True Falsettos, Jen Sygit, Red Tail Ring, Gifts or Creatures to play the acoustic concerts, announced after Hat Trick Concert Series ends its long run.
Grand Rapids’ One Trick Pony wasted little time finding a Monday night live music replacement for the defunct Hat Trick Concert Series.
The Earthwork Music Presents Monday Night Live series debuts at the downtown Grand Rapids restaurant on April 8 with Traverse City’s The True Falsettos and will continue every other Monday through May.
Organized by Grand Rapids singer-songwriter Ralston Bowles, mid-Michigan’s Earthwork Music collective and restaurant owner Dan Verhil, the new series spotlights several acts who record and work through the collective, which boasts an impressive stable of folk, Americana, indie-rock and roots artists.
And like the long-running Hat Trick Concert Series recently discontinued by WYCE-FM, the series will raise money for charity, specifically June’s Earthwork Family Weekend held in Lake City, where children and adults connect through visual art, music, dance, theater, organic farming and more.
Verhil told Spins on Music that he’s excited about the first-time series and the potential for repeating it later in the year because the Earthwork Music collective represents so many Michigan musicians. The initial foray in April and May will help organizers “get a feel for it,” Verhil said.
The Monday shows will begin at 7:30 p.m., with free admission and a hat passed around to collect donations for the cause.
THE INAUGURAL SERIES LINEUP
April 8 – The True Falsettos (vintage Western swing/hot jazz, Traverse City)
April 22 – Jen Sygit (Americana singer-songwriter, Lansing)
May 6 – Red Tail Ring (progressive/traditional folk duo, Kalamazoo)
May 20 – Gifts or Creatures (progressive/nostalgic Americana, Lansing)
Word of the new series comes just a few weeks after community radio station WYCE-FM (88.1) announced it was dropping the acoustic Hat Trick Concert Series after 12 years of spotlighting emerging national touring artists on Monday nights at One Trick Pony.
Citing shrinking audience turnouts, increased competition from other venues and other factors, station manager Kevin Murphy said the series had simply run its course and WYCE plans to focus its attention on staging concerts at the Community Media Center-owned Wealthy Theatre starting in the fall.
Although initially disappointed by WYCE’s decision, Verhil said he’s happy to try something different on Mondays, an otherwise slow night for the grill and taproom.
Bowles, who spearheaded development of the series, said it came together fairly quickly after reviewing the performance schedules of Earthwork Music artists. Those chosen for the initial series haven’t played One Trick Pony previously. Eventually, he said, organizers hope to “work through the whole Earthwork” roster.
“It builds an awareness on a regional level for those guys,” Bowles said of tabbing and promoting the pool of Michigan talent at Earthwork Music, which also represents high-profile artists such as Seth Bernard, May Erlewine, Joshua Davis, Luke Winslow-King, The Go Rounds and others. “It’s all new artists, all Michigan artists, all socially active, and they’re all at the top of their game.”
One Trick Pony also will host an “encore” of the Local Spins Live series spotlighting regional artists at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 4, with indie-folk’s The Koh Kohs and singer-songwriter Josh Rose. Admission is free, but a hat will be passed for Access of West Michigan, which helps coordinate Kent County’s network of food pantries for needy families. The show represents an extension of the Fresh Folk/Local Spins Live series that wraps up Thursday (March 28) with Seth Bernard, May Erlewine and The Fauxgrass Quartet at St. Cecilia Music Center.
Copyright 2013, Spins on Music
A veteran journalist and former music writer for The Grand Rapids Press, John Sinkevics is editor and publisher of LocalSpins.com, profiling regional artists and commenting on West Michigan's music scene. He hosts "Local Spins Live" on News Talk 1340 AM in Grand Rapids at 11 a.m. Wednesdays, with a preview at 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays on WLAV-FM (96.9). He also hosts the hour-long "Local Spins on WYCE" at 11 a.m. Fridays on WYCE-FM (88.1).
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