Outside and Inside Insights for Your Ears

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Local Music, National Music,   From Issue 632   By: Scott Baker

22nd February, 2007     0

One of the coolest musical duos in Michigan's recent music history performed at White's Bar a few Saturdays back, opening for the excellent Jamie Sue Seal and the Radiotown Flyers. They are called The Hummingbirds, based out of the Ann Arbor area. Harmonies for days, music in the alt-Americana vein, and with a style all their own, Rachel Lynn and Stephen Grant Wood have carved out a niche that rivals some of the greats: Emmylou Harris and whomever, Gillian Welch/David Rawlings, Buddy and Julie Miller, Buckingham/Nicks, etc.

thehummingbirds.com is the place to pick up CD's and catch the next shows. They are not to be missed!

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It's been a while since something musically new has tipped the scales coming out of Freeland, but you can count on Barbarossa to be getting top billing around the area in the next year.

Comprised of 19-22 year olds, the group began as the foursome of Nick Chernich, Ryan Fitzgerald, Loren Kranz, and John Stephen. They formed the band while still in high school, during April 2005 and have recently released an EP Maybe We Should, which was recorded at Delicious Groove Studios in Linwood. Soon after, DG Studios owner and operator Mike Wardynski signed on as the percussionist and fifth member of the band.

All the members are enrolled at college or a university and they play when they can find the time. They also plan to record their first full-length CD in 2007. Check out myspace.com/barbarossamusic.

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Midland's Dan Vaillancourt is on a mission. After releasing his third CD in 2005, Vaillancourt has been trekking the states, playing just about anywhere and everywhere. He is currently hibernating this winter (check him at myspace.com/danvaillancourt) but will be hitting the road again this spring for a string of dates outside of the state. The folk based singer/songwriter has developed his chops and has been heard on over 100 radio stations in at least 45 states as well as over a dozen countries world-wide.

You can count on something substantial from this songwriter later this year.

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Jennifer Glass is an incredible vocalist/songwriter. She's an independent artist who has managed to find a niche in New York City and is ready to break out nationally. The sound, the grooves, the look, and basically the ultimate complete package, Glass is waiting to be cherry picked as a major musical force.  Be the first one to find out about her before your friends and dig into her new EP, Little Shout. It won't be long before she breaks. She also hopes to make her way to Michigan this year for a performance. www.jenniferglass.net

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This just in from a Tri-city musical legend, Johnny Krogman. "At the present time I will at Sullivan's Black Forest Brew Pub in Frankenmuth on Friday and Saturday nights. I'm playing solo in the dining room, 7:00pm/10:00 or 11:00 depending on crowd. I've been playing guitar and doing some recording with Aaron Johnson of Sprout. I first met Aaron when he was about 13. We're having fun! I think Sprout is a great band. Aaron and I will probably do a duet somewhere on the off nights. As far as the future goes, who knows? I'll follow my nose, wherever it goes!"

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On the DVD front, wrapping up 2006 Pat Metheny's brilliant new release The Way Up –Live could go down as a masterpiece. The visual sonics and cerebral playing of Metheny's group has never been portrayed in such a high-definition sound and character. Featuring a performance of the Grammy award-winning album played live in its entirety along with an interview with Metheny, music fans will have more of a reason to understand why the original CD release was one of the finest recordings of the current decade, finishing in the Top 10 of many music lists of 2004. The DVD takes it one step further as the band pulls out all the strings live in incredible fashion.

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Rahsaan Roland Kirk, the late, gifted jazz saxophonist with a penchant for extreme sonic searching has been finally getting his just due. Having popped up over the past year on the cover of a few particularly jazz-based magazines, Roland Kirk who passed in 1977, has a music label bearing the torch for him: Hyena Records. The brilliant release of his Live In Germany, 1972, performance Brotherman In The Fatherland, is a kaleidoscope of musical colors, medley's and front line playing. There is no doubt that Roland Kirk may one day leave digital fingerprints from his sax likened to that of Thelonius Monk who put his own individual stamp on the jazz piano. Unique doesn't cover the reality of his soul stirring sound. Search out your copy and get it while it's still a fresh  release. www.hyenarecords.com

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