October’s Local Spins on Michigan Radio ‘Stateside’ showcased new music from diverse Grand Rapids artists: Big Dudee Roo, Steven Malcolm, Ford Turrell. Listen to their music, read their back story.
As Michigan rolls into October, Cynthia Canty of Michigan Radio’s “Stateside” welcomed Local Spins editor and publisher John Sinkevics to take a closer look at both well-known and not-so-well-known Grand Rapids artists with new music, including Christian rap’s Steven Malcolm, singer-songwriter Ford Turrell and rock’s Big Dudee Roo.
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Listen to Local Spins on “Stateside” here and read more about the artists below.
PODCAST: West Michigan Mixtape for October 2018 (Local Spins on “Stateside”)
1. Big Dudee Roo, “Breathe” from “Dudee Bound” – Things get started this month with a popular, much-respected grungey and atmospheric Grand Rapids folk-rock band, Big Dudee Roo. This is the lead track “Breathe” which appears on the group’s brand new EP, “Dudee Bound,” that officially gets released this week. The band got its start several years ago among high school pals Max Lockwood, Justin Dore and Nate Wagner from Wayland, a small town south of Grand Rapids. Since then the band has added drummer Daine Hammerle. (Nate Wagner has since stepped away from the band, though songs he’s written are still part of the band’s projects.) Lockwood has become an in-demand bassist, playing with several other Michigan artists, including May Erlewinie and he even serves as the frontman for a Tom Petty tribute band called The Insiders. They also have a sense of humor, titling their EPs over the years, “Heavy Dudee,” “Dudee Free” and now, “Dudee Bound.” This latest track has a bit more of a pop flavor but still exudes that classic Big Dudee Roo vibe, something that comes across as pretty heavy and psychedelic during live shows. The band plays this week Friday, Oct. 5 at Seven Steps Up in Spring Lake as part of a special Standing Room Only show that will certainly rock that groovy listening room in that lakeshore town. Get more information on the Big Dudee Roo Facebook page or at pindropconcerts.com.
Listen to “Breathe” here:
2. Ford Turrell, “Days Go By” from “Days Go By” – Consider this an impressive under-the-radar pick for October. Grand Rapids singer-songwriter Ford Turrell has a fascinating back story. He grew up in the Grand Rapids area, went to college here and started writing songs, landed a publishing deal and moved to Nashville where he spent six years as part of what he calls the Nashville songwriting factory, collaborating with other writers, working two or three writing assignments five or six days a week. It was an eye-opening learning experience that taught him the power of concise songwriting and hooks and jettisoning anything that wasn’t necessary in a song. He ended up releasing his debut solo album in Nashville back in 2007. But eventually, he and his wife moved back to Grand Rapids to raise their family, and he took a long hiatus from songwriting and music. But a friend from Nashville convinced him to record another album, so he fired up his songwriting again and – 11 years after his first album – just released “Days Go By,” a folk- and soft-indie-rock-fueled album that shows off touching, heartfelt, well-crafted songs about the ups and downs of life as well as Turrell’s fetching, whispery vocals. He played his album-release party last weekend in Grand Rapids and performs next on Oct. 20 at Tavern 101 in Bay City and Nov. 7 at Buffalo Traders Lounge in Grand Rapids.
Read more about Turrell at Local Spins here: Ford Turrell’s journey from Nashville song ‘factory’ to potent West Michigan wordsmith
Listen to “Days Go By” here:
3. Steven Malcolm, “Fuego” from “The Second City Part 2” – There are some artists who will turn your head and perk up your ears as soon as you hear them, especially in a live setting. Grand Rapids hip hop artist Steven Malcolm is one of those artists. This guy has exploded on the Christian rap scene and for good reason – his message-filled rhymes, smooth style and infectious, melodic hooks have earned him major accolades, he’s toured nationally with Lecrae and Andy Mineo among others, he was part of the high-profile Winter Jam Tour and last year was nominated for three Dove Awards (including new artist of the year and rap/hip hop album of tis he year). He’s also the first hip hop artist signed to Word Entertainment, which also features such well-known acts as Skillet, Switchfoot and Sidewalk Prophets. His single, “Party in the Hills,” from his first release racked up more than 1 million views on YouTube and he’s been touring nationally behind the follow-up EP, “The Second City Part 2,” that was released earlier this year. (The video for his latest single, “Fuego,” has racked up more than half-million views so far.) His background is interesting, too: He started writing and rapping as a teenager after a difficult childhood, inspired by the likes of Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Snoop Dogg, Lil’ Wayne, Travis Scott and Drake. And when he attended a “hip hop church” in Grand Rapids at the urging of a friend, it changed everything. He said he saw “young cats, young guys who look like me, dress like me and talk like me, but they love Jesus. Something about them was like they’ve got something that I feel like I need.” He quickly built a devoted audience for his rapping and videos via social media, attracted the attention of major labels, and the rest as they say is history. “Our music is going to sound like a mainstream song,” he says of the music he creates with collaborator and DJ Mark Evans, “but if you listen to the lyrics, the message is very different.” He’s touring all over the country in October: Florida, Arkansas, Texas, Colorado, Wisconsin and beyond.
Read more about Malcolm at Local Spins here: Grand Rapids rapper Steven Malcolm’s rise to star of Christian hip hop
Listen to “Fuego” here:
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