Thursday, April 11 — Get your folk fix this weekend in East Lansing as a pair of nationally known artists — Bruce Molsky and Craig Bickhardt — visit the Ten Pound Fiddle series and the Pump House, respectively. For the more restless — and probably younger — crowd, a pop/punk trio from Oregon headlines Mac’s with support from several local bands of the same genre.
And check out this week’s edition of Turn It Down in the print edition of City Pulse, which profiles the musical acts at this year’s Capital City Film Festival.
Bruce Molsky at Ten Pound Fiddle
A master of classic Appalachian folk tradition, Bruce Molsky’s late start in music hasn’t affected his widely successful solo career or his frequent participation in folk super groups and ensembles. Born in the Bronx and educated as a mechanical engineer, Molsky decided at age 40 to turn a spare-time hobby into a full-time career — and one that has since been incredibly fruitful. Molsky has performed with the Grammy-nominated Fiddlers Four, Celtic folk master Donal Lunny and Hungarian composer Nikola Parov. Molsky has been hailed by his peers as a true genius and a craftsman of folk music, even attracting singer Linda Ronstadt as a fan. Molsky’s rare Michigan appearance will include a fiddle workshop tonight at Elderly Instruments in Lansing at 7 p.m.
Friday, Unitarian Universalist Church, 855 Grove St., East Lansing. All Ages. $5-$15, 8 p.m.
Craig Bickhardt at Pump House
With deeply felt emotional songwriting as a backbone, Craig Bickhardt has built on a strong foundation of country rock and folk with his own flourish of wit and honest storytelling. Inspired by the lyrical styles of Woody Guthrie and Gordon Lightfoot, Bickhardt writes what he calls “functional art” — songs that go beyond melody and mean something personal to the listener. Bickhardt first picked up a guitar at age 14, and later on started performing at Philadelphia venues. In the mid-70s, Bickhardt performed with the acclaimed country rock group Wire and Wood, which opened for acts like Bruce Springsteen and Stephen Stills. After Wire and Wood dissolved, Bickhardt set up in Nashville, writing songs for legends like Johnny Cash, B.B. King and Allison Krauss. He released his first solo album, “Easy Fires,” in 2001. Today, his live shows remain notably light on baggage — Bickhardt prefers to deliver his signature storytelling with the help of one or two backup musicians and his acoustic guitar.
Sunday, Pump House, 368 Orchard St., East Lansing. All Ages. $15, 6:30 p.m.
Broadway Calls at Mac’s Bar
Oregon pop-punk trio Broadway Calls jumped straight into touring in 2006, signing with State of Mind Records for a self-titled LP in 2007. Broadway Calls has attracted the attention of major players in the pop-punk world, including members of Green Day and Alkaline Trio. The members — Ty Vaughn (vocals, guitar), Adam Willis (bass) and Josh Baird (drums) — have since released three more full-length albums. Broadway Calls has shared stages across the country and internationally with major bands like Bad Religion, The Gaslight Anthem, Jimmy Eat World and Cobra Starship. Opening for Broadway Calls are local pop-punk bands Hometeam, Three Cents Short, Small Town Victory and This Is The Year.
Sunday, Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. All Ages. $8-$10, 7 p.m.