The week leading up to the holiday was an active one when it comes to live music, from heavy metal to blues to indie-folk and more. The video and photo recaps at Local Spins.
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Making a full-band debut for the first time in her career, Grand Rapids singer-songwriter Loren Johnson wasn’t fooling around.
The stage at downtown’s Midtown for her album-release show on Saturday night was jam-packed with 10 musicians, forming an all-star band featuring members of several well-known Michigan acts, including The Crane Wives, The Accidentals, Frontier Ruckus, Earth Radio and others.
As Johnson put it, she was surrounded by talented people she loves as she unfurled engaging songs from her full-length studio album, “How to Change” — a collection rife with messaging about coming to terms with life’s many changes, both welcome and unwelcome.
Little more than a mile away, Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill was hosting a jam-packed celebration with a bluesier, more raucous vibe.
Chicago’s iconic Duke Tumatoe and his band rattled the sold-out West Side venue with equal helpings of rock and blues. Though in his mid-70s, the Duke (aka, William Fiorio) wailed admirably on guitar and vocals to the delight of fans, who sang along and danced deep into the evening. (Video below.)
While on the subject of blues, that show came three nights after an even more impressive display of blues- and rock-fired guitar prowess, courtesy of 22-year-old Albion phenom Jake Kershaw and his band — playing their first show of 2023 for a capacity crowd at the intimate Grand Rapids nightclub and restaurant.
Kershaw, who’s lost about 100 pounds over the past year or so, hasn’t lost any steam when it comes to his tasteful and lightning-quick guitar virtuosity. For proof, scroll down for some video highlights.
Indeed, the young musician has only added to his repertoire and stepped up his musicianship over the past couple of years, as evidenced by the way-impressed, jaw-dropped fans who raved afterward about the show, part of the Local Spins Wednesdays series (which continues April 19 with Brie Stoner and Kate Pillsbury).
Other holiday week/weekend shows of note, captured in photos below, include heavy metal’s Fozzy revving up The Intersection’s Elevation on Monday — followed by industrial metal’s Static-X on Tuesday and country’s Warren Zeiders on Saturday — appearances at Kalamazoo’s Bell’s Brewery Eccentric Cafe by Garcia Peoples (with Chris Forsyth) on Thursday, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers on Friday and northern Michigan singer-songwriter Joshua Davis on Saturday.
And check out a full recap, photo gallery and winning videos from Saturday’s Michigan Music Video Awards at Marshall’s Franke Center for the Arts at Local Spins here.
PHOTO GALLERY: Fozzy, Nocturnal Affair, Seventh Day Slumber at Elevation
Photos by Chelsea Whitaker
PHOTO GALLERY: Static-X at The Intersection
Photos by Eric Stoike
VIDEO: The Magic of Jake Kershaw (SpeakEZ Lounge)
PHOTO GALLERY: Jake Kershaw & Band at SpeakEZ Lounge
Photos by Derek Ketchum