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 · Rochelle Clark 3/21/11
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Rochelle Clark 3/21/11

Kristi Kates - March 21st, 2011
Rochelle Clark steps out solo
By Kristi Kates
Under-the-radar duo The Potter’s Field may be a little tricky to find on the Internet, but you can find its members all ‘round Northern Michigan, performing at local venues as well as clubs in the Ann Arbor region. Rochelle Clark is one of those two members, and she’ll be performing her own solo show as part of the Charlevoix Library’s Winterfolk Concert Series this month.
Clark, who says she’s been interested in playing music since she was a little girl, was inspired in part by family, and in part by an inherent need to craft music.
“Both my dad and my grandpa were musicians, so music has always been a big part of my life,” she explains.
Currently working on what she calls “the singer-songwriter thing,” Clark lives in Chelsea, and has been frequenting Northern Michigan as one-half of The Potter’s Field at Short’s Brewery in Bellaire and The Noggin Room in Petoskey.
“I love Northern Michigan,” Clark says, “I’ve had some wonderful gigs in the area. With The Potter’s Field, we love to get up here as often as possible.”

Clark says she’s new to solo performance, as well as to writing songs of her own, but her experiences with The Potter’s Field are seeing her progress quickly, adding another facet to her performances aside from her live work with the duo.
“I play the guitar, and I attempt to play the mandolin,” she says. “I took weekly lessons for two years, but I’ve learned more about my instrument by playing out than I ever did from all those lessons. The lessons built the foundation, but you learn so much more when you’re forced to perform in front of an audience. And I’m learning a lot from my duet partner (The Potter’s Field’s other half, John Natiw) about the craft of songwriting.”
The audiences certainly show up to hear Clark perform. Her own brand of Americana music, which is seasoned by folk, bluegrass, and alt-country (“I love alt-country music,” she says), is also inspired by the likes of Brandi Carlile, Kasey Chambers, and Gillian Welch, to name a few. She also says she’s somewhat obsessed with American southern-rock band The Black Crowes.
Most of her original songs to date, though, are more personal in nature and relate closely to her own life.
“I find I’ve always got ideas floating around in my head, so it’s fun to try and track them down and see where they’ll lead,” she says, “I get inspired by all kinds of things, but most of my ideas arrive out of conversations with friends and family. I keep a small notebook with me wherever I go, and write down things that strike me.”

Something that’s struck Clark about performing in Northern Michigan, she says, are the people who attend her shows. While the local scene may be quite a bit different from her regular stomping grounds in the Chelsea/Ann Arbor area, the region appeals to Clark both artistically and through the friends and fans she’s made here.
“The connection with people I might not otherwise have met is the most rewarding thing about performing in general,” she explains, “and I’ve been blessed to meet some extraordinary individuals over the last two years. It’s allowed me to grow as a musician and as a person - it’s an unexpected perk.”
Both Clark and The Potter’s Field stand to meet a lot more people this spring and summer, with big plans on the way in the studio and on the touring circuit.
“The Potter’s Field is recording our first full-length CD, and we’re hoping to have it completed and released this summer,” Clark says, “we’re also trying to put together a tour for summer or early fall. That’s another perk of performing - getting to travel to so many different places!” she smiles.

Rochelle Clark will be performing as part of the Winterfolk Concert Series at the Charlevoix Public Library on Monday, March 28 at 6:30 p.m. For info, contact the library at 231-547-2651.
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