The emerging band playing an album-release show tonight was featured for Local Spins on WYCE, which also debuted music by The Night Caps, Troy Ceasar, Cal in Red and more.
SCROLL DOWN FOR RADIO SHOW PODCAST, VIDEO
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
It all started with some students at Grand Rapids Community College pumping up blues jams for fun.
But those seeds for the band Short Panic quickly took root with a more diverse flowering of musical styles.
“I said, ‘Let’s make it groove a bit. Let’s a get a little more funky,’ ” recalled drummer Kyle Kuhn, who found himself a bit bored by the limitations of blues drumming.
Things certainly got more groovy, with the emerging, six-piece Grand Rapids band brewing up a funky rock and jazz stew, showcased on their Midwest Gold Records debut album.
“We’ve got a really good crew. Everybody brings a whole lot to the table,” Kuhn said. “We’re all about just making the music that we like, and if people are drawn to it, that’s cool. We’re not like trying to market ourselves necessarily in any specific way.”
The band – Kuhn, guitarist Ben DeWitt, guitarist-singer David Ophoff, saxophonist Joe Schimmelmann, bassist Solomon Gant and singer Megan Meadows – celebrate release of Short Panic’s self-titled album at The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids tonight (Dec. 15).
The 8 p.m. show will also feature sets by Buddhahand, Ficus and Fellow Kinsman, with Short Panic planning to play its entire new album “all the way through with some surprises as well,” said DeWitt.
Tickets are $12 and available online here.
VIDEO: Short Panic, “Roundabout” (Dogtown Studio)
A UNIQUE MUSICAL BLEND AND MORE TO COME
Short Panic has turned heads since winning The Stray’s 2023 “Battle of the Bands” last March, influenced by the likes of Vulfpeck, Steely Dan, Talking Heads, James Brown, Thundercat, Funkadelic, Pink Floyd and more.
“Everybody brings their own individual sound as well so we end up with kind of a unique blend,” said DeWitt, who favored emo music as a student at Grandville High School and had never played funk music before joining Short Panic. “It’s opened up a whole world for me and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Recorded at Ryne Clarke’s Upstairs, Man Studio in Lowell, the new album is just the first volley in what Short Panic hopes will be “bigger collaborations” between band members on upcoming releases.
As for touring, Kuhn, also a graduate of Grandville High School, said band members aim to “expand our reach through the Midwest” over the next year or so.
Beyond tonight’s Pyramid Scheme affair, Short Panic will play the American Legion in Saugatuck on Dec. 30 (with Lost Magic and Spilled Milk), Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill in Grand Rapids on Jan 13 (with Danny VanZandt, Feeding Grizzlies and Dead People Park) and Rakes Beer Project in Muskegon on Jan. 20.
In addition to debuting tracks from Short Panic, this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE – which spotlights Michigan-made music at 11 a.m. Fridays on WYCE (88.1 FM) and online at wyce.org – featured music by The Night Caps, Silver Creek Revival, Ficus, Cal in Red, Michael Waite, Annie & Rod Capps, Troy Ceasar, The Bootstrap Boys and Via Mardot. Listen to the radio show here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (12/15/23)