June was one of those months where every show exceeded our expectations (and not just because we’ve learned that it’s best not to have any). Packed with amazing musical experiences, we just kept pinching ourselves when we looked around the stage at the incredible talent with whom we have the honor and pure joy of making music. It all started with our big 10th Anniversary Celebration of “In This Town” at The Ark on June 2nd, with our killer band members Jason Dennie, Ozzie Andrews and Mike Shimmin; followed by the wonderful Noreast’r Festival, followed by a glorious time at Above the Bridge Songwriter’s Weekend where we got to be on staff with John Latini, Jamie-Sue Seal, Pat Bergesen and Sigrid Christiansen. the following weekend it was back up north with members of the Yellow Room Gang: Mustard’s Retreat and Matt Watroba, for a handful of memorable shows at stunning venues. The month ended with a surprisingly special night at the Grass Lake High School gymnasium playing for a bunch of enthusiastic music loving cyclists (P.A.L.M. – Pedal Across Lower Michigan) and the big finish was our debut performance of our exciting new band Diamonds in the Rust. This band features two members of the Yellow Room Gang, Jan Krist & Jim Bizer along with Alan Finkbeiner. http://diamondsintherust.net. We are truly overflowing with gratitude and promise to elaborate more on a future blog post.
It’s really hard to believe that 10 years have gone by since the release of our fifth recording “IN THIS TOWN”!
For so many reasons this was a transitional album. Everything from what was happening in our personal lives to our professional lives influenced the songwriting and this album received the kind of support and recognition that we hadn’t experienced before.
The title track was written long before we moved to what is now our home town of Chelsea, but we ultimately finished the album after we moved. In the midst of recording the album we were suffering from a lack of confidence and feelings of uncertainty about where we were heading with our music. We were still struggling with trying to redefine ourselves in the acoustic/folk/singer/songwriter world after a long history of rock bands and bars! It was more than just the songwriting. It was a mindset. We had to convince ourselves that we fit in. So we called on artist consultant Kari Estrin who put us through a rigorous soul-searching exercise and reinforced our sense of direction. The original title of the album was going to be “Grey” but Kari wisely talked us out of that. (more…)
David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Paul Kantner, Maurice White, Harper Lee, Sonny James, George Martin, Keith Emerson & Greg Lake, Patty Duke, Merle Haggard, Prince, Guy Clark, Muhammad Ali, Ralph Stanley, Gene Wilder, Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, Gwen Ifill, Sharon Jones, Florence Henderson, George Micheal, Carrie Fisher (and her mom)… (more…)
What is Horns for the Holidays? Horns for the Holidays is a grass roots organization founded in 1996 by Ken Kozora that connects used instruments with children who might not otherwise be able to afford an instrument of their own. How do we do this? YOUR HELP! Please donate your used musical instrument, encourage others to donate, and spread the word! Horns for the Holidays has been collecting under-used musical instruments from the community and giving back to the kids who need and want them for over 10 years.
Where? You ask? Well, the Chelsea Alehouse for one! and When? Well… how about this weekend?? The Alehouse will be celebrating a full weekend of music to kick off the Horns for the Holidays used musical instrument drive, with Creole Du Nord on Friday, Dec 2nd and we’ll be there on Saturday, Dec 3rd!
So dig out that trumpet collecting dust in the basement or old ukulele or penny whistle or…. ALL instruments are accepted!
ROAD TRIP!!!! (more…)
Like most other musicians who adore him Rod and I first crossed paths with Tommy Saunders because of the music. He along with his sidekick and best friend “nearly Normal” Warren were co-hosts of the Folk-it! Show that aired on this wonderful independent internet radio station, A3radio. They were like Abbott and Costello, without all the fighting – charming and funny. Folk it! Also hosted a live in studio performance from everyone to us up and coming local artists to Arlo Guthrie!!
All the shows started the same way… with Nearly introducing Tom. (more…)
Its so easy to get caught up in how many people show up, how many CDs you sell, how much money you make, how many Facebook Likes you get, how many photos get posted, how many comments on the photos and the list goes on… yep. I’m guilty. But as we make our way down the last stretch of I94 toward Chelsea, after 3 nights in as many states, I’m choosing to focus on the tremendous generosity of a few kind souls who were willing to host this unknown trio of music makers from Michigan, (more…)