Craft Music: Tangos

21+ and over seated performanceTickets sold here Bruce Uchimura, Conductor KSO Artists in Residence ABOUT THE CONCERT These fast-to-sell-out concerts with a pint-sized symphony are a great way to celebrate making it halfway through the workweek! Each concert features musical flavors that pair well with your favorite Bell’s brew. On tap at this concert is the fiery flare of tango!  

THE FELICE BROTHERS

This is a 18 and over event.Standing Room Only The Felice Brothers first emerged from the Hudson Valley nearly two decades ago with a gloriously ramshackle sound that drew on everything from Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan to Walt Whitman and Flannery O’Connor. In just a few short years, the group went from busking in the subway to playing Radio City Music Hall with Bright Eyes and appearing everywhere from the Newport Folk Festival to Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble. Beginning with 2007’s Tonight At The Arizona, the band helped pave the way for the modern folk revival, while at the same time challenging its boundaries and conventions with bold sonic experimentation and unyielding integrity. The New York Times likened their music to “the rootsy mysticism of the Band,” while Rolling Stone praised the “scrappiness” of their “folk-rock noir,” and The Guardian hailed their songs as “impeccably crafted, with literary-minded lyrics that are both playful and profound.”   The band’s newest record, Valley of Abandoned Songs, marks The Felice Brothers’ debut for Conor Oberst’s new Million Stars label and showcases the group at their most intimate and unvarnished. Balancing hope and despair in equal measure, the album explores the search for meaning and connection through the eyes of a wide-ranging cast of misfits and outcasts, and though the recordings here span several years of almost-lost tunes, the result is a thoroughly cohesive collection that manages to feel both utterly timeless and particularly attuned to the present all at once.    

Jeffrey Martin & Dean Johnson

This is a 18+ seated performance On a small corner lot in southeast Portland, Oregon, Jeffrey Martin holed up through the winter recording his quietly potent new album Thank God We Left The Garden. Long nights bled into mornings in the tiny shack he built in the backyard, eight feet by ten feet. What began as demos meant for a later visit to a proper studio became the album itself, spare and intimate and true. Recorded live and alone around two microphones, Jeffrey often held his breath to wait for the low diesel hum of a truck to pass one block over on the busy thoroughfare. During the coldest nights, he timed recording between the clicks of the oil coil heater cycling on and off. So much has happened in the world since the release of his previous album One Go Around (heralded by No Depression as ‘the poetry of America’), and Jeffrey has filled the time doggedly, but happily, touring the US and Europe, watching it all unfold in a stream of small town conversations and city sprawl. In a moment where depth is so often traded for the instantaneous, where tech billionaires are building rockets to escape the planet, where the dead-eyed stare of artificial intelligence is promising to existentially upend our world, and where divisiveness in our culture is breeding delusional levels of certainty, Jeffrey Martin’s new record feels like a hopeful and fully human antidote.- The phrase “hidden gem” would seem appropriate here, but it’s a misnomer when talking about Dean Johnson. He shines bright, in plain sight, and it was only a matter of time before people stopped to take a look. Dean’s gentle and passionate approach to songwriting has inspired many, and his work provides the listener the opportunity to believe once more that a song can be more than the sum of its parts. If you catch even a phrase of his melodies or the sobering tone of his voice, it waltzes its way into your heart like a letter written, signed, sealed, and delivered just for you. His debut album Nothing for Me, Please was recorded at Mashed Potato Records in New Orleans with the help of Sam Gelband and Charlie Meyer, Dean’s bandmates in The Sons of Rainier; as well as Mashed Potato regulars Sam Doores, Duff Thompson and Steph Green. The record is a hazy, relaxed daydream – anthems for those who know the sweetness and coldness of quiet moments, the power and the pain of love. Whether you’ve been waiting patiently these many for Dean to release these songs, or you’re just now coming across his work for the first time, the name Dean Johnson, much like his songs, won’t soon leave your mind. Nothing for Me, Please is out now on Mama Bird Recording Co.  

Trifocal w/ Kyle Brown & The Human Condition and Highdeas

This is a 18 and over event with standing room only Kyle Brown & The Human Condition are a Folk-Rock Fusion band formed in Muskegon in early 2022. Front man, Kyle Brown, led the Grand Rapids based band, Bigfoot Buffalo, from 2014-2019. KB & THC picked up where Bigfoot Buffalo left off, fusing Americana, Folk, Rock, Bluegrass, Blues, Jazz, and World Music together to form a truly unique style of Folk-Rock. Infectious riffs and melodies wrap around lyrics touching on environmental, social, and philosophical topics. With songs meant for listeners to explore the full meaning of “the human condition”, the band represents their name to the fullest extent. Their sophomore release, an EP titled “The Touch of Grass”, is set to release on April 20th, 2024.

