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Home Arts and Culture  TURN IT DOWN: A survey of Lansing’s musical landscape
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Thursday, March 24,2011

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

by Rich Tupica

Rocky Votolato and Matt Pond stop at Mac’s


Seattle-based musician Rocky Votolato is a soft-spoken father of two, born in rural Texas and raised in the Pacific Northwest indie scene, where he fronted the acclaimed rock band Waxwing. On Thursday he’ll perform at Mac’s Bar.


The Alternative Press called one of his folk/country inspired albums, “the disc Ryan Adams keeps threatening to make but never quite delivers.” Sharing the bill is his tourmate Matt Pond, a Philadelphia-based songwriter. Known for his indie-pop, Pond has been keeping busy since he formed Matt Pond PA in 1998. The band released seven albums, six EPs and six singles during its first decade together. “The Dark Leaves” is a rootsy mix of lap steel, acoustic guitars and string arrangements.


Thursday, March 24 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing $12, $14 at door, all ages, 7 p.m.




Lansing folk duo returns to Fiddle


Michigan songwriters and roots musicians May Erlewine and Seth Bernard draw from a deep well of American folk, country, blues and soul music. The duo performs Friday at the Ten Pound Fiddle. Bernard and Erlewine have been releasing collaborative albums since early 2006 through Earthwork Music, a local artist collective.


Friday, March 25 @ Ten Pound Fiddle - Unitarian Universalist Church, 855 Grove St., East Lansing. Gate at 7 p.m., Doors at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. show. $15 public, $12 Fiddle members, $5 students. www.tenpoundfiddle. org




Wisaal brings Arabic fusion band to East Lansing


Wisaal, an Arabic fusion ensemble based at the Michigan State University College of Music, will play (SCENE) Metrospace March 30. Wisaal formed in February of last year and its repertoire consists of classical Arabic instrumental pieces, contemporary fusion pieces, original compositions and improvisations.


Also performing will be Michigan artists Elden Kelly and Bobby Bringi, who combine elements of jazz, delta blues, Indian ragas, bluegrass, African, Latin and Middle Eastern.


Wednesday, March 30 @ (SCENE) Metrospace, 110 Charles St., East Lansing $5, $3 students, all ages, doors at 7 p.m., music at 7:30 p.m.




Benefit for Those Delta Rhythm Kings co-founder


The Green Door Blues Bar & Grill and the Capital Area Blues Society host an all-day benefit for musician Ray Aleshire on April 3. Aleshire is the vocalist, harp player and front man for Those Delta Rhythm Kings, a Lansing jump-blues band he co-founded over 20 years ago.


Since early January, Aleshire has been unable to work, due to an illness and an emergency surgery. His paid sick leave has expired and this benefit is an attempt to help get him through this rough period. He’s been a longtime member of the Blues Society and an ardent promoter and supporter of the Lansing blues scene, and of local music in general.


The event features Those Delta Rhythm Kings, Steppin’ In It, Root Doctor, Big Wally, Frog & the Beeftones, Zydecrunch, Andy Wilson’s Harmonica Showcase, Frog’s All Star Jam and Bad Gravy.


Sunday, April 3 @ The Green Door, 2005 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. $10 suggested donation. Doors at 2 p.m., music from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.




Those Poor Bastards mix Goth and country


Mac’s Bar hosts a rustic country and rockabilly show Monday. Headlining the show is Those Poor Bastards, an old-timey, raw country band known for its gloomy (and sometimes) frantic vocals.


Also taking the stage are Rachel Brooke, and Lansing favorites The Goddamn Gallows.


Monday, March 28 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave, Lansing. $10, 18 and over, 9 p.m.




Red Tail Ring releases two albums


The Michigan-based Americana roots duo Red Tail Ring (Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo) plays a CD release show Friday, April 1 at (SCENE) Metrospace. Openers include local songwriters Rachael Davis and Gifts or Creatures.


Red Tail Ring will release two new CDs: one of original songs, the other covers of traditional tunes. With a focus on vocal harmonies, the twosome plays old-time ballads and instrumentals with fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin, jaw harp and harmonica.


Friday, April 1 @ (SCENE) Metrospace, 110 Charles St., East Lansing $5, all ages, music at 8 p.m




Rodney Whitaker makes rare club appearance


LeRoy’s honors Jazz Appreciation Month by presenting Rodney Whitaker, the director of the jazz studies program at Michigan State University, Saturday, April 2.


Whitaker, a Detroit native, is one of the world’s foremost jazz double bass performers. In addition to holding down the bass chair for the Wynton Marsalis Sextet and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra for seven years, he’s also performed with such stars as Diana Krall, Bob James, Dizzy Gilispie, Pat Metheny, and Chick Corea.


Saturday, April 4 @ Leroy’s Classic Bar & Grill, 1526 S. Cedar St., Lansing, 21 and over, 9:30 p.m., $5




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

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