Today, the popular Local Spins series revealing albums that have impacted Michigan musicians continues with Scott and Molly Schultz. Listen to tracks from all of the recordings.
EDITOR’S NOTE: All musicians trace their inspiration to key recordings that influenced their careers. Writer Ross Boissoneau today showcases music that changed the world for Grand Rapids’ Molly and Scott Schultz. Scroll down for a Spotify playlist of their picks along with two tracks by Molly.
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It’s a pairing of talented multi-instrumentalists who continue to create a buzz in West Michigan.
Molly Bouwsma Schultz and Scott Schultz have performed together since 2010 and have been married since 2012. She sings and plays piano, ukulele and percussion in dynamic, head-turning fashion, while he’s a multi-instrumentalist and also provides backing vocals. The two formed Vox Vidorra in 2013 and have been playing as a duo since 2018.
They’ve most recently been working on music Molly has written. That includes shooting a video and recording in anticipation of a full album; they also performed this past summer as a four-piece band.
Molly — the winner of five WYCE Jammie Awards — recently released a new song, “Don’t Be Surprised,” along with a music video that you can watch here. They play The Livery in Benton Harbor at 8 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 3). Tickets are $10 and available online here.
Today, Scott discusses three recordings that were impactful for both himself and for Molly, along with their current favorite.
1. Marvin Gaye, “What’s Going On” (1971) – From 1971, 13 years before I was born. I think it’s the greatest album of all time. It’s a beautiful song cycle. It brings people together. “Mercy, Mercy Me,” the title track, “Inner City Blues,” Marvin’s voice … I heard it as a youngster and bought the CD in the early 2000s. I have it on vinyl, too. It’s been in heavy rotation for two decades. It’s a favorite.
Listen: “What’s Going On”
2. Alice Coltrane, “Journey in Satchidananda” (1971) – It’s also from 1971. That’s an album Molly and I really got into during the pandemic. That’s beautiful music you could dance or meditate to. It’s perfect for yoga. Pharaoh Sanders would pick up (his saxophone) and play otherworldly spiritual jazz. There’s harp, sitar, drums, sax. You put it on and come under its spell. Music is good from classical to plenty of modern pop. You can find beautiful music (anywhere).
Listen: “Journey in Satchidananda”
3. Radiohead, “Kid A” (2000) – It’s a personal favorite album. Before it came out it was actually leaked online. This was in the early days of Napster. A friend and I downloaded it. It sounds like (vocalist) Thom Yorke but confused with all those sounds. They came up with it in 2000, but it sounds like today. There was a longtime connection with Vox Vidorra; in 2014 for a benefit show, we covered it, learned how to do it in an R&B style, our take on it. Molly and I still cover some of the songs. I was listening almost exclusively to Tool and Nirvana before that. I was going down a dark, angry path. It was the change I needed in music. I studied their influences, like Wilco’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,” Blur’s “Threshold.”
Listen: “Kid A”
Currently loving: Kendrick Lamar, “Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers” (2022) – I’m a big Kendrick Lamar fan. I think he has so much to say. He’s our generation’s Bob Dylan, a whole take on the male psyche. The production is always forward-thinking but approachable. He writes songs that speak to you. Molly and I really love “Crown,” how love changes with the seasons. After the pandemic, after losing the business (the two were among the original co-owners of Creston Brewery, which closed due to the pandemic), having a baby now – love is always growing, there are reasons to look forward. It’s speaking right to me. Music transcends everything. I’m proud to be a musician. We’re inspired by what’s around us.
Listen: “United in Grief”
ALBUMS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD: Molly & Scott Schultz’s Playlist on Spotify
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