Letters

Letters 08-29-2016

Religious Bigotry President Obama has been roundly criticized for his apparent unwillingness to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” His critics seem to suggest that through the mere use of that terminology, the defeat of ISIS would be assured...

TC DDA: Focus On Your Mission What on earth is the Traverse City DDA thinking? Purchasing land around (not within) its TIF boundaries and then offering it at a discount to developers? That is not its mission. Sadly enough, it is already falling down on the job regarding what is its mission. Crosswalks are deteriorating all around downtown, trees aren’t trimmed, sidewalks are uneven. Why can’t the DDA do a better job of maintaining what it already has? And still no public restrooms downtown, despite all the tax dollars captured since 1997. What a joke...

European-Americans Are Boring “20 Fascinating People” in northern Michigan -- and every single one is European-American? Sorry, but this is journalistically incorrect. It’s easy for editors to assign and reporters to write stories about people who are already within their personal and professional networks. It’s harder to dig up stuff about people you don’t know and have never met. Harder is better...

Be Aware Of Lawsuit While most non-Indians were sleep walking, local Odawa leaders filed a lawsuit seeking to potentially have most of Emmet County and part of Charlevoix County declared within their reservation and thus under their jurisdiction. This assertion of jurisdiction is embedded in their recently constructed constitution as documentation of their intent...

More Parking Headaches I have another comment to make about downtown TC parking following Pat Sullivan’s recent article. My hubby and I parked in a handicap spot (with a meter) behind Mackinaw Brew Pub for lunch. The handicap spot happens to be 8-10 spaces away from the payment center. Now isn’t that interesting...

Demand Change At Women’s Resource Center Change is needed for the Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area (WRCGT). As Patrick Sullivan pointed out in his article, former employees and supporters don’t like the direction WRCGT has taken. As former employees, we are downright terrified at the direction Juliette Schultz and Ralph Soffredine have led the organization...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Thornetta Davis
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Thornetta Davis

Erin Crowell - December 28th, 2009
Thornetta Aims for the Big Time
Fundraising concert will help send her to Memphis
By Erin Crowell
Thornetta Davis may be Michigan’s best-kept secret. – For now.
The blues singer from Detroit has proven talent, performing at home and overseas and opening for R&B greats such as Etta James, Smokey Robinson, Ray Charles and Buddy Guy. In 2000, she sang with fellow Detroit native Kid Rock at the VH1 Vogue Fashion Awards.
But when Steve Soviak of the Mid North Michigan Blues Society told members of the Blues Foundation that Davis would be competing at their annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis this January, the reply was always the same:
“Who?”
Davis, whose voice has been described as “rich and soulful – the next Aretha Franklin,” is on the verge of evolving from a talented singer with a great resume, to a world-class star. The MNMBS hopes the singer will come out from under the music radar when she and her band performs at the International Blues Challenge, in Memphis, January 20-23.

THE ANSWER WAS YES
The MNMBS, among other groups, has spent the last five years coercing Davis into performing at the Challenge – and the answer was always no.
Davis has had a busy schedule, performing over 200 shows a year. She developed a following in the Traverse City area performing in the late 1980s with The Chisel Brothers Band. Finally, on a return trip to TC with the Thornetta Davis Band –while performing downtown at Phil’s on Front – the singer finally said yes to Memphis.
“She told me things were slow in Detroit because of the economy and she asked me if I could get some bookings for her around here,” says Paula Adams of WKLT. “So I asked her about Memphis thinking, ‘Oh, she’s going to say no for sure,’ and she said yes right away.”
Adams brought the good news to Soviak, saying she couldn’t believe it at first.
“We’re really excited to have her representing Northern Michigan. She’s never played on Beale Street before, which is kind of the home of the blues,” says Adams. “She’s not on a record label at the moment. This is an opportunity for her to do that.”
The International Blues Challenge has the potential to push Davis mainstream, gaining her attention from all the important names of the American music industry.
“She’s already a regular star in Europe,” says Soviak, chairman of the MNMBS. “Blues artists are worshipped like gods all over the world. It’s in America where they don’t know her well.”

MEMPHIS BOUND
As always, there are steps to everything – and the first one will be getting Davis to Memphis. That is why the MNMBS is holding a fundraising concert, on New Year’s Eve, at the UAW Hall in Traverse City.
The evening will begin with special guest duo JUKE, at 8 p.m., followed by The Thornetta Davis Band.
“Thornetta will be performing a standard set of blues songs that will be recorded live for people to purchase. She will also be performing some of her original stuff,” says Molly Malewitz, Davis’ friend and ‘biggest cheerleader’ as Soviak puts it.
“When I see Thornetta perform, it’s like going to church,” says Malewitz.
The fundraiser is an opportunity to hear the blues artist before she competes against 120 artists and bands at the IBC. For those who have already experienced the performance of this Soul Town singer, it’s the beginning of a much-bigger journey.
“She’s under the radar, but we’re going to change that,” says Soviak.

Tickets to the December 31 Thornetta Davis Memphis Bound Fundraiser are $30.Advance tickets are going fast, so reserve yours now at mnmbs.org or by calling 231-620-1963. The event is happening at the UAW Hall at 703 Rose Street in Traverse City. Doors open at 7pm. BYOB (alcohol allowed). There will be a raffle, give-aways, a 50/50 drawing and more. For more information on Thornetta Davis, go to myspace.com/thornettadavis.

 
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