The Sweet Water Warblers, Joshua Davis, Hoots & Hellmouth, Billy Strings & Don Julin, Luke Winslow-King and other favorites pump up the intimate Fennville venue’s Local Spins playlist.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Over the past two months, Local Spins has been showcasing West Michigan venues whose live music has mostly been silenced due to COVID-19. Today, Mark Schrock of Fennville’s Salt of the Earth rolls out a Top 10 soundtrack featuring regional stars who’ve performed at the intimate venue. Scroll down to listen to the artists on Spotify.
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For years, Fennville’s Salt of the Earth has stood out as a West Michigan gem for live music — a restaurant and cozy performance space that Grand Rapids musician Max Lockwood has loving described as “an amazing atmosphere for sharing songs.”
COVID has silenced that temporarily, but co-owner and music director Mark Schrock insists they’ll bring fan favorites back to the stage when Salt of the Earth is sure it can be done safely.
In his words: “Salt of the Earth, located in downtown Fennville, has presented live music at our farm-to-table restaurant since opening in August 2009. Along with a focus on the best in fresh local food and beverage, we aim to showcase the best in local and regional roots and Americana artists. Salt of the Earth is currently open for restaurant service, but due to COVID-19 concerns has suspended live music events until further notice.
A shoutout out to Local Spins for keeping the spirit of live music alive in West Michigan. We cannot wait to get live shows started again, but we’re going to wait patiently until it’s safe to gather.
I hope you enjoy this sampler of tunes from 10 of our favorite artists. We’ve done over 400 shows since we opened, and narrowing it down to 10 was really tough! Much love to all the amazing folks who have graced our stage over the years, and best wishes to our loyal fan family.” – Mark ‘Papa’ Schrock
TUESDAY PLAYLIST: The Salt of the Earth Top 10
1. “Summertime,” The Sweet Water Warblers (2020) – Rachael Davis, Lindsay Lou and May Erlewine have played for us numerous times over the years, as solo artists and with various projects. So many memorable shows: Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys, Rachael & Dominic Davis at the holidays and May’s perennial Thanksgiving Eve and Mother’s Day shows. We’re so proud to partner with these wonderful women.
2. “Apple Like a Wrecking Ball,” Hoots & Hellmouth (2012) – A friend introduced us to this amazing group from Philadelphia. They ended up playing a number of shows with us, and packed the place every time… with excited fans and a lot of gear.
3. “Workingman’s Hymn,” Joshua Davis (2008) – Joshua Davis is a longtime friend of Salt of the Earth, with multiple performances over the years before and after his run on “The Voice.”
4. “Sugarwine,” Red Tail Ring (2015) – Our favorite practitioners of old and new time string band music, Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo are fan favorites and two of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
5. “Ever Stay,” Joy Ike (2018) – Another Philly native, Joy Ike reached out to me for a gig when filling dates for a Midwest tour. We’re lucky to get a lot of interest from national artists looking for a friendly stop between East and West. This video with sister Peace Ike and Jason Rafalak captures her amazing spirit and virtuosity. Her live performances are jaw-dropping.
6. “Sandman’s Dust,” Seth Bernard (2020) – For those who are keeping score so far, you’ve noted a number of Earthwork Music Collective artists. This is no coincidence: My dear friend and Earthwork founder Seth Bernard knows how to pick ‘em, and it’s a pleasure to just roll with that flow. Here’s Seth on a recent self produced recording.
7. “Blue Mesa,” Luke Winslow-King (2018) – Luke is another perennial performer for us, since 2009. A master of fingerstyle blues and slide guitar, ‘Blue Mesa’ shows another side of one of our favorite artists.
8. “Little Maggie,” Billy Strings and Don Julin (2014) – This video was recorded a few months after Billy and Don played for us in 2014. This performance pretty much captures the excitement and chemistry between them, with Don as mentor and Billy beginning his meteoric climb in the bluegrass world. It was a sellout crowd and I forget how many encores they did.
9. “Spokesongs Tour Retrospective (Nola’s First Dance),” The Steel Wheels (2012) – Americana masters The Steel Wheels pedaled through Fennville a couple of times in the past decade. Seriously, this band toured the Midwest on bikes, carrying all of their gear, including an upright bass. First time around, Trent and Jay did a duo performance for us, and later brought the band through. This video is fun for us locals, with footage in downtown Fennville.
10. “Faith In Love,” The Schrock Bros. (2020) – One of the highlights of the year at Salt of the Earth is The Schrock Bros Band holiday show, a tradition since 2009. The room is filled with family, friends, fans and we’re joined by our band with Peter Madcat Ruth, Mike Shimmin and& Drew Howard. Here is a recent backyard trio version of one of Andrew’s songs, “Faith in Love” — our wish for peace, harmony, and hope. Be well, everyone!
Check out previous Local Spins playlists online here.
TUESDAY SOUNDTRACK: The Salt of the Earth Playlist on Spotify
(NOTE: The Schrock Bros. track isn’t available on Spotify)
Copyright 2020, Spins on Music LLC