Letters 10-17-2016

Here’s The Truth The group Save our Downtown (SOD), which put Proposal 3 on the ballot, is ignoring the negative consequences that would result if the proposal passes. Despite the group’s name, the proposal impacts the entire city, not just downtown. Munson Medical Center, NMC, and the Grand Traverse Commons are also zoned for buildings over 60’ tall...

Keep TC As-Is In response to Lynda Prior’s letter, no one is asking the people to vote every time someone wants to build a building; Prop. 3 asks that people vote if a building is to be built over 60 feet. Traverse City will not die but will grow at a pace that keeps it the city people want to visit and/or reside; a place to raise a family. It seems people in high-density cities with tall buildings are the ones who flock to TC...

A Right To Vote I cannot understand how people living in a democracy would willingly give up the right to vote on an impactful and important issue. But that is exactly what the people who oppose Proposal 3 are advocating. They call the right to vote a “burden.” Really? Since when does voting on an important issue become a “burden?” The heart of any democracy is the right of the people to have their voice heard...

Reasons For NoI have great respect for the Prop. 3 proponents and consider them friends but in this case they’re wrong. A “yes” vote on Prop. 3 is really a “no” vote on..

Republican Observations When the Republican party sends its presidential candidates, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people with a lot of problems. They’re sending criminals, they’re sending deviate rapists. They’re sending drug addicts. They’re sending mentally ill. And some, I assume, are good people...

Stormy Vote Florida Governor Scott warns people on his coast to evacuate because “this storm will kill you! But in response to Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that Florida’s voter registration deadline be extended because a massive evacuation could compromise voter registration and turnout, Republican Governor Scott’s response was that this storm does not necessitate any such extension...

Third Party Benefits It has been proven over and over again that electing Democrat or Republican presidents and representatives only guarantees that dysfunction, corruption and greed will prevail throughout our government. It also I believe that a fair and democratic electoral process, a simple and fair tax structure, quality health care, good education, good paying jobs, adequate affordable housing, an abundance of healthy affordable food, a solid, well maintained infrastructure, a secure social, civil and public service system, an ecologically sustainable outlook for the future and much more is obtainable for all of us...

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.”

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.”

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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