Letters

Letters 11-17-2014

by Dr. Buono in the November 10 Northern Express. While I applaud your enthusiasm embracing a market solution for global climate change and believe that this is a vital piece of the overall approach, it is almost laughable and at least naive to believe that your Representative Mr.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Butch Thompson

Music Kristi Kates Butch Thompson, Jazz Original 1/17/11
By Kristi Kates
Accomplished pianist/clarinetist Butch Thompson - also a Grammy Award winner and one of Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion sidekicks - is on his way to the City Opera House in TC this Saturday, complete with his all-star New Orleans Jazz Originals lineup.
 
Monday, January 17, 2011

Ruthie Foster

Music Kristi Kates Ruthie Foster’s Truthful Music 1/17/11
By Kristi Kates
T he Truth According to Ruthie Foster is the title of
singer-songwriter Ruthie Foster’s new album, songs of which Foster
herself will be bringing to TC’s InsideOut Gallery on Sunday, January
23.
 
Monday, January 17, 2011

4Play: Polar Bear; Sufjan Stevens; Secret Sisters; Black Dub

Music Jack Pine Polar Bear - Peepers (Leaf Label) 1/17/11
Here’s a concept: Jazz that is fun, musical, adventurous and not at all boring. Polar Bear is a small combo from England that features two saxophone players. Polar Bear plays jazz that is more about the compositions than any lengthy jazz trance solos. There are touches of Sun Ra, Morphine and Tom Waits (sans vocals). Some songs groove and some float, but it is all fresh and inviting music. It all seems so natural; it is a wonder a band with Polar Bear’s sound hasn’t happened sooner.


 
Monday, January 10, 2011

4Play: Sahara Smith, Steve Tibbetts, Soft Machine Legacy, Lunatic Soul

Music Ross Boissoneau Sahara Smith – Myth of the Heart (Playing In Traffic Records)
It’s too simplistic to say that if you like Norah Jones you’ll like Sahara Smith, though that may well be true. Smith’s gentle music hews closer to country and folk than to Jones’s jazz/pop hybrid. Her singing is lovely and lilting, not as breathy as that of Jones. You might throw in a Tracy Chapman comparison, or even early Joni Mitchell or Judy Collins. But while Smith has clearly absorbed a number of influences, she’s just as clearly her own self. The tunes, all of which she wrote, combine pithy observations with countrified soundtracks for her characters. Not as epic as Springsteen or Tom Waits, more like epigrammatic, small chapters of interesting people. And all delivered with a sweet and innocent, yet knowing, voice.

 
Monday, January 3, 2011

4Play: Various Artists, Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriquez, Lang Lang, Gary Husband

Music Ross Boissoneau Various Artists – Soul Revival (Shout/NPR)
This compilation, put together by National Public Radio, starts off with a bang. “Do the 45” by Ryan Shaw harkens back to the heyday of soul shouters like Sam Cooke and Al Green. Eli “Paperboy” Reed keeps up the momentum with “Am I Wasting My Time?” complete with spine-tingling yelps. Both feature instrumental backing reminiscent of the best soul music of the ‘60s and ‘70s, with chittering rhythm guitars, organ, handclaps and horns. Raphael Saadiq’s “100 Yard Dash” is more sedate than the title might suggest, and Chaka Khan’s “Disrepectful” with Mary J. Blige is an unqualified treat. Imagine a whole CD like that. Now stop imagining and listen.
 
Monday, December 27, 2010

Emma Cook

Music Jack Pine “Days of Wonder”: Leelanau singer/songwriter Emma Cook
releases debut CD
By Jack Pine
Emma Cook is an example of how a young artist can be successfully nurtured, mentored, and inspired to be creative. As it turns out, folk singers do not have to hit the road and stumble around several years to make good music. Cook, a Leelanau County singer/songwriter, will host a CD release party for her debut recording “Days of Wonder” on Sunday, January 2 at 5 p.m. at the Loading Dock in TC.
Both of Cook’s parents are musicians. Her dad plays mandolin and her mother is a piano teacher. Cook grew up a child of Blissfest and has attended the folk festival almost every year since she was a baby.
“It is always fun” Cook says. “There is this moment when you crest a hill and see all the tents. It is a sigh of relief, almost. I feel so comfortable there.”
Instead of rebelling against her parent’s music, Cook has connected with it and is inspired by the performers at the festival.
 
Monday, December 27, 2010

Risque

Music Erin Crowell Risque’s Long & Winding Road : Masters of R&B look back on 27 years
By Erin Crowell
When shaking it out on the dance floor, there’s a pretty good chance the people surrounding you fall into the same demographic. At a club, 20-somethings challenge the term “personal space.” Casino? Probably a room full of adults chasing retirement, sporting a touch of gray.
When Risque performs, don’t count on knowing which one will be dancing next to you.
“When you’re in this business so long, you’re fortunate enough to get a diverse crowd,” said Errol Sanders, bassist for the band Risque.
Since its start in 1983, Risque has been entertaining the Northern Michigan dance scene – performing a variety of top 40 and R&B hits that span the decades.
“We play a little bit of everything,” Sanders said. “Well, not everything. We do a little rock and roll, oldies, Motown; and that varies according to where we’re playing.”
 
