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Wednesday, September 12,2012

Turn it down

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica

Jazz on the waterfront

For those looking to relax by the water with some jazz piano, Thursday at the Waterfront Bar & Grill in the Lansing City Market may be just the spot. The evening features a performance from the Arlene McDaniel Trio, a local group known for original compositions and lesser known jazz standards. McDaniel is a veteran pianist in the field of jazz, working in the mid-Michigan area and beyond for 30 years. In 1984, she graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in music theory and composition. Since then she’s performed everything from small clubs to big festivals, including the Old Town Jazz Festival and East Lansing’s Summer Solstice Jazz Festival. McDaniel’s 2009 “Timeless” album received local airplay and across North America.

Thursday, Sept. 13 @ Waterfront Bar & Grill, 325 City Market Drive, Lansing, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., more information at: lansingwaterfront.com


Nervous But Excited play Fiddle before hiatus 

After years of performing “pleasantly aggressive” folk music, the duo Nervous But Excited is taking a break until (at least) next year. The band plays its last local show this Friday in East Lansing as part of the Ten Pound Fiddle concert series. The event is dubbed “The Still Excited Hiatus: An Evening to Celebrate 8 Years of Harmony and Hoopla.” Members Kate Peterson and Sarah Cleaver have kept busy touring the country since they teamed up back in 2006 in Lansing. According to their website, “Sarah will be taking on a new phase in academia, while Kate will be continuing to construct her time individually as an artist, both in music and design.” Both Peterson and Cleaver shared songwriting and vocal duties, as well as playing guitar, mandolin, violin, ukulele and harmonica. NBE developed a strong following on the road for their fun, live shows, which incorporated bits of politics, ecological awareness and LGBT rights. While Cleaver is relocating to the East Coast, she says there’s still a chance for projects. “We will undoubtedly continue to play music, together and apart, as we take a little more time to develop other parts of our lives.” 

Friday, Sept. 14 @ Ten Pound Fiddle – Unitarian Universalist Church, 855 Grove St., East Lansing, all ages. Box office at 7 p.m., doors 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $15 public, $12 Fiddle members, $5 students. www.tenpoundfiddle.org.


Lansing´s first rock band Hall of Fame induction

Back in 1957 a group of high school kids formed The Blue Echoes to become Lansing’s first rock ‘n’ roll group. Now, more than half a century later, the band has been inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony, which is free and open to the public, is Friday at Walnut Hills Country Club in East Lansing. Original members Larry Palmiter and Roger Benham will play a live set of Blue Echoes tunes. The band’s love of country-tinged rock shined through on cuts like “It’s Witchcraft,” a primitive and menacing hillbilly-rock 45 released by the band not long after it was formed. The band’s initial run only lasted around three years, but Palmiter and Benham have managed to keep the band going periodically throughout the years. Both musicians, now 71 years old, remember the local ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll scene quite well. “I don’t think there were any other local bands,” Palmiter said. “I remember we went to the musician’s union and they said, ‘You guys play that funny music?’ Back then it was Frankie Parker & His Orchestra, those kinds of bands. The only other kinds of bands around here were country groups. We were different — we were rockabilly.” For more information, visit: facebook.com/TheBlueEchoes.

Friday, Sept. 14 @Walnut Hills Country Club, 2874 Lake Lansing, East Lansing, all ages, free, 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.



UK-based folkie Sarah McQuaid plays Pump House

In support of her new album “Plum Tree and the Rose,” Sarah McQuaid is touring across her home turf in the United Kingdom and also the United States, making 64 stops in all. The songwriter/vocalist/guitarist plays Sunday at the Pump House in East Lansing. McQuaid’s emotive, low key-style of songwriting has helped to land her on numerous folk charts, including hitting No. 5 on the Euro-folk chart. Born in Madrid and raised in Chicago, she lived in Ireland for 14 years before moving to the southwest corner of England in 2007, though she spends approximately six months of the year gigging on the road. The day after her Pump House show, McQuaid will host two 90-minute workshops: “An Introduction to DADGAD” at 3 p.m. and “DADGAD Song Accompaniment” at 5:15 p.m. at Elderly Instruments, 1100 N. Washington in Lansing. Tickets for one workshop are $40, $75 for both.

Sunday, Sept. 16 @ Pump House, 368 Orchard St., East Lansing, all ages, $10 donation, 6:30 p.m.


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