Kicking off next week, the 18-artist tour hits five cities, spotlighted for Local Spins on WYCE, which also debuted music by Greta Van Fleet, Rahill, Rockit King, Adaboy, G-Hollow, The Wire Monkeys & more.
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When 18 Michigan artists from the Earthwork Music collective hit the road for a series of concerts across the state next week, no one really knows what might unfurl on stage.
“To be honest, we’re not sure exactly what’s going to happen,” said Grand Rapids singer-songwriter Nicholas James Thomasma, who’s helped organize the first Earthwork Music tour of the state since 2018.
“We do know each show will be uniquely different and they’ll never be able to recreate these things again.”
Kicking off Wednesday (April 19) at Kalamazoo’s Dormouse Theatre, the wide-ranging group will also play two sets in “a cabaret-style format” at Lake Orion’s 20 Front Street on April 20, Grand Rapids’ Midtown on April 21, Traverse City’s The Alluvion on April 22 and the Ludington Area Center for the Arts on April 23.
As Thomasma puts it, the music emerging from the collective – which represents about two dozen acts from communities across Michigan – covers a lot of territory.
“It is both chaotic and beautiful at the same time,” he said of the “star-studded lineup” showcased by the collective, which covers everything from folk to rock to soul to bluegrass to Americana.
Tour performers include Dede Alder, Seth Bernard, Ralston Bowles, Sari Brown, Sarah Cohen (The Antivillains), Samantha Cooper, Chris Good, Jordan Hamilton, Amber Hasan, Josh Holcomb, Audra Kubat, Elisabeth Pixley-Fink, Michael Dause (Moss Manor), Vince Russo (The Appleseed Collective), Mike Savina (The Go Rounds), Jo Serrapere (Stella!), Ben Traverse and Thomasma.
For this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE, the collective spotlighted tracks by Brown, Kubat and Traverse. Scroll down to listen to the songs and the full radio show podcast.
‘A LOT OF COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS’ UNFURLING IN INTIMATE VENUES
Every artist on the tour will play and sing during the shows, backed by various members of the collective, with plenty of spontaneity expected.
“Each (show) will have their own intimate and unique parts to it,” Bowles said.
Still, Bowles conceded “there’s been a lot of file-sharing and going back and forth through Google docs” to help performers prepare for the tour.
“That’s one of the great things about our collective is that we’re all friends and we all play on each other’s records,” added Thomasma. “There are a lot of collaborative efforts among our group.”
The concerts will take place in intimate venues, ideal for storytelling and audience interaction.
“I know we were looking to book wonderful listening rooms in the Lower Peninsula for this run, and to cover our bases in terms of geography and population centers,” said Bernard, who founded the Earthwork Music collective in Lake City in 2001 as way of raising “both community and self-awareness” through the “intrinsic power of music.”
To coincide with the 2023 tour, Earthwork Music also has released its “Spring Sampler 2023” compilation featuring 21 tracks by collective artists.
Get tickets and details about the tour online at earthworkmusic.com.
This week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE — which focuses on music by Michigan artists at 11 a.m. Fridays on WYCE (88.1 FM) and online at wyce.org — also featured new music by Rahill, Greta Van Fleet, Adaboy, Rockit King, Mike Ward: Psychosongs, Sunny Bleau & The Moons, G-Hollow, The Wire Monkeys and Chris Bathgate. While there were some glitches with the on-air broadcast, you can listen to the full radio show here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (4/14/23)
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