The Blue Water Ramblers repertoire comes right out of our Michigan life experiences and the history of the Great Lakes region. It includes lake shanties, lumberman ballads, union rallying cries, farmers’ paeans, Michigan humor, 60’s civil rights and protest music, love songs, gospel music and children’s ditties. Everyone agrees that these combine into a versatile- repertoire to the delight and entertainment of their audiences.
Banjo-Jim Foerch is a founding member of the regional touring band “Beats Settin’ Home,” Banjo-Jim was busy pickin’ and singin’ all over the Midwest for 20 years between 1982 and 2002. He says singing the songs of Michigan, America and our lives to all the people we meet on tour is the best thing he’s ever done. “Everyone I ever met here in Michigan or around the Midwest is proud of our home state and our country. Our songs express that pride the best way we know how- by getting us all singing together!”
R. H. “Bear” Berends holds down the rhythm with his big, black six and twelve string guitars. As with so many baby boomers he started strumming guitar and singing folk songs in high school in the sixties. “I wanted to sing with Banjo-Jim, so I learned all his songs and taught him mine and here we are,” he explains. Whether delivering the lead line of a love song or harmonizing with his solid baritone, Bear sculpts the Blue Water Ramblers’ sound.
Tom DeVries has been entertaining all over the Midwest since his early twenties. Between 1979 and 2001 Tom was the front man for the popular Michigan bluegrass band, The Hill People. When asked why he loves picking with the Ramblers these days, he responded, “There’s nothing I’d rather do than find a good song, work it up with the boys and deliver it to an enthusiastic audience, and that’s what the Ramblers are all about!”
The Sypian Band is an all-encompassing rock and roll band playing original songs that are sure to become new favorites, fronted by lead singer Leslie Sypian, this band really puts on a great show! Also in the band are: Nathan Sypian (guitar and vocals), Danny Dine (guitar, vocals and keys), Matthew Sypian (drums), and Michael Nelson (bass).
Enjoy an evening of Bluesy jazzy rock-n-roll infused with a chemistry that only comes from family bonds. Originally the Sypian Brothers Band, comprised of three brothers from Colorado who were born with music in their blood. As time went on, and things changed, (as they always do), people fell in love, found new careers, had children. But, with music so ingrained in their lives, these changes would not end the efforts of the Sypian family. With the addition of Leslie Rach as lead vocalist, and her eventual marriage to Nathan Sypian, the family and the band grew. While traversing the local music scene and the surrounding areas, they stumbled upon the guitar and vocal stylings of Danny Dine. Soon thereafter they collaborated and eventually "adopted" him into the family and the band. With the loss of our original bass player and Brother Jared Sypian, due to a career change, (he's doing very well by the way), a void was created that needed filling. Through networking amongst the community of musicians in the area, they came in contact with the crazy good and just plain crazy, bassisms of Mike Nelson. Alas the band was complete, though a name change was in order, due to the fact that the brothers in the band were now a minority. So, here they are now, one big happy Sypian Family Band!
Famous for his vibrant reinterpretations of classical portraits featuring African-American men, Kehinde Wiley has turned the practice of portraiture on its head and in the preocess has taken the art world by storm. This PBS documentary follows the artist as he steps out of his comfort zone to create a series of paintings of women for the first time. Kehinde casts his models on the streets of New York and then enlists Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy to create couture gowns for each woman. The film traces the artist's process from concept to canvas as he reveals to us another side of black femininity.
Riversong Music Society will present a special concert event —“The Women of Riversong,” formerly known as “Girls’ Night Out”. This concert will feature five talented women members of Riversong: Pamela Chappell, Mary Czarnecki, Sandy Feldman, Marnie Heyn, and Bev Smith. These women have come together nearly every year for the past 10 years to create a one-of-a-kind musical experience that has moved and delighted audiences. The music that you will hear will have the depth of strong vocal harmonies and instrumental support that only a group of talented musicians and vocalists can give. This will include folk music, traditional, old favorites, sing-alongs and wonderful original songs accompanied by guitar, fiddle, ukulele and banjo, as well as percussion. You will not want to miss this evening of musical fun and wonderful connection to the spirit of women making joyous music together.
Stand by for action. The Blvd. Billies are out of the stable and ready to let loose for a barn load of good ole Bluegrass and Country Classics. If Real Classic Country and Finger Picking Good Bluegrass makes your toes tap and your feet slap, then plan on joining the Billies at the Box Factory, Saturday, May 16. If you don’t recognize the Billies, they are from left to right, Rusty “The Flame” Hardwater Guitar/Vocals/Mandolin; Dan Geib Guitar/Vocals/Banjo; and Mark Albers on the Dog House Bass.
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