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Michigan music

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Looking for new music to ease the transition from summer into fall. Local Spins editor and publisher John Sinkevics has you covered. He joined Stateside with an update on three West Michigan artists that he recommends checking out.

five musicians standing
Michigan-I-O

 

Eighty-one summers ago, folklorist Alan Lomax visited Michigan as part of a 10-year project collecting American folk music for The Library of Congress. The recordings feature the songs of lumberjacks, iron miners, and Great Lakes sailors, among others.

After three months, Lomax left the state in his 1935 Plymouth, which was filled to the brim with a collection of 250 instantaneous discs and eight reels of film documenting life in Michigan. 

Children on a swing set in Detroit's ella fitzgerald park
City of Detroit

 

 

Today on Stateside, the city of Detroit is making efforts to revitalize local neighborhoods by creating new public gathering spaces. Plus, a contemporary strings band is using new techniques to electrify all genres of music.

 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

 

 

Today on Stateside, a Republican proposal to fix Michigan’s roads is circulating in Lansing that wouldn't raise taxes. Plus a look at avian botulism, a disease that’s killing waterfowl across the Great Lakes.

Etienne Charles in a red hat playing the trumpet
Courtesy of Etienne Charles

Carnival is a vibrant, musically-rich celebration that happens before the start of Lent. It’s celebrated across the globe, bringing out the most unique aspects of many cultures and traditions.

Jazz trumpeter Etienne Charles, who teaches at Michigan State University, celebrates the festival in a new album titled Carnival: The Sound of a People. Charles says this album gave him the opportunity to explore the history of Carnival in his native Trinidad.

Michigan Radio

 

 

Today on Stateside, Michigan bean farmers send a lot of exports to Mexico. So, what happens to those farmers if President Trump follows through on his threats to add tariffs to Mexican goods? Plus, we hear about a tricked out bicycle with accordion and percussion instruments that blends classical music and public art. 

Robert Jones and Matt Wotruba
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

The Reverend Robert Jones and Matt Watroba first met while hosting back-to-back music shows at a public radio station in Detroit.  

That chance encounter bloomed into a friendship rooted in a mutual love for acoustic roots music that's still going strong more than 30 years later.

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Islamic Center of America
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Political Lizard

 


Listen to this month's Local Spins as we check out the West Michigan music scene with John Sinkevics, editor and publisher of localspins.com.

Here are this months picks: 

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New year, new Detroit music. Paul Young of Detroit Music Magazine tells us about some of Detroit's best upcoming artists in hip-hop and techno. Plus, he reflects on the death of legendary Big Chief guitarist Phil Dürr. 

The four members of Greta Van Fleet
Universal Music Group

  

The small town of Frankenmuth, nicknamed Little Bavaria, is known for its unique architecture, “world-famous” chicken dinners, and Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland superstore.

It’s also the hometown of up-and-coming rock band Greta Van Fleet who, after releasing their debut album Anthem of the Peaceful Army in October 2018, have received four Grammy nominations. 

Time to kick off this New Year with our first Local Spins of 2019 as we check out the West Michigan music scene with John Sinkevics, editor and publisher of localspins.com.

Here are this month's picks:

"Lysander" by Heaters 

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. 

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. 

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.

Cameron Mizell / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

New and exciting artists are cropping up around West Michigan. There are even a few moving from abroad to join the lively music scene there.

Editor and publisher of Local Spins, John Sinkevics returned to Stateside to discuss the latest music trends being crafted and performed in West Michigan.

Listen above to hear more.

the band nessa
Nessa

Let’s talk about Celtic music. Nessa, a Southeast Michigan band, re-imagines the ballads and dance tunes of the old Celtic world, bringing in a wide range of musical styles.

The ensemble is led by Kelly McDermott, who plays the flute and sings. She joined Stateside to talk about her musical influences, Celtic fusion, and the release of her new EP, Travel Walk to Celtica, produced by Brian Bill.

Three female Mariachis
Anahli Jazhmin / Courtesy of Mariachi Femenil Detroit

If you close your eyes and picture a Mariachi band, you might see something like this -- sombreros, ornate black suits, stringed instruments -- all worn and played by mustachioed men.

A group called Mariachi Femenil Detroit is working hard to broaden that image and bring gender equality to the genre.

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.

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."

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.   

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.

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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. 

Thomas / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

John Sinkevics, editor and publisher of Local Spins, which covers west Michigan’s music scene, said his listening suggestions for the month were made with a somewhat higher purpose than normal after yesterday’s events: the largest mass shooting in American history at a Las Vegas country music festival called the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

A music teacher fluent in the language of small children

Sep 11, 2017
Vera Davis

Violin teachers usually earn their reputations through the fame and virtuosity of their students. But every virtuoso has to start somewhere, and those early lessons have their own challenges.

Wendy Azrak is a teacher whose genius is showcased in a less grandiose, but arguably more difficult accomplishment: She can get a three-year-old to stand still.


State Police records, RG 90-240, housed in the Archives of Michigan

It was nearly fifty years ago when Michigan music lovers attended a Woodstock-like music festival in south-central Michigan. But not everyone was happy about it.

The Michigan History Center’s Mark Harvey joined Stateside today dig into the story surrounding the Goose Lake Music Festival.

a piano
Adrian Lim / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

It's time for our monthly check-in on the music scene on the west side of the state.

John Sinkevics is the editor and publisher of LocalSpins.com, where he highlights up-and-coming artists and music happenings in the area. This time, we’re putting the spotlight on three West Michigan bands.

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