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 · FISHING FOR A SOUND
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FISHING FOR A SOUND

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.

CASTING BANDMATES

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.

CATCHING A SOUND

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.”

HOOKED ON TUNES

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.”

FISHY FANS

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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