Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

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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