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 · Who Hit John?
. . . .

Who Hit John?

Kristi Kates - August 30th, 2010
Who Hit John? Only the Music Knows
By Kristi Kates
Who Hit John? has made a lot of progress since the eclectic acoustic band began in 2006 as “three guys jamming in the living room for fun,“ as Who Hit John?‘s Dan McCartney puts it. McCartney, joined by fellow multi-instrumentalists Nathan Dannison, Nick Vander Vliet, Josh Keller, and Mark Duval, says that starting the project wasn‘t any sort of pre-planned notion - but was instead spurred by the simple enjoyment of music, and pal Dannison‘s, er, unusual brand of talent.
“We soon found out that my old friend Nathan played the fiddle like a tipsy raccoon, and decided we had a band,“ McCartney laughs.

For those unfamiliar with the sound of Who Hit John?, the Kalamazoo-based band proves to be a tricky initial sell, although once you hear them, you‘ll definitely be buying.
McCartney himself describes their sound as “Steve Martin meets Dizzy Gillespie,“ while recent listens and other reviews peg them as a “rockin‘ string band“ or a “modern bluegrass dance band.“
While the base of their sound does begin with strings (guitar, banjo, fiddle, and mandolin), Who Hit John? keep adding other diverse musical elements in order to expand their sound.
“Where we were once mainly an old time string band (think Old Crow Medicine Show or The Red Clay Ramblers), we have now moved on to Baltic ballads, hot jazz and Dixieland standards,“ McCartney says, “and we continue to write dynamic originals that somehow seem to fit in with all those classic acoustic roots genres.“

Currently promoting their latest album, *Heirloom,* McCartney says that, while proud of the disc, they‘ve already managed to evolve the band past it as they‘ve continued to grow.
“Our sound has changed quite a bit since *Heirloom‘s* recording,“ he explains, “we‘ve just begun putting songs together for our third album, and plan to start recording into the fall, with a release date around December.“
Also being noticed by the band are a plethora of their peers, as McCartney points out that Michigan is “thick with folk music,“ many of which are some of the band‘s favorite acts.
“The Red Sea Pedestrians are some of our favorite local musicians as far as songwriting and performance,“ he says, “we also love Seth Bernard, May Earlewine and the whole Earthworks collective. Not to mention Red Tail Ring (Michael Beauchamp is one of my songwriting heroes) and Graham Parsons and the Go Rounds. There really are too many to mention.“

Who Hit John? are slated to join the ranks of the Black Cat Concert series in Charlevoix, the somewhat under-the-radar little concert site that could - and has - been quietly but steadily promoting a slew of original acts throughout the summer season for the past few years.
The band will of course play songs from *Heirloom,* but their Black Cat audience will also be treated to yet another evolved side of this skillful band, who McCartney says are “really proud“ of the new direction that their sound has taken.
“For those who have seen us before, they can expect a whole new flavor of the acoustic string band sound,“ McCartney explains, “with the addition of trumpet and two new songwriters in the band, we will arrive with a slew of new tunes and styles of music you never knew you loved.“

*Who Hit John? will perform as part of the Black Cat Concert series in Charlevoix on Friday, September 3 at 8 p.m.
Tickets ($15) at www.blackcatconcerts.com; more info on Who Hit John? at www.myspace.com/whohitjohn5.*

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