Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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Boyne River Remedy

Kristi Kates - July 11th, 2011
Get The Boyne River Remedy
By Kristi Kates
Much like a good recipe, a good local band is composed of complementary ingredients - in this case, the music and sounds that have influenced each member. This analogy definitely applies to Boyne River Remedy, who founded their group in 2008.
“Josh, Kevin and I got together with several other musicians to write and record a song,” Boyne River Remedy’s Mark Blaauw-Hara says. “We had a great time, and were very happy with how it turned out, so we decided to see how it would go to form a band.”
With a “very informal” process in terms of just who was in said band (“at one point, we had nine members,” Blaauw-Hara chuckles), Boyne River Remedy morphed around who the bandmates knew and who they enjoyed playing music with.
“Our first gig was at Short’s Brewery,” Blaauw-Hara remembers, “and we were thrilled to have a place to play where they’d give us pizza. As we polished our set list and our lineup became more stable, we started playing other places and events in the area - we’ve done everything from house parties to benefits to festivals.”

TUNEFUL SYNERGY
And now, back to our analogy - those complementary ingredients. In addition to Blaauw-Hara on vocals, guitar, and bass - his influences being both legendary rockers like Springsteen and modern bands like The Hold Steady and Bon Iver - Boyne River Remedy matches up a quintet of members (well, at least at the moment.)
Drew Barr, influenced by the Allman Brothers and U2, mans the keyboards, hand drums and percussion; classic rocker Josh Manthei plays electric guitar (a few of his favorites include the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix); old-school rap fan Kevin Putman handles the drum duties; and Joni Mitchell fan Jen Schaap strums the acoustic guitar.
“One of the strengths of our band is the diversity of our influences,” Blaauw-Hara says. “We all come from a different starting point, and the synergy of those different points of origin makes us unique.”

PRO PERFORMERS
A focus for the band is professionalism.
“From the beginning, it’s been about having fun for us,” Blaauw-Hara explains, “but we’re professionals - we show up on time, don’t take long breaks, and tailor our set lists to the crowd and the venue. We do this because we like each other and love playing music; the chemistry is good between us, both musically and personally. And truthfully, I think when people see a band, they want to see a group that’s having a good time and obviously loves what they’re doing. I know that’s what I look for.”
The crowds are already looking for Boyne River Remedy, as evidenced by their busy summer schedule, which will include gigs in Boyne City, on Beaver Island, and in Petoskey, where a weekly show at The Perry Hotel’s popular Noggin Room is proving a popular event.
“We’ve got a regular Thursday night gig at the Noggin this summer,” Blaauw-Hara says. “We’ve written a number of original songs that we like and that we intersperse with our covers, which include a Bon Iver song, an acoustic cover of an Usher song, some Springsteen, and some old-school country, like Johnny Cash, for good measure.”

BOYNE CITY TRIBUTE
Another song that fans might find familiar is a local love song - but it’s not to a person, it’s to a town, namely the one reflected in the band’s name.
“Boyne City (I’m in Love with this Town)” is a catchy folk-rocker that’s getting plenty of exposure; the band’s open to seeing what happens with the local favorite, especially since so much has already happened.
“It’s been really surprising how that song has legs,” Blaauw-Hara says, “We adapted it a couple years ago for North Central Michigan College to use it in a video, and then the Boyne City Main Street committee adapted the original recently for use in their entry video for a national competition,” he continues.
“It’s also an adaptable song; we play it from time to time at our shows and change the chorus to reflect where we’re playing,” he says, “for instance, we might howl out “Beaver Island!” or “The Noggin!” or whatever - it’s fun.”
Boyne River Remedy have made keeping up with the band fun, too, with a regularly-updated Facebook band site, t-shirts, and a demo CD of cover tunes available to fans. Their Noggin Room shows are also full of pep and variety.
“We start out with our mellower, more vocally-oriented music so people can eat their dinners, and we steadily build the energy throughout the night,” Blaauw-Hara explains, “and we frequently have guests sit in for a few songs - so there’s no telling exactly what might happen.”

Boyne River Remedy will be performing on Thursday nights from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm in July and August at the Noggin Room in the Perry Hotel, downtown Petoskey. Additional gigs and more info may be found on the band’s Facebook page.

 
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