Michigan Music

Robert Nordling is the artistic director of the newly formed Shoreline Music Society.
Elliot Mandel

On Friday night in Manistee, the Shoreline Music Society will host its inaugural performance at the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts. The group will perform pieces from Richard Wagner and Franz Schubert, but the concert will be different from what you might expect.


 

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. 

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

Jeremy Reisig, aka brotha James, is coming out with his second album in April.
brothajames.com

Jeremy Reisig, better known as brotha James, is a one-man band from Elk Rapids.

He’ll do all sorts of things — beatbox, play the guitar, rap, sing — sometimes all in the same song. He’s able to do all that because he often loops his own music tracks.

 


Luis Resto brings his Detroit-based band to northern Michigan this weekend.
Dan Wanschura

Songwriter and producer Luis Resto says other music scenes are more polished than Detroit, but that’s one reason why the Motor City is so special to him.  

“Detroit has this street grit, what we call ‘stank,’” he says. “Which is good.”


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."

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.

Michigan actor and musician Jeff Daniels will tour through northern Michigan next week.
Luke Pline

When you think of Jeff Daniels, maybe you think of Harry Dunne from the film Dumb and Dumber. Harry is one of Daniels’ most iconic roles, but you’ve probably seen him in dozens of other roles throughout the years, too. More recently, he starred in HBO’s TV series The Newsroom

Grupo Ayé is a Cuban salsa band from Grand Rapids. They perform in Traverse City on Satruday night.
Grupo Ayé

Grupo Ayé is a Cuban salsa band from Grand Rapids. And even if you don’t know how to dance, there’s at least one guy who thinks you won’t be able to help yourself when you hear their music.

“You have to dance to this music,” says Robert Mulligan, the band’s founder. “When you hear it, your body just naturally wants to move.”


Katie Larson (left) and Sav Buist of The Accidentals stopped by IPR to chat about the band's new album.
Dan Wanschura

The Accidentals drop a new album this Friday.

“Odyssey” is the band’s first album since signing a record label deal with Sony Music Masterworks earlier this year. It features a mix of brand new songs and songs written years ago but never recorded.

Summer has been full of music festivals in Michigan, many of them showcasing regional and local Michigan artists.

Local Spins Editor and Publisher John Sinkevics told Stateside about groups in West Michigan. He explored an indie rock group’s new EP, a jazz organ trio’s Beatles cover songs, and Jim Shaneberger’s blues rock band.

West Michigan is turning out many talented artists and many styles of music these days.

Editor and publisher John Sinkevics has been covering West Michigan’s music scene on his Local Spins website to share music he felt wasn’t getting covered enough by local publications.  

Northern Michigan has a lot of option in terms of summer music festivals and concerts. On July 9, you can listen to a concert while you sit on the Sleeping Bear Dunes.
Glen Arbor Art Association

The 2017 Interlochen Arts Festival lineup was announced today, and it features the likes of ZZ Top, Michael McDonald, Trace Adkins, Diana Ross, OK Go, and more.

But in addition to Interlochen, northern Michigan is home to a wide variety of summer concerts and festivals.


Kyle Novy recently completed a 52-song album project, called 'Mount Valor.' And he's released every song for free.
Kyle Novy

Kyle Novy has been a singer-songwriter for a long time. But it had been about 10 years since he released any music. He was still writing songs, but the timing to record them wasn't right.

“I almost think of it like the whole pregnancy process," he explains. "I mean there’s a good nine months of development before this child is ready to be birthed, and like out in the world.”

Frank Pahl's automatons play a prominent role in Neruda's Suitcase, a show playing Thursday and Friday at Interlochen Center for the Arts.
Dan Wanschura

Frank Pahl is a different kind of composer. What other people see as toys or junk, Frank sees as music-making potential.

“I didn’t grow to appreciate Tinker Toys until I was, wow, pushing 40,” he says.

Jetty Rae performs a song off her new album, 'Can't Curse the Free' in IPR's Studio A. The album features a different sound from Jetty's previous projects.
Dan Wanschura

Jetty Rae is a singer-songwriter who used to live in Charlevoix.

Lately she’s been traveling the country in an Airstream and working on a new sound. She recorded her new album in Nashville— it’s called Can’t Curse the Free

Mahogony Jones is a rapper and hip hop artist who lives in Detroit. She's performing at the State Theatre as part of the MLK Day celebration.
Mahogany Jones

Mahogany Jones says there was a time when rap and hip hop didn’t have the negative connotations like violence and misogyny. She says the music was about peace, love, and being a voice for the voiceless.

That’s the legacy Jones wants her music to reflect. She travels the world using her music as a way to empower others.

 


The Accidentals are made up of Katie Larson, Sav Buist, and Michael Dause. The band recently announced a record label deal with Sony Music Masterworks.
Sony Music Masterworks

The Accidentals have announced a record deal with Sony Music Masterworks, which will distribute the group’s upcoming album on an international level.

The record label also has artists like Yo-Yo Ma, The Piano Guys, and Tall Heights under its name.

Kyle Novy is producing a 52-song album project, called 'Mount Valor.' And he's releasing every song for free.
Kyle Novy

Kyle Novy has been a singer-songwriter for a long time. But it had been about 10 years since he released any music. He was still writing songs, but the timing to record them wasn't right.

“I almost think of it like the whole pregnancy process," he explains. "I mean there’s a good nine months of development before this child is ready to be birthed, and like out in the world.”

Two years ago, Kyle says he had an idea pop into his head. Instead of releasing just one new album with 10 - 12 songs, what if he produced one big album— with 52 songs— and released it over the course of a year?

Being a musician can be tough. It can be brutal.

Apart from trying to create—and then build an audience for what you're creating—there's the side of the music scene that can be ugly: Intense competition. Not getting support or inspiration.

The music business has long been dominated by men—especially on the business and production sides. Which means, all too often, that women have even bigger mountains to climb.

Michigan boasts an exceptionally rich mix of folk, ethnic and immigrant music, and it goes back centuries.

Music professor Lester Monts wanted to capture that rich tapestry, so he spearheaded the Michigan Musical Heritage Project.