Letters

Letters 11-24-2014

Dangerous Votes You voted for Dr. Dan. Thanks!Rep. Benishek failed to cosponsor H.R. 601. It stops subsidies for big oil companies. He failed to cosponsor H.R. 1084. There is an exemption for hydraulic fracturing written into the Safe Drinking Water Act. H.R. 1084. It would require the contents of fracking fluids to be publicly disclosed to protect the public health.

Solar Is The Answer There have been many excellent letters about the need for our region, state and nation to take action on climate change. Now there is a viable solution to this ever-growing problem: Solar energy is the future.

Real Minimum Wage In 1966, a first class stamp cost 5 cents and minimum wage was $1.25. Today, a first class stamp is 49 cents, so federal minimum wage should be $11.25.

Doesn’t Seem Warmer I enjoy the “environmentalists” twisting themselves into pretzels trying to convince us that it is getting warmer. Sure it is... 

Home · Articles · News · Music · Meredith Fierke?s Triple Threat
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Meredith Fierke?s Triple Threat

Kristi Kates - June 20th, 2011
Singer-songwriter Meredith Fierke grew up in the small town of Northfield, Minnesota, and has been writing and singing songs for “as long as I can remember.” 
“I learned to love music by listening to it obsessively as a kid,” she explains, “I loved the radio; I would tape my favorite songs by holding my radio speakers up next to the tape recorder. What would come back was a crackling ‘far away’ version of the songs that I would sing along with over and over again. But it wasn’t until I decided to write and record my first album (The Procession, 2008) that I really started learning the art of recording and collaborating with other musicians.”
Today, Fierke is a busily ambitious musician, collaborating with a father-son team who make up her trio. She’ll be performing in Petoskey at the Crooked Tree Arts Center this Thursday.

NORTHERN CONNECTIONS 
Working alongside Fierke are Steve McKinstry and son Dylan McKinstry, musicians who spend their summers on Lake Charlevoix, at a cottage built by the elder McKinstry’s grandfather in 1931. With Fierke on vocals and guitar/banjo, the elder McKinstry takes on the Hammond organ, while his son handles guitar, mandolin, mandola, and banjo. 
“With a lot of extended family and hundreds of friends living in the Petoskey area, we consider this our second home,” Steve McKinstry says, “Dylan and I have been playing music, in an informal way, around the area for many years, but never before now have we had the chance to present our original music to the Petoskey community. In our collaboration with Meredith Fierke, we have discovered a new and exciting kind of musical expression that we are thrilled to be able to share with our Northern Michigan family and friends.”
Based in Minneapolis, the McKinstrys have continued their Up North connections, as well, by performing with the likes of locals Robin Lee Berry and Nathan Bates. With those kinds of introductions, Fierke - new to Northern Michigan - is sure to make some new friends and fans, too.
“I knew about Steve and Dylan as musicians when I was growing up, but I am surprised it took me so long to actually start playing music with them,” Fierke explains, “We are all from Northfield (Minneapolis area), so it was inevitable that we would find each other; we started collaborating about three years ago. The combination of the three of us, my songwriting and voice, Dylan’s creative genius and technical prowess, and Steve’s understanding of composition and sound, creates an intricate, edgy, and beautiful soundscape around the songs.”

CORE COLLABORATION
A quirky and unusual mix of sounds, the Meredith Fierke Trio’s music focuses on Fierke’s songwriting, but is otherwise a very collaborative effort.
“Even though Meredith’s songwriting is at the center of the music, the creative work is equally divided between the three of us,” Steve McKinstry explains.
“Our music has a lot of intention,” Dylan McKinstry continues, “it is not trying to imitate anything. It is a unique collaboration with a wide variety of influence from the three of us. This helps us, I think, to appeal to a wide variety of listeners. At the core of everything we do is just the simple fact that we love doing this; we are all working together to create songs that are at the same time accessible and engaging. We are all so excited to be working together.”
That enthusiasm reportedly carries over into the recording studio, as well; a Meredith Fierke Trio album is currently being recorded in Northfield, Minnesota, with a release date scheduled for September of this year.
“The album is being recorded at Salmagundi Studio,” Fierke says, “it is an old, established studio, owned by Steve (McKinstry), that specializes in recording on tape with vintage audio equipment.”
“A special note is that the studio owns a large collection of vintage microphones from the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s that add a spectacular extra-dimensional quality to the sound of the recordings,” Steve McKinstry says.
The album has yet to be named, Fierke says, “but we definitely have a few solid ideas floating around - it’s just that none of them has stuck quite yet.”

BIG SOUNDS
What have stuck are the songs, which are already winning fan acclaim for those who’ve been fortunate enough to hear them. Many of the new songs, Fierke says, will be played at the trio’s Crooked Tree Arts Center performance.
“The most exciting new song is probably “The Sounding,”” Fierke says, “it’s a song written, strangely enough, about our love of sound.”
Fierke will play a high-strung guitar on the tune, with Dylan McKinstry on the mandola and Steve McKinstry on his Hammond; the song is quick-paced, with intricate string work on top of the organ’s foundation. It’s a big sound for ‘just’ three musicians.
“We’re always pleased to discover that the three of us can sometimes sound as full and rich as an orchestra,” Dylan McKinstry says.
The rest of their songs will be completed over the summer, as the three musicians work to complete tracking and mixing. To follow? More touring, of course - to introduce their songs and sound to ever-bigger audiences.
“We’ve been working on the album for the better part of two years,” Fierke says, “and we’re excited to get out and perform it. We will be having a big CD release in Minneapolis this fall, and hopefully we will be making our way around the country.”

The Meredith Fierke Trio will be performing on Thursday, June 23 at the Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey at 8:00 p.m. For tickets ($12) and more info, call CTAC at 231.347.4337.
 
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