Saturday’s musical revelry on three stages at The Intersection highlighted a weekend that celebrated Michigan-made bands. Photos, recaps at Local Spins.
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For many, the long-awaited return of Winter Wheat at The Intersection on Saturday embodied the old adage that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
“The fact that Winter Wheat has been on hiatus the past two years just makes our gathering at The Intersection all that much more anticipated and treasured,” said Bear Berends, guitarist for folk’s Blue Water Ramblers, who kicked off the day-long celebration with an open jam on the acoustic stage.
“Because ya don’t know what ya got till it’s gone. Bravo!”
That celebratory theme for the Wheatland Music Organization’s first Winter Wheat fundraiser since January 2020 weaved its way through performances by 11 bands on two stages Saturday – from the bluegrass of Full Cord and folk of the Round Creek String Band and Ruth & Max Bloomquist to the Celtic zest of Crossbow and rock-hued sets by Roosevelt Diggs, Patty PerShayla & The Mayhaps and The Gasoline Gypsies.
Some fans arrived early to catch the opening acoustic jam at 1:30 p.m. and were still there eight hours later for The Gasoline Gypsies fiery set.
“It started hot and stayed hot all day,” said Marilyn Hummel, an organizer of the WMO showcase that had been on a long hiatus due to COVID.
Of course, the “mini-Wheatland in winter” theme pervaded the event, with a rousing “Happy Wheatland” roar even greeting members of the Southern rock-fueled Gasoline Gypsies, many of whom grew up attending the September Wheatland Music Festival in Remus.
In the end, it was a day – and a night – of music to revisit and fondly remember.
PHOTO GALLERY: Winter Wheat 2023 at The Intersection
Photos by Anna Sink and Eric Stoike
MYRON ELKINS DRAWS WALL-TO-WALL THRONG FOR HOMECOMING
There’s nothing like coming home to Michigan — especially when you have a significant milestone to celebrate with family, friends and fans.
But Myron Elkins didn’t expect the sort of jam-packed, over-the-top revelry that greeted him and his band for the young, Otsego-bred Americana artist’s album-release show Saturday at Elevation inside The Intersection, where it seemed like half of his native Allegan County was on hand.
“I didn’t know if anybody would show up,” a humble Elkins said softly at the after-party, where dozens of well-wishers cheered the singer-songwriter signed to Elektra Records’ Low Country Sounds.
The label officially released his Dave Cobb-produced “Factories, Farms & Amphetamines” debut album on Friday. (Read the Local Spins review here.)
With a five-piece backing band (which swelled to six at one point with special guest and Dobro player Mark Lavengood), Elkins delivered a rootsy, rock-driven set of Americana hewn with country twang.
Although his distinctive vocals often seemed to get lost in the sound mix, the evening’s festive atmosphere and full house proved that Elkins is, indeed, an artist on the rose and an Americana force to be reckoned with.
“We’re real happy to be playing back at home,” Elkins told the crowd, which had earlier cheered another up-and-coming Michigan-bred band, Brother Elsey.
The feeling, obviously, was mutual.
Check out photos and some video highlights below, along with a photo gallery from Southwest Michigan band Celestial’s Friday night show at Bell’s Brewery Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo with Phauxm and Witches Wedding also on the bill.
PHOTO GALLERY: Myron Elkins, Brother Elsey at Elevation
Photos by Eric Stoike
PHOTO GALLERY: Celestial, Phauxm, Witches Wedding at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
Photos by Derek Ketchum