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Today in Lansing: James Reeser and the Backseat Drivers


James Reeser & the Backseat Drivers

9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Moriarty’s Pub

802 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing

Click here for event page

FRIDAY, DEC. 14 — Sporting an upright bass and hollow body guitars, the swing style blues of James Reeser & the Backseat Drivers will transform Moriarty’s Pub from an Irish bar to a rollicking juke joint for one night only.

The Saugatuck natives are currently on the prowl, gigging across Michigan with their next stop in Holland.

“We are traditional electric blues, not modern blues. We are what came out of Chicago in the ‘50s and ‘60s,” frontman James Reeser said.

Though Chicago is Reeser’s hometown, he first picked up the guitar at 20 and learned how to play blues in Boston.

Reeser said the job of frontman came to him out of necessity instead of a natural desire to sing.

“We were caught 20 years ago without a singer in a band called the Jump Tones. A long time friend of mine jumped in and we split the vocals,” Reeser said. “I don’t consider myself a singer, but they seem to like it. I call it ‘shouting in key.’”

Making up the Back Seat Drivers is bassist Robby Jewett, guitarist Marcus Giddings and drummer Daniel Mish.

Giddings is the only millennial member of the band.

“When I was Marcus’ age, I would've killed to be in a band with old guys like me,” Reeser said. “He does his homework and is into the same style we are into. It is an awesome situation to be in a band with the guys I have.”

James Reeser & the Back Seat Drivers won the Capital Area Blues Society’s “Blues Brawl” in 2018, and will represent Mid-Michigan at the Memphis Finals for the International Blues Challenge in 2019.

The band has played at Moriarty’s Pub every two months for the past two years.

For more information, www.facebook.com/JRBackseatDrivers

More events in Lansing:

2018 ShoMe Holiday ShoDown

3 p.m., Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education, 4301 Farm Ln., East Lansing

Spartan Salsa Black Cat Bistro

10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Black Cat Bistro, 115 Albert Ave., East Lansing

Holiday Lights: Stadium Style Family Fridays

5 to 9 p.m., Cooley Law School Stadium, 505 E Michigan Ave, Lansing


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