The Traverse City singer-songwriter just released another moody gem, spotlighted by Local Spins on WYCE, which also debuted tracks by Dennie Middleton, Brother Wolf, Heart Dreams and more.
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When Rebekah Jon takes the stage with her band at Traverse City’s The Alluvion next week, expect an immersive and electric experience.
“I love connecting with people in the audience,” the 31-year-old Traverse City singer-songwriter said.
“There’s something about playing with a full band and being able to connect with your other band members. It’s like a magical feeling, like you’re playing and it just feels like … am I even on Earth anymore? It just feels so incredible.”
For Rebekah Jon, who unfurls what she describes as genre-bending “psychedelic pop-rock,” the love of playing piano and performing began early in life – she started taking piano lessons at age 6 – though she didn’t embrace and release her own music until after the COVID pandemic.
“I love the instrumentation and musicality and composition of music,” she said, aiming to make each instrument convey and evoke the emotions of her lyrics.
“Because my music always stems from a vulnerable space, the music will reflect the particular feeling and story I am trying to portray to the listener. … I like to encourage people to think a little deeper. I’m a big fan of moody guitar melodies, atmospheric sounds and vocal melodies and harmonies that are easy to digest and stick with you.”
Northern Michigan fans will get to experience that live when Rebekah Jon plays The Alluvion’s “All Ages Indie Night” at 7:30 p.m. Friday (Oct. 20). Grayling’s sister-driven dream rock band Hail Your Highness headlines the show, with Indianapolis indie-rock group Antlerhead and Rebekah Jon also on the bill. Tickets are $10 in advance online here; $15 day of show.
VIDEO: “L.O.V.E.,” Rebekah Jon and Band Live
A native of Westland who graduated from Livonia’s Churchill High School and Ball State University, Rebekah Jon moved with her husband to Traverse City about 10 years ago.
She said she’s long “learned to escape through music. All the things that I couldn’t really handle, I was just putting into the piano. I loved playing the piano and I still do.”
Initially working in the behavior health field, she decided after COVID that “it didn’t feel right” and took the opportunity to “change the trajectory” of her life and dive into music full-time.
Inspired by the likes of Regina Spektor, Florence & The Machine, Pink Floyd, Taylor Swift and John Mayer, she recorded and released a five-song EP, “Harper,” in 2022 and just recently released a new single, “Over It,” that reflects her philosophy that “it’s OK to talk about the hard things.”
“My songs are about the heartaches and the hardships. My hope for my music is to reach people who feel as deeply as me,” she said, noting that music has “played a pivotal role” in maintaining her mental health.
“As many artists, I am often plagued with feelings of uncertainty, imposter syndrome and good ol’ depression, and the pressure of having your art achieve something other than inner fulfillment can be a tricky line to walk. My hope is that the music I create reaches an audience of listeners when they need it the most.”
The singer-songwriter also has picked up the guitar and started to play bass, with plans for releasing her first full-length album next year.
The band – featuring Tim McDonald on lead guitar, her husband, Derek McMullen on bass, and Brandon Smith on drums – also plays Traverse City’s Union Street Station on Nov. 18 and Dec. 15, and Workshop Brewing on Nov. 25. Rebekah Jon will perform duo shows with her husband on Nov. 10 and Dec. 1 at Common Ground Kitchen and Tap, and Left Foot Charley on Dec 29.
Those performances are just the beginning, with Rebekah Jon eyeing regional and national tours in future years.
“I would like to be touring nationally and expand my reach throughout the Midwest region. I want to create a community. I want to connect with people that connect with my music,” she said, adding that she strives to be “on the same vibrational wave” as her audiences.
“I want people to feel like they can come as they are, where there are, to one of my shows and be met just like that – experience something greater than ourselves and leave feeling a bit more hopeful and less alone.”
In addition to spotlighting the Traverse City songwriter’s music, this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE also feature new tracks by Brother Wolf, Dennie Middleton, John Piatek, Outside Pocket, Heart Dreams, Rob Jordan, Brian Koenigsknecht, Weezil Malone Band and FlyLiteGemini. Listen to the full radio show here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (10/13/23)
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