Music-lovers who check out the new weekly concert scene at Mt. Holiday Ski Resort in Acme may be surprised to learn that it has it actually has a fairly old and distinguished background.
In fact, folk superstar Joni Mitchell and her then-husband Chuck performed in the lounge atop Mt. Holiday way back in May of 1966 when she was an unknown singer-songwriter trying to make it in Detroit.
I can remember her standing on the fireplace at that show when this was a coffeehouse called the Bucktooth Clam, says Sandy Blumenfeld, who has seen many shows and performers come and go at Mt. Holiday through the years. She didnt have anything going on nationally at that time -- it was just before Joannie Collins and Tom Rush recorded her songs and she became a star.
Today, Blumenfeld is courting new potential folk stars to perform at Mt. Holidays Music in the Hills series which is held every Wednesday from 8-10 p.m., featuring musicians from the Northern Michigan Songwriters in the Round club.
A singer-songwriter himself who excels on resonator/slide guitar, Blumenfeld has deep roots in the local acoustic music community. He performs with the Sourmash traditional music band as well as the eclectic folk-rock group Blind Dog Hank, and is also the DJ who heads up the Local Motion radio show every Friday from 6-7:30 p.m. and American Crossroads on Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m. on WNMC-FM.
Last year, Blumenfeld and fellow musicians Jenny Thomas and Adair Correll launched an open mic at Mt. Holiday which proved to be a hit with supporters of the ski hill, located just off Five Mile Road in Acme. Other acts, such as New Third Coast and Dennis Palmer, began performing shows at the venue and Blumenfeld was drafted to launch an ongoing concert series.
Today, the Music in the Hills series is served up along with a chance to have dinner and drinks at the Lounge, which offers lush views of the surrounding ski slopes. Of note, theres no cover charge for the music: We just pass a pitcher around for those who want to leave a tip, Blumenfeld says.
Blumenfeld adds that hes proud to be carrying on a musical tradition. The old Bucktooth Clam hosted many local players through the years, such as former Record-Eagle photographer John Russell who performed there back when with a group called Children of the Hills. We used to have hootenannies back in those days, and its good to have that back.
Music in the Hills in the lounge at Mt. Holiday Ski & Recreation Area is held every Wednesday from 8-10 p.m. Dinner and bar service is available, with specials for kids. 3100 Holiday Road (off Five Mile and M-72/31) Acme.
-- by Robert Downes
Wed. 9/8 - Tom Foolery with Tom Keen & Tom Fordyce
Wed. 9/15 - Max & Ruth Bloomquist
Wed. 9/22 - Curtiss Family Band
Wed. 9/29 - Angela Josephine