Letters

Letters 02-08-2016

Less Ageism, Please The January 4 issue of this publication proved to me that there are some sensible voices of reason in our community regarding all things “inter-generational.” I offer a word of thanks to Elizabeth Myers. I too have worked hard for what I’ve earned throughout my years in the various positions I’ve held. While I too cannot speak for each millennial, brash generalizations about a lack of work ethic don’t sit well with me...Joe Connolly, Traverse City

Now That’s an Escalation I just read the letter from Greg and his defense of the AR15. The letter started with great information but then out of nowhere his opinion went off the rails. “The government wants total gun control and then confiscation; then the elimination of all Constitutional rights.” Wait... what?! To quote the great Ron Burgundy, “Well, that escalated quickly!”

Healthy Eating and Exercise for Children Healthy foods and exercise are important for children of all ages. It is important for children because it empowers them to do their best at school and be able to do their homework and study...

Mascots and Harsh Native American Truths The letter from the Choctaw lady deserves an answer. I have had a gutful of the whining about the fate of the American Indian. The American Indians were the losers in an imperial expansion; as such, they have, overall, fared much better than a lot of such losers throughout history. Everything the lady complains about in the way of what was done by the nasty, evil Whites was being done by Indians to other Indians long before Europeans arrived...

Snyder Must Go I believe it’s time. It’s time for Governor Snyder to go. The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the EPA Criminal Investigation Division are now investigating the Flint water crisis that poisoned thousands of people. Governor Snyder signed the legislation that established the Emergency Manager law. Since its inception it has proven to be a dismal failure...

Erosion of Public Trust Let’s look at how we’ve been experiencing global warming. Between 1979 and 2013, increases in temperature and wind speeds along with more rain-free days have combined to stretch fire seasons worldwide by 20 percent. In the U.S., the fire seasons are 78 days longer than in the 1970s...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Jeff Daniels
. . . .

Jeff Daniels

Kristi Kates - September 20th, 2010
Jeff Daniels: Acting on an Unexpected Talent
By Kristi Kates
It takes at least five hyphens to describe the career of Chelsea,
Michigan-based actor-director-playwright-singer-guitarist-songwriter
Jeff Daniels. And the “songwriter” part of that equation, Daniels
says, is always on the lookout for interesting song topics no matter
where he is or what he’s doing.
On the set of the indie film, Paper Man, in which Daniels co-stars
with Ryan Reynolds, that elusive song, “How ’Bout We Take Our Pants
Off and Relax” was found in an unassuming hallway.
“While filming the movie, Ryan and I would always pass each other in
one of the hallways,” Daniels explains in a telephone interview, “and
we’d make that joke, you know, where you’re about to walk into someone
else, neither of you is sure which way to go, so you say ‘shall we
dance?’ Well, Ryan and I had been doing that for weeks, and one day we
walked into each other in the hall, and instead of ‘shall we dance,’
Ryan said, ‘how about we take our pants off and relax’... and I said
to myself, now that sounds like a song,” he laughs.

SONGWRITER DAYS
Daniels, still a Michigan resident, is best known for his work in such
big-budget Hollywood films as Dumb and Dumber, Speed, Radio Days, and
Arachnaphobia. But he solidified his start as a writer when he was
living in New York City, where he kept notebooks of his writings. He
says writing taught him a lot about how to be a musician.
“I was writing, you know, those early 20s, ‘Who am I?’ kinds of
songs,” Daniels explains, “I kept them in a notebook, and numbered
them. Most of them won’t ever see the light of day; I doubt anyone
will ever hear them - but it taught me a lot about songwriting.”
Another of those hyphens - ‘playwright’ - finds Daniels penning a play
a year for his Purple Rose Theater Company, also in Chelsea, Michigan;
and if you think he’s too busy to keep that up for long, you’d be
wrong.
“I’m a writer. That’s what I do,” Daniels says simply.

BIG BAY SHUFFLE
Music is also what he does, although it’s perhaps the lesser-known of
his accomplishments - so far. An accomplished guitarist and quirky
vocalist as well as a prolific songwriter, music is the talent he’ll
be showcasing at his upcoming shows in Harbor Springs and Manistee.
Daniels has both a positive and an ironic attitude about his reception
as an actor-turned-singer, having penned a song called “If William
Shatner Can, I Can Too,” referring to Shatner’s turn as a singer on a
Ben Folds album. Many of Daniels’ folky songs have a comedy element to
them, including one of his newest, which he says was inspired by an
Upper Peninsula hangout.
“There’s a tavern in the U.P. called the Lumberjack Tavern,” Daniels
explains, “and there’s an actual dance that they do up there called
‘The Big Bay Shuffle,’ hence the song title. I discovered the dance
some 30 years ago, and wrote the song about it.”

LIVE AND UNEXPECTED
Other popular Daniels numbers include “Sittin’ on My Old Front Stoop,”
“Forgive Me, Robert Johnson,” “The Lifelong Tiger Fan Blues,” and
“Michigan, My Michigan.”
Daniels’ newest album, Live at the Purple Rose Theater, features even
more of his original tunes, plus - you guessed it - the final version
of the Ryan Reynolds-inspired “How ‘Bout We Take Our Pants Off and
Relax.”
Daniels will be playing a wide variety from all of his albums at both
shows, and says that his audience can “...expect the unexpected.”
“You know, when actors pick up a guitar and sing, it’s usually a
recipe for disaster,” Daniels says. “I know they’re there for what
I’ve done in the movies. So first, I’ll make them laugh. Then I’ll get
them dancing. It’s fun to play the Michigan shows, which mean a lot to
all of us. I’ve got friends in the Petoskey area, too - so I’m looking
forward to it.”

Jeff Daniels will be in concert at the Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee on
Tuesday, September 21; and at the Harbor Springs Performing Arts
Center in Harbor Springs on Wednesday, September 22. Both shows are at
7:30 p.m. Tix available at ramsdell-theatre.org, www.blissfest.org, by
calling 231-526-4500, or at various ticket outlets in Petoskey (The
Petoskey Chamber of Commerce) and Harbor Springs (Between the Covers
Booksellers).

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 
 

 

 
 
 
Close
Close
Close