Now is the time of year where I’m gearing up for the Earthwork Harvest Festival, one of my favorite gatherings. I’ll be busy soaking in the festival and playing with the following sets: Maraj, Bowhunter, Matt Jones, Micah Ling, Sam Cooper solo, Fiona Dickinson, and an Earthwork women’s set. I hope to see some of you there.
Upcoming Confirmed Shows:
September 18: Maraj plays a “Night Market” in Kalamazoo, MI
September 19, 20, 21: The Earthwork Harvest Gathering, Lake City, MI
September 24: Matt Jones First Congregational Church, Kalamazoo, MI
October 3: Matt Jones CD Release, The Ark, Ann Arbor, MI
October 10: Maraj at K College, Kalamazoo, MI
October 24: Contra/Square dance at the Gibbs House, Kalamazoo, MI
October 31: Maraj Halloween show, South Bend, IN
November 1: Ten Pound Fiddle, Bowhunter, Lansing, MI
November 8, 9: Maraj, Lamplight Festival, Grand Rapids, MI
December 13: Webster Church Concert Series in Chelsea, MI
January 8-11: Earthwork Music Collective Tour
I’ve been recording and playing a number of shows around west Michigan with Maraj, a new soul/hip-hop project I’m a member of. We’re excited for another run of shows with our first full length record Voyager, which released today! You can stream and/or purchase the new full length album at the Maraj Bandcamp, and also check out the five song EP we released this past spring. Here’s an article about the new album:
The Making Of Maraj's Voyager
Andy Catlin, DIT Kalamazoo
The new, debut Bowhunter album was released on August 11 at Square Dance Kalamazoo's monthly dance at Bells Brewery! The band consists of Laurel Premo (of Red Tail Ring) on fiddle and banjo, Michael Beauchamp (of Red Tail Ring) on guitar, Sam Herman (of MANY of old time bands) on banjo, and Sam Cooper on fiddle. The album features traditional and original fiddle tunes that we play at dances as well as a few ballads with sweet harmony singing. The full version of the album (available in physical disc & on digital download from Earthwork Music) includes jokes and other commentary between a few tunes. The iTunes digital version is stripped down - simply the tunes with nothing else. We invite you to choose your own adventure. The two Sam’s from the Bowhunter string band were interviewed on WMUK in Kalamazoo for the release of our album, "The Right Hands Round." You can check out the interview here:
Bowhunters Album Captures The Fun In Square Dance Culture
by Rebbecca Thiele, WMUK
Since I've updated last, I wrapped up working for the summer session of the Gift Of Music Program in Kalamazoo, which I really enjoyed. There will be a music video debuting sometime this fall showcasing a song we wrote with the students. I'm not able to post any pictures of the students yet, but here's some of the teachers I got to work with: Jeff Savina and Kam Potts (Motorcitykam).
This summer, I’ve been doing a little less supporting musician/studio musician work, and a little more work on my own music, demo's and recordings. I’ve also been investing more into band recordings & performances such as Maraj, Bowhunter and Hearth & Hymn. So, I was lucky to find part time work with Hether Frayer (aka the Fresh Food Fairy) making and selling her kale chips in Kalamazoo. Fresh food is always in abundance at her home, and it's really inspiring to be around. Here she is in all her glory!
I was able to make it to the Farm Block Festival in the Keeweenaw Peninsula this yearl that Graham Parsons hosts at his family farm. This was one of my favorite moments below. You can’t beat having a bunch of friends from different cities come together at festivals. Here’s a preview for my newest verse to my "Witchin’ In The Kitchin" tune that I sing & play on fiddle, which these guys helped write when we were hanging around the open air kitchen:
This is a shot from when Fiona Dickinson, Elisabeth Pixley-Fink and myself opened for A Brother and A Sister Band at their at Satellite Records album release in Kalamazoo. Our friends Joel and Ira helped us get a real pro band photo as well.
The three of us played a lot of music together as a trio this August. A Double Phelix crew of us got an upcoming EP recorded for Elisabeth at the Double Phelix studio. I also wrangled Fio & Elisabeth for a couple of studio sessions before Elisabeth left to teach in Portland for the school year. We got 4 of my live tracks recorded and video’d, along with three future Hearth & Hymn tracks. The first session was partially video’d by Michael Erlewine, and held at Troubadour Studios in Lansing, MI, which is owned by my friend Corey DeRushia. The second session was held in the sanctuary at the First Congregational Church in Kalamazoo, MI thanks to the kindness of Nathan Dannison and the FCC community. I was also lucky to have some DIT Sessions folks video those songs too. I’m not sure when we’ll release them yet, but I’ll send word when they are.
Playing at Hollerfest with Elisabeth was a great way to wind down the summer. My favorite moment was seeing this father holding his sleeping daughter, and then laying her down gently so he could dance with his partner. His daughter woke up shortly thereafter with a bewildered look about her. But, it was totally worth it, as you can tell. I also really loved helping to teach the "kids songs" workshop by this treehouse with Elisabeth. We learned that they like the riddle song, but they REALLY got enthusiastic when it was time for them to share all their favorite riddles.
I got to welcome in the fall by playing at the Wheatland Music Festival this year, which was a real honor. Going here was one of the many experiences that ignited my passion for traditional music. Throughout the weekend, I was most inspired by seeing Pokey LaFarge and band. They played a set of music for the swing dance, which they don't usually do, and their energy was through the roof!
My other favorite moment was doing a morning yoga class in the dance pavilion. When it came time for the quiet, still Shavasana portion of the class, we could hear Bruce Bauman warming up on his fiddle backstage since he was about to play a family dance. ;)
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.