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 · Get Your Kicks with Steel Toe
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Get Your Kicks with Steel Toe

Danielle Horvath - August 12th, 2004
Driving rhythms, strong guitar licks, full harmonies and just the right amount of angst is giving the Traverse City-based band SteelToe a place on the Northern Michigan rock scene. Made up of three guys with strong musical backgrounds, they are stretching the limits of local rock audiences by doing only original songs.
“It’s definitely harder to get bookings,” says Jason Drahosh, the band’s manager. “Most places want rock, blues and cover tunes. But once people hear how much variety and originality these guys have, they’re hooked.”
The band includes Caul Bluhm, 26, of Traverse City, who started playing cello at age eight, and guitar at 14.
“Everyone in our family played something, my mom played fiddle, my dad played banjo, my brothers guitar and drums so it was definitely in our family when I was growing up,” Bluhm says. For Steel Toe, he contributes guitar, cello and vocals Kurt Cobain-style on some of the angrier tunes like “Grind,” a song written by Bluhm, as a social statement against what he calls “deadbeats.”
Originally from Orange County, California, Jerry Graham, 28, also grew up in a musical family and started playing guitar and singing in his teens. With a voice reminiscent of Jim Morrison and a mean lead guitar, Graham meandered across the country for a few years in various bands until landing in Northern Michigan and finding a musical connection in Steel Toe.
Percussionist Pat Huff, 39, is a Detroit native who has played drums since high school and worked as a sound engineer for Motown. He played with many Detroit area musicians including Martha Reeves, David Ruffin, George Clinton and the Parliament/Funkadelics and Bootsie Collins who played with James Brown. Huff also played with and learned from such legendary musicians as the late John Bonhan of Led Zepplin and with technical drummer Bill Bruford, known for his work with the Yes and King Crimson. Huff has been in Traverse City for four years and likes the room the band gives him to express himself.
The diversity of the band shows through when they start with “Leave it Alone” their tribute to Alice in Chains and then switch into “Inner Lights” a Santana-ish tune with a slightly heavier beat and then onto the funky-bluesy “Fire.” All three musicians are songwriters and feel in tune with each other like brothers. In fact, they soon will be as Jerry’s sister is soon marrying Pat. “We’re already family,” Jerry said, “and we just love playing music.
They’ve been together just over a year but have played a variety of places including the Union St. Station, the Outer Limits, the Freshwater Lodge and several private parties.
Locally, you can catch Steel Toe Aug. 13-14 at Sleepy Bear Lounge in Honor and at other fine establishments later this fall.

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