Letters

Letters 10-20-2014

Doctor Dan? After several email conversations with Rep. Benishek, he has confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue of what he does. Here’s why...

In Favor Of Our Parks [Traverse] City Proposal 1 is a creative way to improve our city parks without using our tax dollars. By using a small portion of our oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, our parks can be improved for our children and grandchildren.

From January 1970 Popular Mechanics: “Drastic climate changes will occur within the next 50 years if the use of fossil fuels keeps rising at current rates.” That warning comes from Eugene K. Peterson of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Newcomers Might Leave: Recently we had guests from India who came over as students with the plan to stay in America. He has a master’s degree in engineering and she is doing her residency in Chicago and plans to specialize in oncology. They talked very candidly about American politics and said that after observing...

Someone Is You: On Sept 21, I joined the 400,000 who took to the streets of New York in the People’s Climate March, followed by a UN Climate Summit and many speeches. On October 13, the Pentagon issued a report calling climate change a significant threat to national security requiring immediate action. How do we move from marches, speeches and reports to meaningful work on this problem? In NYC I read a sign with a simple answer...

Necessary To Pay: Last fall, Grand Traverse voters authorized a new tax to fix roads. It is good, it is necessary.

The Real Reasons for Wolf Hunt: I have really been surprised that no one has been commenting on the true reason for the wolf hunt. All this effort has not been expended so 23 wolves can be killed each year. Instead this manufactured controversy about the wolf hunt has been very carefully crafted to get Proposal 14-2 passed.

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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