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 · Dunegrass
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Kristi Kates - August 2nd, 2010
Dunegrass gets Back to its Roots: The best of Michigan’s music crop blossoms in Empire
By Kristi Kates
Founded in 1992, when it was “more of a private party,” according to
current festival overseer/producer Ryan Lake, the Dunegrass Music
Festival’s goal was simply to promote local music and help people
enjoy it.
Today, 18 years later, the festival outside Empire in southern
Leelanau County still has that same spirit, but has grown to the point
of having more acts than ever.
“The late Mike Vanderberg was the original founder,” Lake says, “and
he wanted to create a festival that was based primarily on Michigan
music, with a few choice national acts; you know, large enough to put
on a great show, yet small enough to maintain the integrity of the

The festival, however, has gone through a few growing pains, as
evidenced by the uncertain, shaky nature of its 2008 show, which was
expanded (and overbooked) by a company called Grassroots Productions.
To put it delicately, there was a little trouble paying the bills -
headliner Ritchie Havens abruptly canceled his show at the event and
creditors were reportedly left holding the bag for more than $300,000
in unpaid bills.
“Dunegrass survived, which was the first step to getting this
festival back on track,” Lake explains. “After the losses suffered
under the previous production company that took over when Mike passed
away, last year was a challenge to say the least, but in the end, a
very rewarding one. We’ve had as many as 10,000 people at Dunegrass in
the past and expect a great turnout this year and for years to come.”
Helping the turnout, perhaps, is the fact that Dunegrass has moved
back a weekend, avoiding a conflict with the Traverse City Film
Festival. And, as was the case last year, the festival returns to the
Empire Eagles Club property east of Empire, offering a more private
site than its original location in town.

Now in it’s 18th year, Dunegrass is back in force this summer for an
entire weekend, at a reasonable price point and with plenty of music
to choose from, most of it literally home-grown.
“The vast majority of our music comes from right here in Michigan,”
Lake says proudly, “including Steppin’ in it, Greensky Bluegrass, The
Macpodz, Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys, Rachael Davis, Jen Sygit
and Sam Corbin, K. Jones and the Benzie Playboys, Detour Bluegrass,
Luke Winslow-King, Rootstand, Fool Rooster and so many others.”
The 2010 Dunegrass Festival will also be featuring a Louisiana legend,
namely Sammie “Big Sam” Williams, known for his trombone talents as
well as his musical work with everyone from the Dirty Dozen Brass Band
to James Brown, Dave Matthews to Elvis Costello. Williams’ band, Big
Sam’s Funky Nation, will bring Dunegrass “a true taste of New
Orleans,” as Lake puts it, when his band takes the stage on the night
of August 6.

Of course the music is the focal point at Dunegrass, but Lake also
emphasizes that there’s a whole lot more to the fest that can be
enjoyed between the acts.
“We will have over 20 arts and crafts vendors, a wonderful food menu
to choose from on site, morning yoga, camping, open mic, music
workshops, poetry, Cajun dance, Contra dance, Waltz hour, and the
gospel hour on Sunday morning with Rachael Davis,” Lake says.
But perhaps even more than all of the above, Lake - also a musician -
appreciates the fact that Dunegrass is very much a local festival,
true to its Up North roots and welcoming to the surrounding
“My favorite aspect of Dunegrass is the local connection,” he says,
“we are featuring the best of Michigan. This is an opportunity to get
out and see what’s going on in the Michigan music scene - and that is
a very cool thing.”

The 2010 18th Annual Sleeping Bear Dunegrass and Blues Festival will
take place August 6, 7, and 8 at the Empire Eagles property right off
of M-72 near the village of Empire. Day passes will be available at
the gate for $35, weekend passes at the gate will be $90. Get all the
details at www.dunegrassmusicfestival.org.

Who’s Playing:

Susan Fawcett
Lac La Belle
Soul Patch
Blue Dirt Band
Full Chord
Graham Parsons & the Go Rounds
Jen Sygit & Sam Corbin
K. Jones & The Benzie Playboys
Big Sam’s Funky Nation
Marco & Asim
The New 3rd Coast
Billy Brandt
Lonesome County
Rachel Davis Band
The Preservation
Ralston Bowles
Jessical Lea Mayfield
Delilah DeWylde & the Lost Boys
Greensky Bluegrass
Steppin’ In It
Hawks & Owls
Cabin Fever
Red Tail Ring
Michael Anne Erlewine
Kyle Campbell
Bob Bernard Waltz Hour
Luke Winslow King
Detour Bluegrass
Josh Davis & Fool Rooster
Covert Operations

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