Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Music · Risque
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Risque

Erin Crowell - December 27th, 2010
Risque’s Long & Winding Road : Masters of R&B look back on 27 years
By Erin Crowell
When shaking it out on the dance floor, there’s a pretty good chance the people surrounding you fall into the same demographic. At a club, 20-somethings challenge the term “personal space.” Casino? Probably a room full of adults chasing retirement, sporting a touch of gray.
When Risque performs, don’t count on knowing which one will be dancing next to you.
“When you’re in this business so long, you’re fortunate enough to get a diverse crowd,” said Errol Sanders, bassist for the band Risque.
Since its start in 1983, Risque has been entertaining the Northern Michigan dance scene – performing a variety of top 40 and R&B hits that span the decades.
“We play a little bit of everything,” Sanders said. “Well, not everything. We do a little rock and roll, oldies, Motown; and that varies according to where we’re playing.”

LONG RELATIONSHIP, LARGE SONGBOOK
While most bands see member turnover like celebrity marriages, Risque has managed to stay fairly solidified, with just a few minor changes and additions.
Today, Risque is Errol Sanders on bass, Yon Max-Aaron on keys, Steve Seward on drums and Rico Sneed on lead vocals and guitar.
Sneed is the newest member—joining September 2003 after working the cruise ship circuit—while Sanders and Aaron have been performing together since ’85.
“Steve our drummer has been in the band for almost 20 years,” said Sanders, adding that consistency in the lineup allows for a larger songbook.
Risque sticks mostly to the R&B sounds, playing some of today’s club hits from artists such as Ne-Yo, Usher and the Black Eyed Peas; but will also pull out the stuff you forgot, like the “crunk” songs of the early millennium such as Lil Jon and the Ying Yang Twins.
Depending on that night’s crowd, the band might add some “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye or “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson.
“We learn the new stuff and we revisit the songs we haven’t played in awhile,” added Sanders. “It rejuvenates us.”

TRAVEL TIME
Rehearsals are also dependent on gigs. While most of the band members are in Traverse City, Sneed lives in Pittsburgh (a nine hour drive from Traverse). When Risque books a week of four to five gigs—held anywhere throughout the Midwest including Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania—the band uses the time to update songs and revisit the old ones.
Risque has found a following in Northern Michigan, said Sanders; and while their audience may change, the band will always see some re-visitors.
“People will go out when they first turn 21 and do the bar scene for awhile, but then it gets old,” said Sanders. “We were around for them at that time. And, even though they have responsibilities now, like kids, they’re still coming out and seeing our shows. It’s just more likely to be at the casino. Consequently, we’re playing for a lot of people, whether they’re 25 or 50.”

Risque will ring in the New Year when they perform at Little River Casino, in Manistee, on Friday, Dec. 31; and again on Saturday, Jan. 1. They’re also regulars at Holiday Inn West Bay. Visit risqueband.com for the band’s entire schedule.

 
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