By Kristi Kates
Roots on the River is the moniker thats been given to a relatively new
music series in Manistee, at the impetus of two locals who simply wanted
to bring more music to the community.
In 2007, Noah Joseph and I decided that with so many talented musicians
in Michigan, we wanted to support them, organizer Erin Garcia explains.
Recently joining the Manistee Jaycees, we thought this would be a great
community project to initiate. The community has really embraced Roots on
the River, and we are now celebrating our fifth season.
The name of the series wasnt merely thrown together, either - its a
literal interpretation of how the performances are presented, in a setting
that Garcia says couldnt be more beautiful.
The musicians play on the banks of the Manistee River as it flows through
downtown Manistee, she says. The hillside seats hundreds of people who
bring chairs or blankets and listen to the music as the sun sets behind
The Jaycees bandshell, which is on Memorial Drive across the street from
the Olesons Food Market in Manistee, will play host to a diverse roster
of performers, heavy on heartwarming Americana music and include some
We have an incredible lineup this year starting on June 30 with Detour, a
Michigan-based bluegrass band that combines original contemporary
bluegrass sounds with great traditional favorites. The Joshua Davis Trio
on July 28 will be backed by his roots-rock band; Joshua is also the lead
singer of Steppin In It.
Seth Bernard and Daisy May are scheduled for August 4, and Sister Wilene
will appear on August 18.
Sister Wilene will take you back to the days when country music was a
pocketful of heartfelt ballads and songs you could dance to, Garcia says.
From the traditions of Patsy Cline to Bob Wills, this band will take you
down memory lane or perhaps introduce you to some of the greatest American
music ever played.
BIG AND SMALL
From these more established acts to up-and-coming bands, Garcia says she
is looking forward to pretty much all of the talent on this years roster.
We have some that have never played before, such as Red Tail Ring and The
Nephews, as well as some new musicians to the lineup, including Lindsay
Lou and the Flatbellys, and a Manistee duo, All Strung Out and Getting
Hammered. Luke Winslow-King has played before, but this summer he is on
tour with his trio, she says.
A special partnership with the Vogue Theater Promotions Group has also
been set up for this year, to assist funding for both the Roots on the
River events and the Vogue Theater Restoration Project itself.
We will be selling raffle tickets for a hand-crafted canoe package, and a
golf package, Garcia says, youll be able to buy tickets at all the
Roots on the River concerts, and the drawing will be held during the last
performance (of the season) on August 25.
After the summer Roots on the River series closes, things quiet down
around Manistee - but occasionally, Garcia says, they get the opportunity
to offer a few winter shows at Manistees Historic Ramsdell Theater, such
as the presentation of Chris Bathgates Salt Year Tour, so make sure to
keep your eyes and ears out.
To hear about future winter or spring events, just keep in touch with us
through our Facebook page, the Roots on the River Concert Series page,
To get more information about the Roots on the River concert series, visit
them on Facebook (see above), check out the Jaycees website at
http://www.manisteejaycees.org/events-roots.htm, or email them at