Letters

Letters 04-13-2015

Perplexing Eighth Street Changes I’m writing to you about the way 8th Street in Traverse City is organized. I commute on 8th Street daily like hundreds of others.

115 Years of Injustice Investigative reporter Pat Sullivan’s March 23 article “BURNOUT” exposed for the first time to many northern Michigan residents the 115-year-old tragedy that took place at Burt Lake in October of 1900.

Kicking The Prop 1 Can “Proposal 1 consists of only 100 words, but if approved by voters on May 5, it would trigger into law thousands of other words in 10 bills passed by the state legislature in December.”

Expose The Republican Playbook There was much angst among Democratic Party loyalists after the November election about their failure to convey a strong populist message.

Unions Are Essential Thanks to Stephen Tuttle for pointing out in his recent column how we have had trade apprenticeships for decades throughout Michigan and other states.

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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