Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Lee & Lucinda

Kristi Kates - July 11th, 2011
Lee and Lucinda bring American roots to Interlochen
By Kristi Kates
Country Weekly called Amos Lee and Lucinda Williams’ “Clear Blue Eyes” duet single ‘a heartbreaking piece of classic country.’
Williams has also joined Lee onstage at his solo shows.
And Lee’s latest album, Mission Bell, released in January of this year, features Williams on that same song, as well as other guest appearances from Calexico and Iron and Wine’s Sam Beam.
Williams’ new set, Blessed, hit stores this past March, and blends her Americana mix of rock, blues and country into another landmark album for the performer; recently married, she’s entering another chapter in her life both musically and personally, as well.
Both of these musicians, now on the road for a July tour, will be appearing - together - at Interlochen this month for a show that’s sure to be a standout.

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Lee is now on his fourth album on Blue Note Records, and this tour with Williams isn’t his first trip around the block.
The dusky-voiced, blazer-wearing, mysteriously-named musician (no one’s quite sure exactly where his “Amos Lee” moniker came from) and former elementary-school teacher has also shared the stage with such performers as Norah Jones, Paul Simon, Dave Matthews Band, Bob Dylan, and Adele, bringing along his own drummer, Fred Berman, and his bassist Jaron Olevsky.
Blending folk with jazz and soul, Lee’s Philly influences can be heard throughout his songs, from his debut self-produced EP, which initially caught the attention of Jones, through Mission Bell’s “acoustic soul” effort. He’s another artist whose songs have proved to be evocative enough to serve as score for a wide variety of media, from his songs’ appearances in Studio 60, Army Wives, Grey’s Anatomy, and ER to movies like Just Like Heaven and even an AT&T commercial that proved to be a fan favorite.

Meanwhile, Williams - she of the Chrissie Hynde eyeliner, truck-stop waitress hair, and distinctive vocal stylings - has a few years on Lee, having recorded her first album back in 1978.
Although a sophomore album followed in 1980, she first really gained attention as a songwriter when Mary Chapin Carpenter recorded a cover of Williams’ song “Passionate Kisses.” The result? Williams was awarded a songwriter Grammy for Best Country Song, which helped boost her success.
A critic’s favorite, Williams has also been noted as a favorite duet partner and even song topic, first for Steve Earle (she sang with him on his song “You’re Still Standin’ There) and then for Vic Chestnutt, who had a song titled “Lucinda Williams” on one of his albums.
1998 was finally a breaking point for Williams’ own songs, as her album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road snagged her a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album (bolstered by the inclusion of one of her songs in the Robert Redford movie The Horse Whisperer.) She’d go on to collaborate with the likes of Ryan Adams, Flogging Molly, Elvis Costello, and, of course Amos Lee.
Now settled in Nashville, she still keeps out of the loop to some degree, but keeps crafting music on a regular basis, both as a collaborator and as a solo artist; Blessed features a personal range of complex emotions and tales.

Elusiveness is one thing these two performers have in common, but another more important element is their shared penchant for earnest, earthy music that showcases the best elements of their individual approaches to songs that tell emotional stories and keep both performers and fans grounded.
Lee’s headlining spring tour, which included a stop at Bonnaroo and one at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, will segue right into his dates with Williams, who guested on Lee’s new album. It’s anyone’s guess whether she’ll also step out on stage for that critically-acclaimed duet, but one thing fans can be sure of is another great Interlochen show from these two seasoned performers.

Lucinda Williams and Amos Lee will be performing in concert at Interlochen on July 13 at 8:00 p.m.; tix available online via http://tickets.interlochen.org.

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