This week’s radio show toasts up-and-coming acts in several genres, many of them recent award winners. We also debut new tracks by a pair of established Michigan artists.
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Michigan’s pool of emerging musical talent continues to grow and evolve – and in many directions.
Even the winner of Local Spins’ Emerging Artist of the Year Award since 2019 has represented a dizzying mix of genres, from the edgy, progressive neo-soul of Grand Rapids’ Earth Radio to the soulful, mellifluous hip hop of Kalamazoo cellist Jordan Hamilton to the candid country-spiced Americana of Otsego’s Myron Elkins.
Of course, pop music has propelled many up-and-coming Michigan singers to success of late, especially teens and young acts such as Brayden Lape (finalist on NBC’s “The Voice”), Aspen Jacobsen (Blues and Roots Radio’s latest winner of its album of the year), Kanin Wren (aka Kanin Elizabeth, who appropriately enough now fronts a Taylor Swift tribute), Ada LeAnn and many more.
Some have gotten a leg up by winning talent contests, like the West Michigan world music trio Whorled, which built on its grand prize win in The Stray’s first Battle of the Bands in 2022 to win the inaugural Rotary Rocks contest later the same year.
And this year’s recent winner of The Stray battle, Stray Panic, happens to be a youthful bunch that met at Grand Rapids Community College and has won over fans and critics alike with its unique and polished funk-rock – soon to be unleashed in the group’s debut full-length studio album.
Of course, the region can also point to any number of prodigies who started wowing fans with their virtuosic talent at a very young age, including bluegrass guitarist Billy Strings, blues-rock guitarist Jake Kershaw and alt-folk’s The Accidentals.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE nonetheless focused its attention on emerging artists past and present as a way of giving listeners a glimpse into the future and into the enchanting quality of these artists’ music.
Check out the radio show here with music from Earth Radio, Jordan Hamilton, Myron Elkins, Short Panic, Pocket Watch, Whorled, Brayden Lape, Aspen Jacobsen, Kanin Elizabeth (Kanin Wren) and Jake Kershaw, as well as tracks from The Bootstrap Boys, St. Sinner Orchestra and Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys. Listen to the podcast here. (Jake Kershaw plays the Local Spins Wednesdays series at SpeakEZ Lounge in Grand Rapids at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, April 5.)
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (3/31/23)
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