Saturday’s benefit for the Wheatland Music Organization at The Intersection boasted sets by Joshua Davis, K. Jones & The Benzie Playboys, Gasoline Gypsies and more. Check out a video and photos.
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Normally reserved for the Wheatland Music Festival that unfurls every September outside Remus, that jubilant greeting echoed from stages throughout the day Saturday at The Intersection in Grand Rapids for the annual Winter Wheat celebration – a mid-winter reminder of the upbeat camaraderie, joyful jamming and top-notch artistry that the Wheatland Music Organization has long represented.
From traditional folk, bluegrass, country, Celtic and Cajun music to contemporary blues-rock and genre-melding performances, the ninth annual WMO fundraiser rolled out 12 hours of Michigan-bred charm on two stages for several hundred attendees.
A highlight, as always, was the evening arrival of northern Michigan’s K. Jones and the Benzie Playboys. Like some wondrous Zydeco magnet, the band immediately drew crowds of dancers who swarmed toward the stage to two-step and twirl endlessly to the band’s Louisiana-fueled strains – something Winter Wheat has spotlighted at eight of the nine events held over the years. (Saturday’s turnout — though not filling The Intersection to capacity — represented an increase in attendance from 2017.)
Those who stuck around deep into the night were also treated to a special performance by Port Huron’s rock-edged Gasoline Gypsies, who upped the ante by later bringing onto the stage eastern Michigan thrash-grass band Native Howl for a unique and rousing spin on bluegrass.
Both young bands credited their experiences at Wheatland Music Festival for expanding their musical repertoire and inspiring them in their pursuits.
“Wheatland is the reason I’m up here,” Gasoline Gypsies lead singer and guitarist Caleb Malooley gushed from the stage at one point.
The same could be said for many of the performers on Saturday, 13 acts in all: Joshua Davis and his band, Jake Kershaw, Michigan Mafia String Band, Luke Warm & The Not So Hots, Jimmie Stagger, K. Jones & The Benzie Playboys, Gasoline Gypsies with Native Howl, Blue Water Ramblers, Peat in the Creel, The Palooka Brothers, Drive South, The Journeymen and Josh Rose & The Founding Fathers.
Check out video highlights and the photo gallery, only here at Local Spins.
PHOTO GALLERY: Winter Wheat 2018
Photos by Derek Ketchum and Anna Sink
VIDEO: Winter Wheat 2018 Highlights
Video by John Sinkevics
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