The Bellaire-based singer-songwriter shared new music for Local Spins on WYCE, which also debuted tracks by Bond Girl, Crossword Smiles, Michael Waite and more.
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Pop-rock singer-songwriter Brett Mitchell moved from Midland to northern Michigan “on a whim” because he’s always embraced that picturesque part of the state.
Eight years later, he’s more convinced than ever that he made the right decision.
“I just kind of play around here mostly. I still make it down-state every once in a while, but you know, there’s a pretty good scene in Traverse and, of course, the talent is amazing,” said Mitchell, who makes his home in Bellaire.
“It was pretty easy to kind of blend in up here. That’s how I’ve made it work and I love it up here. So, I can’t really see myself going anywhere else for a while.”
That affection for northern Michigan also inspired him to finally wrap up a new studio album during the pandemic shutdown. He released “For the Most Part” last year, his first full-length studio recording since 2011’s “Falling Apart at the Seams.”
As isolating as the pandemic was, it gave him time to put the finishing touches on the catchy, pop-hued songs that he’d been crafting for years, leaning on the somewhat remote and quiet atmosphere to complete his work.
While the task was “stressful and daunting,” he’s thrilled that he’s been able to get out there this year and tour behind the new album. “It’s definitely satisfying and worth it,” he said.
The same goes for a busy summer of shows.
“Performing more and more out live has been a huge focus – almost back to normal in that regard. I just keep truckin’ along and doing what I know best, and hope people keep enjoying it,” he said.
“At first it seemed a little daunting, getting back into the flow of things, reading a crowd. But, in general, having a real live audience … has been extremely rewarding. We all know that live music is better with people who love music actually there in the flesh. I definitely needed to get back to work. It started to feel like I was losing purpose in a way. Coming back in full gear has reminded me of what that is again.”
A BUSY TOURING SCHEDULE AND FULL-BAND SHOWS ON THE HORIZON
Mitchell plays Two K Farms Cidery & Winery in Suttons Bay at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and The Pines of Dow Gardens in Midland at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Other upcoming performances include St. Ambrose Cellars in Beulah on Sept. 13, Workshop Brewing in Traverse City on Sept. 16, Union Street Station in Traverse City on Sept. 17, Lake Ann Brewing in Lake Ann on Sept. 23 and a full band show with The Mitchfits on Sept. 23 at The Commons in Midland.
A drummer at heart who plays guitar at his solo shows, Mitchell also hopes to focus more attention on full-band performances in the coming year, especially after the pandemic limited opportunities to play with other musicians. He’s also long toyed with the idea of releasing an album of covers.
“I want to hone in on the full-band vibe,” he said, noting that while his music continues to “hover around pop-rock-oriented styles,” he appreciates harder-edged material and prefers playing drums.
“I have been adding a few harder rock tunes to the set list,” he said. “I love listening to hard rock and psych, but it rarely makes its way into my music personally. But I could see myself heading into a more harder rock vibe for sure.”
For this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE, Mitchell showcased two songs from his latest album – “Dropping of a Pin” and “Why You Wanna Mess (With My Heart Like This).”
Listen to the tracks here, along with the full Local Spins on WYCE radio show podcast, which also spotlighted music by Crossword Smiles, Michael Waite, Michael Varverakis, Trickified, Lynn & The Moonshine Runners, Bond Girl, Sweet Water Warblers, Robin Lee Berry, Jake Kershaw and Megan Dooley (this week’s musician’s pick by Mitchell). Local Spins on WYCE is a weekly show all about Michigan music, airing at 11 a.m. Fridays on WYCE (88.1 FM) and online at wyce.org.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (9/9/22)
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