Letters

Letters 09-07-2015

DEJA VUE Traverse City faces the same question as faced by Ann Arbor Township several years ago. A builder wanted to construct a 250-student Montessori school on 7.78 acres. The land was zoned for suburban residential use. The proposed school building was permissible as a “conditional use.”

The Court Overreached Believe it or not, everyone who disagrees with the court’s ruling on gay marriage isn’t a hateful bigot. Some of us believe the Supreme Court simply usurped the rule of law by legislating from the bench...

Some Diversity, Huh? Either I’ve been misled or misinformed about the greater Traverse City area. I thought that everyone there was so ‘all inclusive’ and open to other peoples’ opinions and, though one may disagree with said person, that person was entitled to their opinion(s)...

Defending Good People I was deeply saddened to read Colleen Smith’s letter [in Aug. 24 issue] regarding her boycott of the State Theater. I know both Derek and Brandon personally and cannot begin to understand how someone could express such contempt for them...

Not Fascinating I really don’t understand how you can name Jada Johnson a fascinating person by being a hunter. There are thousands of hunters all over the world, shooting by gun and also by arrow; why is she so special? All the other people listed were amazing...

Back to Mayberry A phrase that is often used to describe the amiable qualities that make Traverse City a great place to live is “small-town charm,” conjuring images of life in 1940s small-town America. Where everyone in Mayberry greets each other by name, job descriptions are simple enough for Sarah Palin to understand, and milk is delivered to your door...

Don’t Be Threatened The August 31 issue had 10 letters(!) blasting a recent writer for her stance on gay marriage and the State Theatre. That is overkill. Ms. Smith has a right to her opinion, a right to comment in an open forum such as Northern Express...

Treat The Sickness Thank you to Grant Parsons for the editorial exposing the uglier residual of the criminalizing of drug use. Clean now, I struggled with addiction for a good portion of my adult life. I’ve never sold drugs or committed a violent crime, but I’ve been arrested, jailed, and eventually imprisoned. This did nothing but perpetuate shame, alienation, loss and continued use...

About A Girl -- Not Consider your audience, Thomas Kachadurian (“About A Girl” column). Preachy opinion pieces don’t change people’s minds. Example: “My view on abortion changed…It might be time for the rest of the country to catch up.” Opinion pieces work best when engaging the reader, not directing the reader...

Disappointed I am disappointed with the tone of many of the August 31 responses to Colleen Smith’s Letter to the Editor from the previous week. I do not hold Ms. Smith’s opinion; however, if we live in a diverse community, by definition, people will hold different views, value different things, look and act different from one another...

Free Will To Love I want to start off by saying I love Northern Express. It is well written, unbiased and always a pleasure to read. I am sorry I missed last month’s article referred to in the Aug. 24 letter titled, “No More State Theater.”

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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