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Home Arts and Culture  TURN IT DOWN: A survey of Lansing's musical landscape
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Wednesday, September 29,2010

TURN IT DOWN: A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica

Rev. Robert Jones preaches the blues


If you’re a fan of Delta blues and other raw forms of American music, the Rev. Robert B. Jones and Sister Bernice Jones CD release show, hosted by the Ten Pound Fiddle, might be the spot for you.


The show this Friday will showcase the musical duo (who also happen to be married) and their uncanny interpretations of blues classics, like Son House’s “Death Letter Blues.” The pair also perform work songs, field hollers, country music, folk songs and gospel tunes — all of which eventually influenced the creation of what is now popular music.


Aside from just playing music, the pair also communicate some of the history behind the music in between songs, making for an educational and entertaining night.


Rev. Jones has been playing music professionally for just over 25 years. He has toured the world and shared the stage with blues legends B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker and Albert Collins — just to name a few. While you’re at the show, pick up a copy of the duo’s new album, “Guitar Evangelists.”


Friday, Oct. 1 Presented by Ten Pound Fiddle @ Unitarian Universalist Church 855 Grove Street, East Lansing Doors open at 7:30 p.m. 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $12 Public, $10 Fiddle Members, $5 for students




Do Si Do!


Ten Pound Fiddle keeps the party going on Saturday with its popular Contra Dance night. Contra and square dancing is an old form of energetic dancing, and Ten Pound Fiddle helps to teach the moves to all newcomers. There is a leader, or caller, who teaches the dance steps first and then, once the live band starts playing, will call out the moves as they happen with the music. No need to bring a partner. The night is set up to switch around partners for each dance; there are 10 to 12 dances during the three-hour evening. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing and shoes and be prepared to twirl. The caller is Mike Clark and the band is Oh! Contraire.


Saturday, Oct. 2, Presented by Ten Pound Fiddle @ Central United Methodist Church 215 North Capitol Avenue, Lansing 8 p.m. All are welcome. Beginners lessons begin at 7:30. Public $9, Members $8, Students and first time dancers get in for $4




Classic NYC hardcore hits Mac’s


For those looking for a more aggressive night of music, check out punk legends Agnostic Front.


The band is booked for an early, all-ages show at Mac’s Bar on Monday, along with Mother of Mercy, Product of Waste, Fisherking and Great Reversals.


Agnostic Front formed in 1980 and was part of the emerging ‘80s punk boom. The band’s classic 1984 album, “Victim in Pain,” helped push it to the top of New York’s fledgling hardcore scene, which was then centered around the legendary (and nowdefunct) CBGB’s club. Since the 1980s, the band’s sound has undergone some evolution — from a period of Oi! punk in the ’90s, to a current hybrid of thrash metal and hardcore.


Monday, Oct. 4 @ Mac’s Bar 2700 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing 6 p.m., $13 advance, all ages




Harvest Fest kicks off


Looking for live music for the whole family? An assortment of local American roots music will be presented rain or shine, under a tent along with food, animals, children’s activities and other seminars at the 3rd Annual Harvest Fest, hosted by the Lansing City Market.


The music starts early with Mighty Medicine at 10 a.m.


The Lansing-based Mighty Medicine is a guitar and vocal duo offering music that swings with elements of rock, soul and funk, with hints of jazz and blues. The duo, which consists of DeShaun Snead and Larry Neuhardt, has a sound similar to Tuck and Patti with touches of Nina Simone and Tracy Chapman.


Following them is the Ingham County Ramblers at noon. Closing the show is the blues-rock sound of Stan Budzynski and Third Degree, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.


Saturday, Oct. 2 3rd Annual Harvest Fest @ Lansing City Market 325 City Market Drive, Lansing 9 a.m to 5 p.m., all ages




Small Houses returns


On Friday night (SCENE) Metrospace, an art gallery/ music venue in downtown East Lansing, features the stripped-down, acoustic folk sounds of Small Houses, a solo act by local native Jeremy Quentin. Now living in Boston, Quentin continues to tour and perform his poetic songs that span from upbeat and lyrically playful, to minimal and melancholy.


Sharing the bill is Double Saginaw Familiarity, and Graham A. Parsons (a Kalamazoo act not to be confused with the deceased country-rock legend Gram Parsons).


Small Houses fans should also be sure to check out Quentin when he performs live at 8 p.m. Thursday on “The Basement,” a weekly local music show hosted by The Impact 88.9-FM.


Friday, Oct. 1 @ (SCENE) Metrospace 110 Charles Street, East Lansing Doors at 8 p.m., music at 9 p.m. All ages, $5




If your band has an upcoming show, post it at www.facebook.com/turnitdown

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