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 · Galactic Sherpas
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Galactic Sherpas

Kristi Kates - May 24th, 2010
Jammin’ with Galactic Sherpas: BC’s ever-changing eco-friendly jam band
By Kristi Kates
“Galactic Sherpas has a history that runs deep in chaos and the
unforeseen,” the band’s Josh Hall chuckles, “and has been an ever-changing
path of many musicians that have wandered in and out of Boyne City over
the past four years.”
Hall, who had a house gig at 220 Lake Street “back in the day,” sent out
an open invitation for musicians to join him every week, with the theme
being improv, or “gifts to the night,” as Hall jokingly calls them,
“because we never played those songs again.”

A trip to Colorado for Hall and his original band, who were slated to
perform with Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon, unfortunately pulled the
band - such as it was - apart. The surviving members, namely Hall along
with Greg Mastin and Erik VanHorn, snagged pal Dan Brooks and formed the
Galactic Sherpas in the fall of 2008.
“Each of us being songwriters, the music that transposed was heavily
meshed and greatly spoke to us as a band,” Hall explains. After adding
several more members - Sara Fortier and Lara VanHorn on saxophones and Tim
Hawthorne on percussion - they began writing music as a band. Hall, a
guitar player, moved to keyboards “as a new challenge,” he says, and he
now sings in addition to playing guitar and pianos on stage. Mastin,
meanwhile, started on bass and now plays drums; VanHorn plays lead guitar
and sings; and Brooks handles bass duties and singing. With all of these
multi-talented folks, of course an album would be on the way soon.

Recorded in spring of 2009, the Galactic Sherpas produced their debut set,
Om, with Dave Runyan at Runyan Media Studios in Bellaire, Michigan. It was
a fairly simple process for the well-rehearsed band.
“We recorded the structure of the album in three sessions,” Hall
explains, “we all played at the same time, and Dave pressed record. He is
a genius at putting the music where it needed to be. We returned later
for synth parts, vocals and saxophones; it took six months to see a final
product, yet the recording only took up maybe seven or eight days.”
The CD’s first edition was released last Halloween (2009), and was limited
to only 100 handmade copies.
“Each was individually signed and sealed with wax, bark, and string,” Hall
says, “we are part of the eco-friendly jam scene, and a band full of
artists, so it seemed to be more fun and interesting to do it this way. We
will probably do a second run right before this summer, although the hand
made part is still in question,” he confirms.

As with most jam bands, of course the Grateful Dead is a big part of
Galactic Sherpas’ sound.
“Starting out, what brought us together is that we are all Deadheads,”
Hall says, “we love them, and play a vast collection of their music
Other influences include Medeski Martin and Wood, Soulive, Phish,
Parliament, and Pink Floyd, according to Hall, who also says that they are
big fans of local music, which they strive to support.
“Seize the Karp is our neighboring band, and most of us have played
together at one time,” Hall explains, “Charlie’s Root Fusion are also
friends of ours, and we’ve also enjoyed and played festivals with
Ultraviolet Hippopotamus as well as The Macpodz; and we’ve been fans and
friends of Steppin’ In It since they started.”

Galactic Sherpas will likely have plenty of chances to run into their
jam-band friends this summer. They’ve got a plethora of festival shows
lined up, including Blissfest; the Peace Through Music Fest in Ohio;
Farmfest; the Free Music Festival in Freeland, MI; and Indiana’s Wuhnurth
Music Fest in September. Those who prefer to jam indoors can catch the
band at City Park Grill in Petoskey, and at Short’s Brewery in Bellaire.
And, says Hall, every night is set to be full of surprises.
“Our philosophy is to have a wicked good time on stage and try to surprise
ourselves every night we play,” he says, “to look over at each other and
think, I can’t believe he just did that. We like it when the audience
feels it as well, and we bounce back higher when they’re involved. We
started out full improv, yet we learned a lot of covers - hundreds really
- so we could play live and sneak our own music in more often each time.
 Lately, we have actually turned back to improv in between the cover
tunes, so our style is jam band, funk and jazz all mixed together.”
Hall says the band has gone through a lot the past five years, but remains
“We have been working hard to get recognized beyond Northern Michigan,” he
concludes, “but we also love and are very proud of where we come from.”

Galactic Sherpas can be found at
www.myspace.com/galacticsherpas, and their albums can be purchased at one
of their shows, or via the internet.

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