The 150th episode of Local Spins on WYCE featured performances by a popular Grand Rapids songwriter and his band, and plenty of new music from Michigan-bred artists. Story, video, podcast.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO, PODCAST
When he was just a kid, John Sanger got his first guitar – “a little throwaway acoustic” with his name carved into it – from his brother.
At 14, he started playing “for real,” later performing nightly as an under-age musician in a seedy Grand Rapids nightclub as part of the band Local Anesthetic.
“I’m not hiding any of my sordid past,” he jokes. “I used to play there with my buddies and go to school really tired. Somehow, my parents let me do that, they drove me. I couldn’t even drive yet.”
Those experiences helped launch Sanger’s lifelong passion for music, performing solo and with The Sanger Brothers regularly across West Michigan, releasing several studio albums and continuing to write original songs that “take life experiences and transform them into a relatable journey for the listener.”
Now, the Grand Rapids singer-songwriter is ready to head back into the recording studio with his brother, Mike, on bass, Bob Tedlock on drums, Mike Davis on keyboards and Nelson Wood on pedal steel. The group has arranged an Aug. 11 listening party to help fund the project; details online here.
As a preview to that performance, Tedlock, Sanger and his brother stopped by Local Spins on WYCE this week to talk about the new project and perform a couple of songs on the air. Check out a video of their performance of “The Fishnet Murder Ballad” here with the full radio podcast below.
VIDEO: John Sanger, “The Fishnet Murder Ballad”
Sanger concedes the direction of his music has changed over the years.
“You go through patterns and lulls. In the ‘90s, I was feeling Wilco, John Prine, The Jayhawks, Ryan Adams. Today, it’s a little bit more all over the place,” he says, adding there’s “more pop and jazz stuff” in his approach now.
As a more “seasoned” West Michigan performer these days, Sanger’s also impressed by the region’s burgeoning musical talent.
“It’s intimidating the talent level is so high,” he says. “We’ll try to hang with all the young kids that are super awesome and super talented, but if nothing else we’ll have a great life making music together.”
In addition to the Aug. 11 listening party, fans can catch Sanger at 1 p.m. today (Saturday) at Kirby Grill in Grand Haven, followed by an 8 p.m. show at Hops 84 East in Holland. He also plays at Bluewater Grill on Aug. 4 and Gun Lake Casino on Aug. 5. More info online here.
The 150th episode of Local Spins on WYCE also featured new tracks from Hi-ker, Antighost, Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers, Cloudlight, Michigander and Seth Bernard, plus songs by The JetBeats, The Blueflowers and Peace to Mateo. Listen to the full podcast here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (July 28, 2017)
Copyright 2017, Spins on Music LLC