Grand Rapids’ AG Silver launched its rock trajectory 16 years ago, building toward its latest, lushly produced album, “Hold On.” Read below to win free tickets to Friday’s CD-release show.
Love, school, children and life’s challenges have “altered the path at times” for Grand Rapids rock band AG Silver.
But for 16 years, the popular band has managed to keep its musical passions alive, drawing heavily on the influences of British rock bands ranging from Bush to the Beatles to U2 to Muse.
And the group – named while in Grandville High School after, yes, guitarist Chris McKellar spotted the catchy-sounding Ag-Silver on the Periodic Table of Elements – may be approaching its finest hour yet, with this week’s release of a new studio album, “Hold On.”
(Read a review of the album in the latest issue of REVUE Magazine.)
In the works for more than two years with one-third of the project financed by fans, the lush, band-produced 12-track album (engineer Jake Rye gets some co-production credit, with seven different mix engineers also involved) busts out of the gate with anthemic rock fervor and clever pop hooks.
It’s clear that the band – McKellar, lead singer, keyboard player and chief lyricist Jon Ornee, drummer Craig Vanderwier and bassist Josh Blom – has invested its heart and soul into “Hold On,” perfecting AG Silver’s sound in the process.
On Wednesday, McKellar, Ornee and Vanderwier dropped by the studios of News Talk 1340 AM (WJRW) with a xylophone, acoustic guitar and djembe for Local Spins Live to perform an exclusive acoustic rendition of “Undefaio (Just Look Behind You)” on the air. And when technical difficulties forced WJRW’s Dave Jaconette to scrap the “Market Watch” segment, the trio masterfully jumped in to fill that time with an impromptu rendering of “Last Resort,” too.
Listen to the entire Local Spins Live podcast here, and check out the video of AG Silver’s performances below.
(And check out last week’s featured artist, Lazy Blue Tunas, here.)
On Friday, the band officially ushers “Hold On” into the public eye with an ambitious CD-release concert being staged at 7:30 p.m. inside Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St. SE.
In addition to a state-of-the-art light display, “a completely new and energized live show” and some new arrangements, the concert will feature special guests, including rapper-musician Duke Greene joining the band for its performance of the title track (an emotional tune written by Ornee about a father’s undying love for his son).
Spins On Music is giving away a pair of free tickets to the show, along with a copy of the new CD. Just be the first person to comment under the post about AG Silver on the Spins on Music Facebook page. (Click here to get to that page, then “Like” Spins on Music and post a comment under the AG Silver entry.)
Josh Schicker and his band will open Friday’s concert. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 the day of the show. Get more information about the event on Facebook here and purchase tickets online through the Grand Rapids Community Media Center site. The show also will be streamed online for free on Friday at http://www.grcmc.org/.
For more information about AG Silver and to listen to tracks from the new album, visit the band’s website.
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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