Letters

Letters 07-25-2016

Remember Bush-Cheney Does anyone remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? They were president and vice president a mere eight years ago. Does anyone out there remember the way things were at the end of their duo? It was terrible...

Mass Shootings And Gun Control The largest mass shooting in U.S. history occurred December 29,1890, when 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in South Dakota were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection.” The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms...

Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

Settled Science Climate change science is based on the accumulated evidence gained from studying the greenhouse effect for 200 years. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet 50 degrees warmer due to heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Basic principles of physics and chemistry dictate that Earth will warm as concentrations of greenhouse gases increase...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Flat Broke Blues
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Flat Broke Blues

Kristi Kates - July 26th, 2010
Breaking In the Flat Broke Blues
By Kristi Kates
Originally founded as a duo in Marquette, Michigan in 1991, the band known today as the Flat Broke Blues Band was given its moniker due to the obvious.
“It was a reflection of the financial status of both of the founding members,” says guitarist and vocalist Michael Letts, who should be doing a little better on that score when the band plays Petoskey’s Crooked Tree Arts Center this Friday.
Today, Flat Broke Blues Band is pretty much the opposite, due to the success of their current lineup, which includes Letts as well as Mark Johnson on bass and vocals, Jim Cohen on drums, and Lorrie Hayes on vocals and harmonica, plus founding member Walt Lindala on guitar and vocals.
Initially, several members of the band came and went. “By fall of 2001, our current lineup was assembled, and has worked together ever since,” says Letts
As the name might indicate, the blues are the focus of Flat Broke’s set list. Walt Lindala says the band is comprised of “five passionate fans of the blues who enjoy listening to, playing and writing the blues.”
They’re also a band that’s willing to travel several hundred miles to play a one-night show, which is probably another reason they’ve been so successful.
“We’d rather travel to perform to a venue full of true blues fans than play the same old tired cover songs at the local bar, night after night, for indifferent patrons,” Lindala confirms, “the power, soul, feeling, grit, and emotion of the blues is undeniable, and is what drives us night after night and year after year.”

LEGENDARY BLUES
As they trek through their own quest for blues-related fame, Flat Broke has already shared the stage with several legendary names in the genre, and have also released their own CD of original blues songs.
Worth the Weight is the CD - which Blues Revue Magazine called “... an intriguing blend of the subtle and the swashbuckling...” - and as for those opening act opportunities, they’ve included sets alongside Shemekia Copeland, Louisiana’s Lonnie Brooks, and “Queen of the Blues” Koko Taylor, just to name a few.
“One of my favorites was opening for Magic Slim,” Letts says, “truly a living legend and one of a few of the remaining Chicago bluesmen with direct ties to the original flowering of the genre. Funny story - I had gotten a new stage jacket that year. If you know Slim, his name is kind of an irony - he’s a big guy! He saw the stylish black blazer I was wearing and said, “It’s a good thing you ain’t my size, or you’d be fightin’ me for that jacket!” Slim has a great laugh and sense of humor, and it was an honor to share the bill with him and his band. They were very gracious and friendly.”

WORTH THE LISTEN
And as for Worth the Weight, the band has been performing songs from the new album at their live shows; but they’re not stopping there, with plans already in the works for a new album.
“We are currently planning to record a new CD this summer,” Letts explains, “and we will be debuting some brand new material that we are currently writing for our new CD at our Petoskey show. We are quite happy with the new songs; they are the best we’ve done so far.”
Flat Broke also covers other popular blues and even some R&B artists, although most of their setlist stays focused on the blues tradition.
“We do everything from Chicago, to the West Coast style swing and jump blues, to more funky R&B tunes,” Letts explains, “we have been able to remain popular because we usually have some songs for every fan of traditional American music, and we even throw in some Rolling Stones if the crowd needs to rock. Feel free to dance in the aisles!”

The Flat Broke Blues Band will be performing at Petoskey’s Crooked Tree Arts Center at 8 pm on Friday, July 30. Tickets are $7.50 for CTAC members/$10 for non-members. For more information on the show, visit www.crookedtree.org online; for more info on the band, stop by www.flatbrokebluesband.com.



 
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