Martin Huron Solis Jr. is the first Michigan resident to be inducted into the Tejano ROOTS Hall of Fame Museum in Alice, Texas.

Solis was born in San Antonio in 1929 and began playing the guitar at age six. 

Michael Hacala

Fans of singer-songwriter Jill Jack know she's been a mainstay of Detroit’s music scene for over two decades.

Back in October, she released her 12th full length album These Days, a nod to the Jackson Browne tune.

At the 2017 Detroit Music Awards, Jack was recognized for Outstanding Americana Artist/Group, Outstanding Americana Vocalist and Outstanding Jazz Recording for "Pure Imagination."

Yes, 2018 has arrived! Time to look back at some highlights from West Michigan’s music scene in 2017 as well as looking forward to some artists generating attention as the new year unfolds.

Top West Michigan musicians of 2017

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say this was a banner year musically for the west side of the state, which already had produced stars like BØRNS, a native of Grand Haven who continues to electrify the pop scene from his new home in Los Angeles.

Mixtape: Colin Stetson, Stef Chura, and Royce da 5’9”

Dec 19, 2017
Courtesy of artists

Today on Stateside, we take an end-of-the-year listen to music from Detroit-area artists. Our guides, as always, are Paul Young, publisher of Detroit Music Magazine, and Khalid Bhatti, the magazine's executive editor. 

Listen to the full conversation above, or read highlights below.

Colin Stetson, “All This I Do for Glory” from All This I Do for Glory

This month, we’ll look back at three of 2017’s “Under-the-Radar” albums by West Michigan bands; three terrific recordings folks might have overlooked.

The Turnips - StopWatchTimeDrop

Joey Schultz

Finding inspiration for writing and making music can be a challenge for songwriters. But, for Brandon and Bethany Foote it's the place they call home that fuels their imagination.

The duo known as Gifts or Creatures is out with their third full-length album, Fair Mitten (New Songs of the Historic Great Lakes Basin).

Their music celebrates the rich history and beauty of the upper Midwest.   

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

It’s pretty hard to live in Chelsea, Michigan and not know Jeff Daniels. He’s an accomplished actor both on stage and on screen, he’s a musician who frequently tours, and he founded the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea.

Daniels joined Stateside to explain what’s been keeping him so busy.

HarperCollins, 2017

A music lover can likely pinpoint the moment a song or a lyric crashes its way into your young consciousness. And then things are never the same.

For writer Daniel Wolff, that moment happened in 1965, when he first heard Bob Dylan.

Wikicommons

What is the best way to keep a soldier’s morale up? This was a serious question for government officials during World War II.

America’s soldiers were experiencing the most traumatic events of their lives, away from their families and surrounded by the horrors of war.

Officials concluded that perhaps the best way to keep soldiers happy was the power of music.

David James Swanson

Michigan singer-songwriter Joshua Davis released a new studio album, The Way Back Home, on Oct. 13.

The album comes some two and a half years after NBC’s The Voice introduced the rest of America to Davis, who had already built a strong fan base throughout his home state.

Davis joined Stateside to talk about his music and his inspirations.

Courtesy of Andrew Cohn

A Detroit-based hip-hop artist is the subject of a new documentary film released on Apple Music. 

Danny Brown: Live at the Majestic follows Brown’s life and visits with him on tour. 

Stateside host Lester Graham spoke with the film's director Andrew Cohn, who is also from Michigan.

This week, John Sinkevics introduces us to three new albums coming out in November. Sinkevics is the editor and publisher of Local Spins, which covers west Michigan’s music scene. 

Bigfoot Buffalo, The Sun is the Moon

Singer-guitarist Kyle Brown is the frontman and chief songwriter for this Grand Rapids-based roots rock band that’s been inspired by the likes of The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers, and The Band.

actors on stage
Lisa Gavan

 


Each time a show opened at the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, Alexandra Berneis would send an email. As the theater's executive director, Berneis had a strong relationship with Jen McKee, the local critic at The Ann Arbor News. It was a symbiotic one: invitation, access, coverage, repeat.

Then one day in January 2016, she didn’t get an email back. The critic and other colleagues lost their jobs. Mainstream arts coverage in Ann Arbor was gone.

Michigan communities have been experiencing this with increasing frequency over several years. As the internet changed how people got their news, media entities shifted and consolidated, and arts communities across the state are feeling the loss.

may erlewine
John Hanson

May Erlewine is out with her newest album Mother Lion. And she’s introducing it first to Michigan audiences.

"I’ve been so lifted up and supported by the community here, so it seemed really fun and sort of tangible to actually be able to physically give the record and present the songs," Erlewine said. "I also haven’t played most of them live ever, so it’s sort of really presenting all of it as a piece for the first time."

Psychedelic Eyes Photography

Desmond Jones, the funk/rock/jazz fusion band is releasing its debut album on October 10.

After meeting in college at Michigan State University and playing gigs around the Lansing area, the five-piece band has settled in Grand Rapids.

I spoke with drummer John Nowak and guitarist Chris Bota about their eclectic musical diversity. 

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