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...

Home · Articles · News · Music · A Band Called Hursh
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A Band Called Hursh

Eric Pokoyoway - July 27th, 2006
Ben Hursh never really had an interest in playing the guitar, but when he found himself on the wrong end of a bad break-up, he felt inspired.
“I think I only knew four chords at the time, but I was with this girl for five years and she ripped me up and down,” Hursh said.
Hursh, 28, met his former sweetheart at 16. When they separated, he borrowed his uncle’s vintage Gibson and began teaching himself to play, sing, and write music.
“We were the perfect couple; we were even talking about marriage. Then she started her first semester at Western Michigan University and decided she wanted to study abroad.”
That’s when they went their separate ways and he needed a way to get his problems out. “Instead of just sitting around thinking about how much it sucked, I decided to play the guitar. I just didn’t have anything better to do except drink and play guitar.”

By keeping busy with his uncle’s guitar, he started writing songs that others could relate to. It was an easy way for him to express himself and talk about things that were bothering him, Hursh said.
“Guys don’t talk about their problems or moods; this was an acceptable way for me to get things out, and people were looking up to me because I was writing things they liked. The best way to get over a girl is singing to another girl.”
With the help of his mom and dad, Rebecca and Guy Hursh, Ben formed the band, Hursh, in 2005. Rebecca sings back-up and Guy is the lead guitarist. They added bass player Rob Ackley, traditional drummer Devon Neibert, and conga player Keith Ballmer, completing the six-member gang. Last spring they released their first album.
Ben Hursh had some exposure to music prior to his break-up. Guy Hursh had been playing the guitar since he was 16, and Rebecca could commonly be heard singing as she took care of her three sons and two daughters.
“When Ben was a kid, his brothers and sisters would beg me to play ‘Rocky Raccoon’ by The Beatles and ‘Four Wet Pigs’ by Greg Brown,” Guy Hursh said.
Music was always in the Hursh house.
“Some of my youngest memories were at home with my mom playing John Mellencamp, while we danced around just being little kids,” Ben Hursh said.

Hursh is a blue-collar band drawing influences from Ryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen and The Rolling Stones. They play mostly original songs written by Ben and Guy.
“Sometimes you see these bands, and they just become bar bands. We don’t want to be that, we just want to stay true to our music.” Ben Hursh said.
They do play some covers by Ryan Adams and The Rolling Stones, but they put their own twist on them, Guy Hursh said.
“This band is all about that guy [Adams], he writes the kind of music that inspires people,” Ben Hursh said.
This is a hard-working band that plays until 2 p.m. and wakes up early for work the next day, Ben Hursh said. Guy Hursh is a construction worker for the Leelanau County Road Commission while Ackley is a commercial painter who works primarily in Leelanau County and the Grand Traverse Area. Ben works for the Sutons Bay Department of Public Works. “We aren’t full-time musicians, we all get up at the

butt-crack of dawn and go to work, which
is what this band is kind of about,” Ben
Hursh said.
“This band is an outlet for people who bust their ass for eight-plus hours every day.”

Hursh is already working on another album. This CD is going to be more upbeat. They haven’t recorded anything yet, but Ben and Guy have been working on some new stuff with the help of Ackley.
“This first batch of songs Ben wrote, he was in Kalamazoo and was still drawing on those experiences,” Guy Hursh said. “The stuff that we are working on is more of a collaboration between Ben, Rob and myself.”
Ben Hursh now also has a lot more positive things to write about because of his new baby girl and his fiancé. He met Tricia Ponder outside of Jacob’s Well.
Well, with a mouthful of Skittles.
“I tried to meet her outside when she was leaving and had bought a some Skittles at a candy machine while I waited for her,” he said. “It was just one of those things when she came out right when I had popped them in my mouth.”
Because of the Skittles, Ben Hursh had a difficult time talking to her. Yet somehow, things worked out romantically.

Hursh plays on Friday nights at 10:30 p.m. at Le Naro Pub in Lake Leelanau. They will also be at Pete’s Pub in Traverse City July 29 and August 23 at Music in the Park in Elberta. Hursh’s self-titled album is on sale at cdbaby.com and at Horizon Books.

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