Dunesville Music Festival unfurls this weekend in Interlochen, so Local Spins asked the event’s co-director to reveal three albums that have impacted her most, along with a current favorite.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This summer, Local Spins’ ‘Albums that Changed the World’ series has occasionally featured music festival organizers as well as musicians who trace their inspiration to key recordings that shaped their careers. Dunesville Music Festival takes place Friday-Sunday near Interlochen. So today, we showcase the albums that influenced festival co-director Brenna Harm. Get links to the lineup and other festival info below.
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She may be a novice musician, but Brenna Harm is no newcomer to the festival scene. “I’ve been going to the festival circuit since 13,” she says.
Eventually she didn’t have to go far to take in the varied sounds, as what was once the Dunesville festival moved to her family’s farm following name and management changes. After casting about for direction (the eternal “What do you want to do when you grow up?” question) Harm decided to study event management at Grand Valley. In 2018, she landed a job at 20 Monroe Live in Grand Rapids and worked with Electric Forest and street teams for various venues.
Eventually, she began volunteering at Dunesville at the Harm Farm, aka Harmony Pines, between Interlochen and Lake Ann. “I told Brandon (festival producer and promoter Brandon Wittig) ‘I’m here to help.’ I brought in an art gallery, fire performers, and this year I’m co-director.”
This year’s festival features a host of regional stars, including Oh Brother Big Sister, Act Casual, Funktion, Biomassive, Dixon’s Violin, Full Cord, Galactic Sherpas, Stormy Chromer, The Brothers Crunch, Pajamas and more. Get details, schedule and tickets online here.
It seems Harm has caught the music bug hard — to the point she’s taken up an instrument herself. “Blissfest, Hoxeyville are known for their jams. I wanted to be a part of that, too. So, I went out and bought a mandolin.”
Her roster of musical faves has a distinct Michigan flavor.
1. Billy Strings and Don Julin, “Fiddle Tune X” (2016) – The song that struck me was “Shady Grove” (Doc Watson cover). I loved the CD. I had it signed, but it’s gone. It was a huge inspiration for me. I turn it on and I can do anything.
Listen: “Shady Grove”
2. Billy Strings, “Renewal” (2021) – It came out last year, and I listened to it on repeat all year. We had him booked for the festival in 2013, but it got rained out. I’m hoping we can book him again someday.
Listen: “Know It All”
3. Chirp, “Stevie” (2022) – The bass line – actually the entire song – is so grooving. It’s a great melody.
Currently Loving: Sicard Hollow, “Secret of the Breeze” (2020) – They’re from Nashville. It’s another string band. The melodies are soothing, but they can be exciting, too. And they have great vocals.
Listen: “Secret of the Breeze”
ALBUMS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD: Brenna Harm’s Playlist on Spotify
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