The West Michigan band that’s toasting its 12th year with a new EP played Local Spins on WYCE, which also debuted songs by several Michigan artists.
SCROLL DOWN FOR PODCAST, VIDEO
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
As guitarist Eric Langejans puts it, Full Cord started 12 years ago as “a total fluke.”
He just happened to camp right next to upright bassist Todd Kirchner at the Charlotte Bluegrass Festival and, well, the rest is history.
The two musicians hit it off and eventually added other members to the fold to create a fun, head-turning bluegrass outfit that’s now set to enter Grand Haven’s Third Coast Recording on Memorial Day to hammer out the band’s third studio recording – the follow-up to 2018’s “Chop.”
The current lineup – Langejans, Kirchner, mandolinist Brian Oberlin and fiddler Grant Flick (with banjo player Luke Gitchel filling in when needed) – is also playing Saturday night (May 24) at the Bus Benefit hosted by Buses by the Beach over the holiday weekend at Camp Blodgett.
And Full Cord will return to the Charlotte Bluegrass Festival to perform on June 22, commemorating the 12th anniversary of that fateful meeting. (See details about that festival at charlottebluegrassfestival.com.)
“Every member of this band was born into bluegrass and has a very deep understanding of the etiquette and musical skill behind a traditional jam and how to get lost in a vamp that shows off our skill,” said Kirchner, noting that band members have all studied other genres.
“We appreciate being able to be super consistent and swing between old school and newgrass in a way that doesn’t seem contrived. We are all at a level where we push each other to follow along and learn and appreciate where a jam is going … and are able to bring influences from jazz, Italian and classical sounds into our show.”
They also unfurl lots of original material, something they showcased during this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE, when Langejans, Kirchner and Oberlin delivered on-air renditions of “Gainesville Rain” and “Boneyard Grass.” Watch the video for “Gainesville Rain” here, with the full radio show podcast below.
VIDEO: Full Cord, “Gainesville Rain”
Oberlin, a member of several other bands, including Grasshoppah and The Journeymen, joined Full Cord last summer after moving back to West Michigan from Oregon.
“I went out to the picking party at Todd’s house in Grand Haven,” he recalled. “I said, ‘Boy, these guys are fun.’ We talked about getting together and here we are.”
The band has a hectic summer of performances and touring ahead, including appearances at the Red Dock in Saugatuck, the Riverfront Concert Series in South Haven, Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, The Mitten in Ludington, Northern Natural Apple Hollow in Manistee, the Hoxeyville Music Festival and more. The band also plans to travel to North Carolina for a short tour in September.
“We have a great presence on stage with banter that is appreciated by the audience and relatable to all listeners,” Kirchner said.
“We hear from many fans that we are one of the only bands that will stick around a festival and pick late into the night and truly just enjoy being around and making music for fans off stage as much as on stage. There is a magic in making that kind of connection with 200 people around a campfire or lantern.”
The Memorial Day weekend edition of Local Spins on WYCE – a show that spotlights local and regional music at 11 a.m. Fridays on WYCE 88.1 FM – also boasted the on-air debut of new tracks by Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers, Winnow, August, Lane Ellens & Rawss, Coldville, Twin Flame, Lighting Matches and the Heather Bartman Band, as well as music from Joshua Davis (this week’s “musicians’ pick” by Full Cord).
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (5/24/19)
If you missed last week’s episode of Local Spins on WYCE, featuring an in-studio performance by Lighting Matches and the debut of tracks by Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish, Lokella, Kari Lynch Band and more, listen to it here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (5/17/19)
Copyright 2019, Spins on Music LLC