The emerging Lowell band spotlighted new singles for Local Spins on WYCE, which also debuted tracks by Future Misters, DL Rossi, Chris Bathgate, The Kings of Strings and more.
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Emerging Lowell country band Prior Noon can’t wait to take the stage at Grand Rapids’ Sullivan Field tonight – and for more than one reason.
Sharing the bill with established regional country stars Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys and Kari Lynch Band ranks as a true milestone for the young band which has long looked up to these groups during their rise to prominence in West Michigan.
And for bassist Drew Struckmeyer, playing the baseball diamond has extra special meaning.
“We’ve ended up playing about 20 shows this year, and this one is far and away one of the ones we’re most excited about, everything from the setting and how cool Sullivan Field is,” Struckmeyer said.
“I grew up playing baseball and I’m a history teacher, so the amount of baseball history there is really cool to be a part of that.”
Tonight’s “Ballpark Jam” – with Prior Noon kicking things off at 5:30 p.m. – is just the latest step forward for a group of musicians who first met and performed together at Lowell’s Impact Church.
Drawing from their “small-town roots and coming-of-age experiences,” they officially formed Prior Noon in May 2020, leaning on influences that include Maren Morris, Keith Urban, Lady A, Carrie Underwood, Morgan Wallen and early Taylor Swift.
The band – Struckmeyer, his brother, Nick on lead guitar, McKenna Grody and Judah Postman on lead vocals, Joe Warren on rhythm guitar and Jay Stadt on drums – so far has released three country-pop singles, with the tracks recorded by Ben Reno of Majestic Ape Studios in Tennessee.
They return to Tennessee to record three more singles next week, with plans for eventually releasing a six-song debut EP, “If This Feeling Was a Place.”
For this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE, the band showcased two of its most recent tracks – “Sorry” and “Midnight Headlights.” Check out the video for “Sorry” here and scroll down to listen to the full radio show podcast.
VIDEO: Prior Noon, “Sorry”
While Struckmeyer introduces the basics of songs he’s written, the entire band is involved in honing and enhancing the tracks, he said. After crafting the first batch of songs, the group secured Reno’s services through a search on the SoundBetter.com website which links artists with recording engineers.
“We connected with Ben online and were encouraged by his belief in our sound and lyrics,” Struckmeyer said. “He’s incredibly talented, fun to work with, and has credits including Lady A and Blake Shelton.”
With all band members aged 24 or younger, Struckmeyer conceded they’re just beginning their journey, with hopes of expanding performance opportunities and continuing to release new material.
Ultimately, he said, band members just want to “have a great story to tell” about their experiences.
Gates open for tonight’s Ballpark Jam at 4 p.m. Tickets are $25 and available online here or at the door. The event includes a full bar and food sales.
Prior Noon also performs Saturday at the Alto Harvest Festival and Car Show, which takes place in downtown Alto from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and at Ripple in Lowell on Oct. 22.
In addition, Prior Noon will open for Wayland and country artist Brenden Monroe at The Intersection on Nov. 25.
On Oct. 1, it hosts “Ballpark Chili” (a chili cook-off) with music by Pretzel Logic, Lighten Up Francis, Mark Lavengood and Blue Velvet. Get tickets and more information about that event online here.
Proceeds from concerts staged at Sullivan Field go toward “renovation and activation” of the ballfield, a West Side institution built in 1937 and originally named Valley Field. Dozens of players who roamed the ballpark went on to play in the major leagues, including legendary Hall of Famer Satchel Paige. In addition, the home-team Sullivans won four National Amateur Baseball Championships.
This week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE – which showcases Michigan-made music at 11 a.m. Fridays on WYCE (88.1 FM) and online at wyce.org – also featured new music from Future Misters, DL Rossi, The Kings of Strings, Rachel Curtis, Cameron Blake, Samil, Jetty Rae, Djangophonique, The Wild Honey Collective and Chris Bathgate as well as a tracks by EPCYA and Kari Lynch Band (Prior Noon’s musicians’ pick for the week). Listen to the radio show here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (9/16/22)
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