Monday, December 27, 2010

4Play: John Mellencamp, Hank Williams III, She & Him, Jeff Beck

Music Jack Pine John Mellencamp - No Better than This (Rounder Records)
“No Better Than This” is the second down-to-the-basics, Mellencamp and an instrument or two, mono recording produced by T-Bone Burnett. This time they take an old tape recorder and one microphone to the Sun Studios in Memphis, a Baptist church in Savannah and a hotel room in San Antonio where legendary bluesman Robert Johnson recorded. The mood is slightly more chipper than on the last one “Life, Death, Love and Freedom” and starts out with a real good, moving song “Save Some Time to Dream,” but Mellencamp is still no Bob Dylan. There is more pretense than substance on this one.
 
Monday, December 20, 2010

The Bohemians

Music Jack Pine Old Friends, New Sound: The Bohemians Get Funky
By Jack Pine
It’s an early December night at Lil’ Bo Pub and Grille in TC. Outside it
is cold, snowy, and the roads are slick. Inside, singer Dawn Campbell is
trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with their sound system.
None of this is doing anything to mess with the enthusiasm she has for her
new band, The Bohemians.
 
Monday, December 20, 2010

4Play: Willie Nelson, Richard Thompson, Dierks Bentley, KT Tunstall

Music Ross Boissoneau Willie Nelson - Country Music (Rounder Records)
When Willie Nelson was busted for pot, yet again last week, he said “I feel great! I feel six ounces lighter.” It is that kind of spirit that is featured on this recording. The Grammy-nominated “Country Music” has the relaxed feel of Willie getting together with his best buds and playing classic country tunes with mostly acoustic instruments. It has the sound of a group of pickers crowding around one mic and swapping solos on fiddles and mandolins. “Satisfied Mind,” “Pistol Packin’ Mama” and Hank Williams’ “House of Gold” are standouts, but the collection includes 15 tunes and they are all good and fun.

 
Monday, December 13, 2010

Jay Webber

Music Jay Webber hosts Songwriter Series in Frankfort
A new Songwriter Series has begun for the winter at the Bay View Grille, hosted by singer-songwriter Jay Webber. The event features area musicians in an acoustic coffee house setting every Saturday from 7-9 p.m.
“These are some very talented writers and performers who you don’t get to hear often and it offers something a little different to do here on a Saturday night in the winter,” Webber says.
Webber warms up the show, followed by guest songwriters who perform 4-10 songs and discuss their music. There’s no cover charge and desserts and a full espresso bar are available.
Originally from Leelanau Country, Webber presently lives near the Platte River and Lake Michigan in Benzie County when he’s not on the road performing. Here are a few words with Jay on his new gig:
 
Monday, December 13, 2010

4Play: Duffy, Carole King & James Taylor, Trey Gunn, The Bombastic Meatballs featuring Chad Smith

Music Ross Boissoneau Duffy – Endlessly (Mercury)
The Welsh pop chanteuse has teamed up with producer/composer Albert Hammond for a set of songs that hit all the bases: there are string-laden, melancholy mood pieces (“Don’t Forsake Me”), electro-house beats (“Lovestruck”), pure pop for now people (“Girl”), jangly alternative acoustic rock (“Breath Away” and the title track). Throughout, Duffy’s little girl voice matches passion with compassion. Think Petula Clark meets Claire Grogan. Like those two singers, the voice can become too thin or simply wear on the listener after a while. But the songs stand up to repeated listens, the accompaniment is spot-on, and if the listener can get used to or even enjoy her little-girl voice, there’s much to be savored here.
 
Monday, December 13, 2010

Creative Roundup

Music Robert Downes Creative Roundup: What’s new from local authors & musicians
By Robert Downes
If you’re taking the ‘buy local’ movement to heart, consider
supporting local artists, authors and musicians this holiday season.
Often, their work is a labor of love that pays more in terms of
personal satisfaction than in dollars. Here’s a brief look at who’s
doing what:
 
Monday, December 13, 2010

In a spin

Music Ross & Marc Boissoneau In a Spin: New Sounds to Liven Up the Season
By Ross and Marc Boissoneau
You better not shout, you better not cry. You better just listen up, as there’s new music on the way.
Only thing is, this time of the year, new music doesn’t usually mean new new music. It’s new old music, as another crop of artists try to bring something of themselves to the sounds of the season.
Sometimes they succeed, sometimes the results are less than holly-jolly. And sometimes you don’t even need to listen to know how it will sound. But enough about Mariah Carey. Here are our takes on a dozen of the season’s offerings. On with the show!
 
Monday, December 6, 2010

4Play: Bruce Springsteen, YOSO, CTI Records, California Guitar Trio

Music Ross Boissoneau Bruce Springsteen – The Promise (Columbia)
This set of leftovers from the Darkness on the Edge of Town sessions proves two things: Springsteen made the correct selections for that album, and there’s no reason this should have been kept in the vaults this long. Darkness was tough and hard-rocking, while these two CDs (three plus DVDs in the deluxe set) offer a slightly more encompassing view of the Bruce of 30 years ago. It’s interesting to hear different versions of “Candy’s Room” and “Racing in the Street.” Other highlights abound, from the bouncy “Ain’t Good Enough For You” to studio versions of live favorites “Fire” and “Because the Night.”
 
 
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