Letters

Letters 8-18-2014

The Climate Clarified

Climate change isn’t an easy subject. A class I’m taking compared it to medicine in a way that was helpful for me: Climate scientists are like planetary physicians. Our understanding of medicine is incomplete, but what we know is useful...

Beware Non-Locally Grown

The article “Farm Fresh?” couldn’t be any more true than exactly stated. As an avid shopper at the local farm markets I want to know “exactly” what I am buying, from GMO free to organic or not organic, sprayed or not sprayed and with what...

Media Bias Must End

I wish to thank Joel Weberman for his letter “Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage.” The pro-Palestinian bias includes TV news coverage...

Proud of My President

The world is a mess. According to many conservative voices, it would not be in such a mess if Obama was not the president. I am finally understanding that the problem with our president is that he is too thoughtful, too rational, too realistic, too inclined to see things differently and change his mind, too compassionate to be the leader of a free world...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Blues at the Bear: Sleeping Bear...
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Blues at the Bear: Sleeping Bear Dunegrass and Blues Festival Reawakens

Andy Taylor - August 5th, 2004
Fans of good music and good company will want to head for the lake this weekend for the Sleeping Bear Dunegrass & Blues festival in Empire.
Everything from bluegrass to folk to reggae is sure to please even the most hardnosed music listener.
There is a tradition of sorts with the festival, but those who frequent Dunegrass might be surprised by a few changes made this summer. “1992 was probably the first one that we did, but my husband (Mike) does not like to call it annual in case we can’t do it anymore. We had to move to M-22 from near M-72 where we were, so now we’re behind the St. Philip Neri Church and we have overnight camping this year,” says co-director of the festival Carol Vanderberg.
The whole intent of the festival is to feature local music as Vanderberg states. “All the bands are from Michigan except one,” which, according to Vanderberg is known as White Chocolate and the Topless Manskirt Revolution (yikes).
Gates to the festival grounds open at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 6 with music starting soon after. A trio of eclectic bands will be performing on this first evening. “We have three bands on Friday night,” Vanderberg says. “Deedle - Edle and Beyond Potato Salad will play. Beyond Potato Salad are really wonderful. They are going to do a little mellow thing this year. We also have the Jah Kings.” The Jah Kings are a Kalamazoo-based reggae outfit.
Saturday is the main day of the festival that includes music starting at 10 a.m. with two hours of open mic, then performances by Cheri and the Violators, Bruce Irwin, Jay Webber and Blueswater, with an “extra special guest” rounding out the afternoon entertainment. After a dinner break, the music begins again with Ion Quest, Greensky Bluegrass and Grasshoppah. K. Jones and the Benzie Playboyz were originally scheduled to close the festival but recently cancelled, so a back-up is being located.
Greensky Bluegrass is a favorite in the area and is well-liked for their acoustic music that shows hints of bluegrass founder Bill Monroe’s style, along with jazz and reggae roots. Grasshoppah is a folk/blues/bluegrass trio that might be the most unusual and interesting act of the night. The band features a lead vocalist and guitarist who plays the drums with his feet using a number of contraptions and pedals, and can also perform harmonica solos.
But music is not all there is to offer. “On Saturday we are going to have a kids tent from 12-4 p.m. There will be face painting and chalk drawing and ice blocks to slip and slide on. We have food vendors and arts and crafts. Lots of good food. And the BATA bus will be there to take people to the beach because we are really close,” Vanderberg adds. “We have a visitor tent but bring a lawnchair or blanket if you want to sit out in the sun. Otherwise everything is provided, including porta-potties and security,” she says.
Tickets to the Dunegrass festival can be purchased at Deerings Market in Empire, Cedar City Market, East Shore Market in Beulah, Kejara’s Bridge in Leelanau, Oryana Natural Foods in Traverse City and Leelanau Coffee Roasters of Glen Arbor. They can also be purchased using a credit card by calling 231-326-5287. The cost is $20 for adults with an extra $5 per person if camping overnight. Children 12 and under are free.
Saturday-only tickets are also available for $15.
To get to the festival, take M-22 or M-72 to Empire, then follow the signs which lead to the grounds on the north side of town.
 
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