Local Spins’ May segment for “Stateside” on Michigan Radio cranked things up with Michigan bands that are all making a splash in different ways. Listen to the podcast.
June signals the real start of Michigan’s outdoor music season, and a couple of bands featured in this month’s Local Spins segment on Michigan Radio’s “Stateside” are making the most of that this summer.
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Local Spins publisher John Sinkevics and Stateside’s Cynthia Canty delved into new releases from Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers (a music festival favorite), Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish (who are playing several outdoor stages in coming months) and Lushh (a jazz band that continues to impress audiences wherever it plays).
Listen here to the Local Spins segment on Michigan Radio’s “Stateside” and check out full versions of songs by the featured artists.
LISTEN: Local Spins on Michigan Radio (June 2019)
1. Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers, “Death Don’t Worry About Me” from “Paper Castle”– To say that Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers know how to bring a party whenever and wherever they play would be a huge understatement. Their upbeat, uplifting funk and pop is a crowd favorite, which is why they were chosen to kick off the outdoor beer garden season at Old Dog Tavern in Kalamazoo last weekend, a show that also served as the album-release party for their brand new album, “Paper Castle.” The band led by Hertler, who’s from Lansing and is known for wearing rainbow-colored wings on stage, has been together for about eight years and this is its fourth full-length studio album which we described in our Local Spins review as “a transcendental, genre-spanning and lyrical trip” with everything from “psychedelic R&B” music to “feel-good ‘90s alt-garage rock.” The band has a busy summer ahead to promote its new recording including play June 20 for Max and Emily’s Summer Concert Series in Mt. Pleasant; June 27-30 at Electric Forest in Rothbury; July 13 at Blissfest outside Harbor Springs; Aug. 9 at Cowpie Music Festival in Caledonia.
Listen: “Death Don’t Worry About Me”
2. Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish, “Rockabilly Chicken Chinese,” from “Love & Luck” – We’ve mentioned this Grand Rapids rockabilly and raw blues, guitar-and-drums duo before, but the band has since released a brand new studio album recorded at the all-analog Goon Lagoon here in Grand Rapids. It’s a record that once again unleashes as I put it, a “full-throttle collection of rousing rockabilly, raw-to-the-bone blues and just plain retro rock ‘n’ roll.” Between Jesse Ray’s frequent screams, overdriven guitar and Brandon “Dingo” Hopp’s frenetic drumming, this is the kind of rollicking music that will get your juices flowing and having you flying down the highway with your windows rolled down. The band had very humble beginnings back in 2013 but has since toured the country with its fierce and uber-energetic stages shows which often will find Jesse Ray jumping off of amps and Hopp’s drum kits or flailing away on his guitar on his back on the floor. The band plays June 21 in Allegan for the Rollin’ on the River concert series and July 2 for the Tuesday Evening Music Club at Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids – a series that Michigan Radio is co-sponsoring this summer. The band also plays July 25 in Lowell, east of Grand Rapids, for the Sizzlin’ Summer Concert Series.
Listen: “Anchor Bartender”
3. Lushh, “Kid Stuff” from “Lushh” – Talk about a band of up-and-coming young jazz superstars, this is it. Formed in Kalamazoo by music students at Western Michigan University, this group has quickly become a favorite, not to mention winning a Downbeat magazine student awards for best blues/pop-/rock band. They just released their self-titled full-length debut album and I’ve had a chance to see them up close and personal live, and they defy complete characterization not only because of their cutting-edge approach to jazz but because they really do meld so many different styles into their music – from prog-rock to hip hop to traditional jazz to contemporary, electronic sounds. The band features Eddie Codrington on saxophone, Andrew Saliba on guitar (who also recently released a new solo album), Grayson Nye on keyboards, Matthew Epperson on bass and Madison George on drums. Its versatility may also be due in part to the fact that they all play with other musicians and bands as well. Lushh played a series of dates across the Midwest to celebrate release of their new album in May and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from them concert-wise down the road. In the meantime, you can catch Madison George performing with the future soul band Earth Radio at Otus Supply in Ferndale on June 13 and at Buttermilk Jamboree in Delton (south of Grand Rapids) on June 15.
Listen: “Kid Stuff”
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