The Wallace Collective began a few years ago as just that: dozens of West Michigan musicians getting together to play songs and meet other folks with a passion for music.
Eventually, though, things sorted themselves out for this “thoughtful folk-rock” outfit, with a fivesome of musicians and friends – Brandon Wallace Muske (guitar, vocals, banjo), Olivia Johnson (guitar, vocals), Jeffrey Niemeier (violin), Kevin Fein (bass) and Dan Slane (percussion) – settling in to play an engaging, acoustic-based version of Americana.
As Johnson pointed out when three of the band members stopped by the studios of News Talk 1340 AM on Wednesday for my Local Spins Live segment with Dave Jaconette, the music produced by The Wallace Collective results from an eclectic blend of each musician’s influences – folk, classic rock, Motown, alt-country.
As a result, while they may find themselves lumped in with groups such as Wilco, The Wallace Collective really has its own unique milieu.
Muske, a Cadillac native, first met Johnson, of Kentwood, and Neimeier, from Ada, at an open-mic night, and after recording a few rough songs initially as a group, the quintet now plans to record its first official full-length album at Grand Rapids’ Stone House Recording in March.
For Local Spins Live, the band performed a tender song, “Seventeen,” that Muske wrote about his wife, with a Spins on Music video of that performance below.
On Sunday, you can catch The Wallace Collective live when it headlines a 7 p.m. show at The Pyramid Scheme, with Hezekiah Jones (of Philadelphia), Lucas Wilson (Grand Rapids) and Up the Chain (also from Philly). Tickets are $8 and can be snagged online here.
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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