As the year draws to a close, Local Spins asked some West Michigan musicians and readers to make their picks for the best albums and songs of 2019 — a diverse roster covering rock, hip hop, jazz, R&B, folk and more. And listen to music from all of the featured artists.
Maintaining mental health and dealing with “a lot of pressure” represent real challenges for touring musicians, especially road warriors such as The Accidentals and Billy Strings, who plays a sold-out New Year’s Eve show in Grand Rapids. In Part II of its interview with Billy Strings, Local Spins delves into the issues that have become a growing concern for many bands.
A mind-bending year of music gave Local Spins writers plenty of fodder for “best of” lists, including Lizzo, Bon Iver, The Raconteurs, Orville Peck, Black Pumas, Lana Del Rey, Sleep and more. Peruse the extensive and eclectic picks, listen to some of 2019’s most memorable tracks at Local Spins, and submit your own favorites for a chance to win a Local Spins gift package.
The double-album with 30-plus tracks by Mitten State artists raises funds for the Bowles family. It gets released Monday at Grand Rapids’ Listening Room when members of The Accidentals and two other songwriters play a new Local Spins concert series. Listen to songs from the album, get details about this special Michigan-centric project at Local Spins.
Local Spins rewinds September’s top Local Spins story and 2019’s second most-read overall: A feature showcasing a “top secret” video project with 15 vocalists tackling the Fleetwood Mac song at Third Coast Recording in Grand Haven. The video created a major buzz on social media, with another similar project expected after the holidays.
The third annual Great Lakes Music Camp along the Lake Michigan shoreline drew dozens of ‘pupils’ for workshops and even more acoustic music fans for a packed Saturday night concert starring instructors. In Kalamazoo, meanwhile, the Great Lakes Acoustic Music Association also celebrated acoustic glory at its GLAMA-versary event. Story and photos at Local Spins.
On Thursday night, Grand Rapids’ St. Cecilia Music Center kicks off its folk series with country and Americana singer Lee Ann Womack. Listen to the podcast with venue honcho Cathy Holbrook to learn why St. Cecilia stands out as a concert hall and discover the journey that led her to the helm of this organization.