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 · Jazzing it Up WITH HARMONIOUS...
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Smoldering vocals. Creative arrangements. And a bass player that can “lift the lid” off of any song or venue.

Kristi Kates - May 5th, 2014  

Reviewers say that musical talents like these are just a taste of what Harmonious Wail, a Continental jazz-meets-gypsy music trio is bringing to the Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey this month.


Harmonious Wail has been together 20 years, which puts them in that rarified air only occupied by a limited number of bands that have stuck together for two decades or more.

Regular performers on NPR and at a wide range of clubs and performing arts centers, “The Wail” is known for a quirky stage presence.

Combined with their top-notch musicianship, The Wail puts on distinctive, impressive performances, all stemming from their unlikely hometown of Madison, Wisc.

“Maggie [Delaney-Potthoff]and I spent a couple of years at the Berklee School of Music [in Boston],” singer/mandolin player Sims Delaney-Potthoff said. “The notion then was to form a jazz unit with mandolin and violin where, traditionally, the saxophone and trumpet would be.”

The band jelled after bass player Jeffo Weiss joined about four years ago, Sims Delaney-Potthoff said.

“We are the most harmonious group of musicians I have ever – ever – worked with,” he said.


The biggest factor that Sims Delaney- Potthoff thinks makes The Wail a success is the fact that they are “all sympatico,” as he put it.

“We all feel the music, and rate integrity and honesty through the music very, very high on the list,” he said.

Songs like “Minor Swing,” “Bossa Dorado,” “Peace of Mind,” and Wail original “Things That Go” showcase the trio’s sound.

“The space created within a trio is really freeing,” Sims Delaney-Potthoff said. “We all find that we use the space to create more excitement and lift, and we all follow each other energy-wise.”


Most recently, they’ve poured their energy into their latest album, “Bohemian Tango,” which they recorded both in their home stomping grounds of Madison, and out in Philadelphia.

“We started the tracking in Philly,” Sims Delaney-Potthoff said, “and back in Madison we brought in a few extra gems – piano, a drummer, a saxophone player and a melodica player. The sessions were tons of fun.”

Calling the album “an excellent showcase” for the band, Sims Delaney-Potthoff said that the album’s theme revolves around freedom and energy, both the energy that they project with their music, and the energy that the music brings back to them.

They’ll be sharing all of it onstage with guitarist Gonzalo Bergara and his quartet as their special guest for the CTAC show, which Sims Delaney-Potthoff says will make the night even more special.

“It will be great to reconnect with our Northern Michigan fans, and to bring them a Harmonious Wail that is playing better than ever,” he said.

Harmonious Wail with special guest Gonzalo Bergara will be performing on Sat., May 10 at 7:30pm at the Crooked Tree Arts Center in downtown Petoskey as part of the Blissfest Concert Series. Visit blissfest.org or crookedtree.org for more info and tickets.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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