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 · FISHING FOR A SOUND
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Northern Michigan is probably one of the few places you’ll find a band inspired by, and in fact formed because of, steelhead fishing.

Kristi Kates - July 7th, 2014  

Adam Carpenter, Evan Simula, Jacob Kuhlman, and Jonah Kuhlman are Chasin’ Steel, an Up North bluegrass quartet that’s taken two of their shared hobbies to heart and string.


The band was formed during steelhead fishing season in 2002, said Carpenter, who was a board member of the Marquette Trout Unlimited chapter at the time.

“We all crossed paths and discovered not only our mutual passion for fly-fishing, but also our love for bluegrass music,” he said.

Soon, the four fishermen-slash-musicians started jamming at open mics around town, and, as Carpenter put it, “the response was undeniable.”

“We decided to accept paid gigs, and it just snowballed from there,” he said. “Now, here we are 12 years later with three albums, a slew of great national and international tours, and no plans to quit any time soon.”

Carpenter, the band’s lead singer, does much of Chasin’ Steel’s songwriting, accompanied by Simula on stand-up bass, Jacob Kuhlman on banjo, and Jonah Kuhlman on guitar. All four members sing, and construct catchy harmonies that are al-lure-ing.


While Carpenter describes their sound as “bluegrass with a rock and roll attitude,” their strongest influence is that of Jimmy Martin, the American musician known as “The King of Bluegrass.”

“Although we have many influences from many genres, I would say the biggest inspiration probably comes from Jimmy Martin,” Carpenter said. “When it comes to bluegrass, I don’t think anyone had more raw feeling and driving sound than Jimmy.”

Chasin’ Steel structures their instrumentation very traditionally, using all acoustic instruments, and no electric instruments or drums. And as a nod to Martin, they all wear their hats tilted to one side.

“This ain’t yer Gramma’s bluegrass,” he said, “but Gramma will like it a lot, too.”


The band currently has three albums out, including their latest, “Chasin’ Steel Live - Catch and Release Vol. 1,” and they have another live CD in the works that will likely include some new material.

They’re already testing out some of their new tunes on tour, and for their upcoming Aten Place concert, they’ll also be playing fan favorites like “Fly Stuck in a Tree,” “I Know You Rider,” “Copperhead Road,” and their Jimmy Martin tribute.

“Aten Place is a fantastic, intimate performance venue,” Carpenter said. “It has so much character.”

Carpenter credited owners Bill and Maxine Aten for creating the vibe at their Boyne Falls venue.

“They fostered and perpetuated this amazing experience for not only the audience, but for the musicians,” he said. “We are thoroughly looking forward to our July 5th show there.”


So are Chasin’ Steel’s fans, who would presumably be called Steelheads. The band, Carpenter points out, definitely has a niche with folks who like to fish. But their audience is rapidly expanding as they reel more fans in.

“That being said, one of the coolest things we love to hear from folks is that they never really listened to bluegrass before, and now they are hooked,” Carpenter said. “Our sound has a groove and energy that seems to recruit new listeners to the genre.”

Chasin’ Steel will be in concert at Aten Place on Sat., July 5 at 7:30pm. For more about the band, visit chasinsteel.com or their Facebook page. For the full Aten Place schedule, visit atenplace.com.

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