THE NEW GILDED AGE (Part 2)
THE NEW GILDED AGE (Part 2)
22nd May, 2008 0
When it comes to the passion of and pursuit of performing and discovering original music, May-be August is in a league of their own. Since their formation a decade ago, their songwriting & performance standards have left a definitive mark upon the mid-Michigan music scene, and two years ago they were recipients of The Review's 'Artist of the Year' award, largely due to the manner in which they fuse divergent influences and create material drawn from personal experiences, phrased in a manner radiant with the pure fun and joyfulness to be discovered in music.
Determined to turn local audiences on to the great array of talent met touring the country over the years, May-be August is organizing the first of what they hope will be many 'Showcase' concerts on Thursday, June 12th at The State Theater in downtown Bay City, performing on a bill that will feature headliners Hello Dave from Chicago and Pinky Lee from Petoskey.
"Over the past five or six years we've been able to play and attend shows all over the country and have collected musical experiences & friends that we've wanted to bring back to Mid-Michigan to share with friends, fans, and audiences here," explains Maybe August's harmonica wizard Rosco Selley.
"There are a lot of great local bands that play original music in this area, but rarely do we get to hear the touring bands that play the A-list venues in the Midwest," he continues.
"These bands are just under the national radar and are as good as anything you'll hear on satellite radio, American Idol, or anywhere, but unfortunately there are very few venues in our part of the state that pull in that caliber of out-of-town talent. We've performed in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, and these artists we are showcasing have achieved a whole different level of performance."
Placing their own money on the line and enlisting the aide of several co-sponsors, May-be August hopes this June 12th showcase will be the start of a series whereby they can further enrich the ears of mid-Michigan audiences with fresh original talent.
"People have no idea how good these bands are," continues Rosco, "so for this first showcase, you'll have to take us on our word. We're not trying to sell a bunch of hype here and because tickets are only $10.00, hopefully, if we break even on this, we'll be thrilled."
Hello Dave has recorded a number of original discs and played sold-out shows from the Midwest to California. They've twice entertained troops with tours in Iraq and were chosen by JEEP to provide music and appear in promotional videos.
"These guys came out of Chicago and played the whole Indy scene from the early to mid-'90s, doing well with it, but never breaking through because the music industry fell apart around the time they peaked," explains Rosco.
"We caught them 5 years ago when we had the opportunity to open for them, and apart from great original songs, they've got that thing sort of like the early Eagles - all four of these guys can harmonize incredibly together and they've figured out the secret to catch choruses."
"One thing we're focused upon in May-be August is the songwriting," notes Rosco, "and while there are plenty of good sounding bands out there, it's rare to find a band that prides themselves on taking a lot of time and effort to get songs just right. Hello Dave is that type of band."
Pinky Lee consists of Jenny Bosquet and Holly Keller, two young ladies that have been performing music together in the Petoskey area for the past year.
"We were performing in Petoskey and went for a drink at The Noggin' Room in the Perry Hotel and saw two girls setting up to play," relates Rosco. "They were trying to figure out the sound system and at first kind of looked like amateurs to us, but as soon as they opened their mouths we couldn't believe it and were blown away."
"Once again, these girls write good songs that are all originals and are bringing a rhythm section to the State Theatre show and sing all these non-intuitive harmonies, kind of like Simon & Garfunkle in the sense you can tell they spent a lot of time honing them."
"Pinky Lee was one of five finalists in the Homegrown Talent Show on Prairie Home Companion and got big house three weeks ago live in Minneapolis. They met Garrison Keillor and did the whole aftershow party and these girls have both the talent and cool charisma to go far. This doesn't guarantee they're going to be huge stars, but we have a feeling that won't be playing smaller venues for much longer."
"So in a nutshell, what we're trying to do here is take some of the talented friends we've met from the road that never make it within a hundred miles of here and bring them home for people here to enjoy."
"Sure it's a risk, but we're inspired by groups like The Friends of Celtic Culture, an organization in Bay City that has managed for years now to bring enough people to see bands they bring into town successfully enough to keep doing it. They're about the only organization I'm familiar with that's bringing in good original outside talent - not to fill 20,000 seat theaters - but places big and intimate enough like the State Theatre,' concludes Rosco.
For their determination and vision to spearhead this novel showcase, May-be August should certainly to be applauded.
Hello Dave (from Chicago), Pinky Lee (from Petoskey) and May-be August (from Mars) will be performing Thursday, June 12th at 7:00 PM at The State Theater in Downtown Bay City. General admission $10.00 tickets are available for purchase at the Box Office or by phoning 989-892-2660 or online at www.statetheatrebaycity.com
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THE NEW GILDED AGE (Part 2)