The frontman for The Hacky Turtles tilts toward country as Hutch Green, spotlighted for Local Spins on WYCE, which also debuted tracks by Kari Lynch, Lazy Genius, Odd Space, Adam Main and more.
SCROLL DOWN FOR RADIO SHOW PODCAST AND VIDEO
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
Some of Marc Kanitz’s fondest memories as a kid in Traverse City revolved around country music.
“Growing up in northern Michigan, that’s some of the earliest music I can remember listening to, riding in the car maybe as early as 4 years old. My dad would definitely play a lot of country music radio,” he said.
“Outside of church, that was probably my earliest exposure to music and songs that you can sing along to, and stories within songs. That’s something that’s always had a place in my heart, just not necessarily expressed it as an artist.”
So while Kanitz, 29, has served as frontman for Grand Rapids’ funk-rock faves The Hacky Turtles for nearly a decade, it’s really not that surprising that he’d turn to his country and Americana roots for the singer-songwriter side project he calls Hutch Green.
“It’s my outlet for music that’s more in that vein,” said Kanitz, who graduated from Traverse City St. Francis High School and Michigan State University before moving to Chicago and relocating with The Hacky Turtles to Grand Rapids in 2017.
“With Hutch Green, it’s kind of taken shape as my desire to explore the songwriter path, whether that’s pitching songs to publishers, working on co-writes with radio artists as well as and sync and licensing – selling the rights to songs. It’s kind of the dark side of the music industry that I’ve not really explored.”
For this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE, Hutch Green debuted two of his rootsy songs – “Horizon” and “Not My Last Name” – which were recorded live at Grand Rapids’ Dogtown Studio. View the video for “Horizon” here and scroll down to listen to the entire interview and radio show podcast.
VIDEO: Hutch Green, “Horizon” (Dogtown Studio Session)
“It’s been great for my creative spirit to tap into new lyrical ideas while becoming more of a student of music theory and guitar and piano,” said Kanitz, who cites Chris Stapleton, The Avett Brothers, Tyler Childers, Sturgill Simpson, Eric Church and other rootsy songwriters as influences.
“The goal of Hutch Green as an artist is to just draw attention to the songs as a product … just so I can hopefully get them in front of people that would want to use them on their own.”
PERFORMING AS HUTCH GREEN AT SULLIVAN FIELD, PLUS NEW HACKY TURTLES MUSIC
While he insisted the Hutch Green project is mostly centered around content and creating demos of his songs, Kanitz also has assembled a backing band for occasional live performances.
On Friday night (Oct. 15), Hutch Green will open for Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys and The Local Commuters at Grand Rapids’ Sullivan Field, part of the Pik-Nik concert series at the West Side ballpark. The music starts at 6:30 p.m. with gates opening at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 (or $45 for a four-pack) with an option for a “Pik-Nik Basket” rental. Details and ticket links here.
The Hutch Green band features bassist Ben Steer of The Hacky Turtles, Bedroom Ceilings and Elijah Russ Collective, drummer Alec Klinefelter of Patty PerShayla & The Mayhaps and Bedroom Ceilings, lead guitarist Austin Benzing of the Benzing-Graves Collective and Dobro player Mark Lavengood.
“I’ve been blown away by the musicians and artists I have had a chance to collaborate with,” Kanitz said of his Hutch Green comrades.
Kanitz – who has a reputation for boundless, frenetic energy on stage with the funk-fueled Hacky Turtles – conceded that “it’ll be a different presentation” on stage with Hutch Green.
He said he’ll be playing guitar (“just cowboy chords”) and “won’t be able to jump around as much” as he does with The Hacky Turtles.
But don’t dismay Turtles fans: More new music is on the way from the lively funk-rockers.
“The Hacky Turtles have recording time booked for November,” Kanitz said, noting band members have been “leaning into each other on how to navigate” expectations and goals as their “creative careers” move forward.
“Both projects are kind of in their own space.”
Up next for The Hacky Turtles: The band opens for the Red NOT Chili Peppers tribute band at Elevation inside The Intersection on Thursday (Oct. 21). Advance tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $12 and available online here.
This week’s episode of Local Spins on WYCE – which focuses on local and regional music at 11 a.m. Friday on WYCE (88.1 FM) and online at wyce.org – helped kick off the first day of the community radio station’s Fall Fund Drive. To make a contribution to the listener-sponsored, volunteer-driven station, call 616-742-9923 or go online to wyce.org.
In addition to showcasing Hutch Green, the Oct. 15 edition of the show featured new music from Kari Lynch, Chris Renzema, Brother Elsey (this week’s musician’s pick by Kanitz), Michael Crittenden, Lazy Genius, Odd Space and Adam Main, as well as a track from Grand Rapids acoustic guitarist Sam Granger, who’s hosting Saturday’s inaugural Grand Rapids Guitar Festival. Listen to the full radio show here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (10/15/21)
Copyright 2021, Spins on Music LLC