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 · Susan Fawcett
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Susan Fawcett

Jack Pine - November 10th, 2008
Susan Fawcett, 25, sits in her sparse-but-hip home in Building 50 at the Grand Traverse Commons. The October sun is pours in and she is surrounded by a wide variety of stringed instruments. It would take some time to count them all. There is a mandolin, fiddle, a couple of guitars, a banjo, an auto harp, a Chinese string instrument called an ehru, four-string Venezuelan quatro and a bunch of others still in their cases. Her phone rings every few minutes, but she never jumps or flinches.
She is co-owner of a music and film production company, a singer-songwriter-musician, plays several instruments and is a talented illustrator and painter. What might be more amazing, is how relaxed she is about it all.
Fox on a Hill, the music and film production company Fawcett created with Petoskey resident Patrick Schaller, is now two years old. She got the idea for the company when she was in Venezuela working as a botanical illustrator.
“When I was down there, I had a lot of time to think,” Fawcett says. “I was playing music and studying and thinking about Michigan and my involvement with the Earthwork Music Collective. I really wanted to come back and pour a lot of energy and whatever skills I have and try to apply them to this community.”

Earthwork Music is a loosely grouped roster of young, talented Michigan folk musicians, including Seth Bernard, May Erlewine, Steppin’ In It, Breathe Owl Breathe and about a dozen others. Fox on a Hill’s mission is to handle production, promotion, distribution and allow the musicians to concentrate on their creations.
“We saw there was a need,” Fawcett says. “We share a lot of the same goals. Fox on a Hill is an effort to centralize knowledge and to also create a network for sharing bookings and gigs.”
To date, Fox on a Hill has been involved with the production of 23 recordings. It’s packaging and artwork is always top-notch and eco-friendly and often features Fawcett’s designs and/or her detailed drawings.
Fox on a Hill’s biggest seller so far is Greg Brown’s “Yellow Dog,” a live recording of a benefit concert for the Yellow Dog Watershed, which is a group attempting to stop sulfide mining on the Yellow Dog River in the Upper Peninsula. Fawcett’s first experience playing music on stage was when she was 16 and busing tables at Petoskey’s City Park Grill. While the other workers would take smoke breaks, Fawcett would practice harmonica in the parking lot. Blues musician Larry Garner, who was playing at the club, heard her and was impressed and asked her to sit in. Fawcett held her own and began playing with a host of other bands while working at CPG. It was an education in how to improvise musically. “I was always playing songs I didn’t know with people I hadn’t met,” Fawcett says.

Fawcett now plays with somebody, somewhere every weekend, whether it be on the fiddle, harmonica, quatro or bowed-saw. She is a member of the Earthwork/Fox on a Hill experimental rock band Airborn or Aquatic? and will be touring Michigan with singer-songwriter Michael Beauchamp in November and December, including a stop at Short’s Brewery in Bellaire on November 21.
All of this begs the question, how does she manage to keep up with it all?
“It’s hard to say. I don’t have a lot of idle time,” Fawcett says. “I play as much music as I can, maintain relationships with people all over who are working on different things and try to stay in touch with what’s going on.”

On November 8, Fox on a Hill and Earthwork Music present “Roots on the River” at Manistee’s Historic Ramsdell Theatre. It will include Seth Bernard, May Erlewine, Bates and Foote and many more. For a complete list for this concert and all else, check out their ultra cool web site at www.foxonahill.com.

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