John R. Miller wsg The Local Honeys

This is a 18+ event with standing room only John R Miller is a true hyphenate artist: singer-songwriter-picker. Every song on his thrilling debut solo album, Depreciated, is lush with intricate wordplay and haunting imagery, as well as being backed by a band that is on fire. One of his biggest long-time fans is roots music favorite Tyler Childers, who says he’s “a well-travelled wordsmith mapping out the world he’s seen, three chords at a time.” Miller is somehow able to transport us to a shadowy honkytonk and get existential all in the same line with his tightly written compositions. Miller’s own guitar-playing is on fine display here along with vocals that evoke the white-waters of the Potomac River rumbling below the high ridges of his native Shenandoah Valley. Depreciated is a collection of eleven gems that take us to his homeplace even while exploring the way we can’t go home again, no matter how much we might ache for it. On the album, Miller says he was eager to combine elements of country, folk, blues, and rock to make his own sound. Recently lost heroes like Prine, Walker, and Shaver served as guideposts for the songcrafting but Miller has completely achieved his own sound. The album is almost novelistic in its journey, not only to the complicated relationship Miller has with the Shenandoah Valley but also into the mind of someone going through transitions. “I wrote most of these songs after finding myself single and without a band for the first time in a long while,” Miller says. “I stumbled to Nashville and started to figure things out, so a lot of these have the feel of closing a chapter.”For the creation of the album Miller joined forces with two producers who shared his vision for a country-blues infused record: multiple Grammy nominee Justin Francis, who has worked with everyone from Leon Bridges to Kacey Musgraves, and Adam Meisterhans, a renowned guitarist whom Miller has known since their days as roustabout musicians in West Virginia. They recorded Depreciated in the legendary Studio A of Sound Emporium in Nashville. Miller says the studio’s “killer gear and lived-in feeling” enhanced the sound but most importantly it provided plenty of space for the band to be together. “It’s important to me to have a relationship with the people I’m working with,” Miller says. The crew is a well-oiled machine that is given the opportunity to shine throughout the album: Meisterhans adding guitar along with Miller, Francis bringing in congas and Wurlitzer, Chloe Edmonstone offering a plaintive fiddle, John Looney on mandolin, Jonathan Beam providing bass, Russ Pahl’s shimmery pedal steel, John Clay on drums, and Robbie Crowell playing the Wurlie and Hammond B3.The eleven songs, all penned by Miller, provide an album that stands strong as an entity but also provides tight singles that announce a major new voice. Miller possesses a rich voice, a flair for leading a band, and perhaps most of all, a startling ability for songwriting that results in Depreciated being an album that will have widespread appeal. Miller has achieved that most difficult yet most important thing: presenting the universal in the specific, paying attention to the cool beneath the pines along the rivers of the Shenandoah Valley while also pulling the camera back to reveal the longings that unite us all. — Silas House

The Accidentals

This is a 18 and over event.Standing Room Only VIP Ticket Includes: Merch BundleMeet & GreetEarly Entry Digital Show DownloadExclusive Posters, Stickers and Glasses for the show! All female, multi-instrumentalist, indie power duo, The Accidentals, Sav Buist, Katie Larson added powerhouse, Katelynn Corll, on drums last year and blew the doors off the Festival scene.  Launching hard off their debut album, Odyssey, with Sony Masterworks. They followed the album release with two-hundred days of touring nationally, seventeen festivals, sync placement with Turner Classic Movies and FOX sports, and a RAM Trucks BANDvan #tourtough commercial. They followed that up with a self-titled LIVE album and a single collaboration with Lily and Madeline on New West Records, and toured the UK. They scored the indie film “ Almost Home”, and taught workshops across the country. The band toured 150 dates, including backing up Keller Williams, Gabriel Kahane, Martin Sexton, on strings.  They wrapped the year as guest artists with the TSO Orchestra on original pieces they scored and arranged. They released TIME OUT 1, an album of co-writes with legendary writers, Dar Williams, Tom Paxton, Beth Nielsen  Chapman, Kim Richey, Maia Sharp, and Gretchen Peters, artists that inspired them to become artists (Wildfire went to #1 at Folk Radio for the year and the album #8) and they finished their much anticipated studio Album, Vessel, co-produced by John Congleton (St. Vincent, Lana Del Ray) and Tucker Martine (Nico Case, Decemberists) touring the album all of Oct and November before Covid shut down the live shows again. Their songs Cityview and The Line won first place in the prestigious USA Songwriting Contest, Songwriter Serenade, and Kerrville Folk Festival competitions. They barely took a breath in 23 as they kicked the year off with a covers album spanning their collective interest in women that influenced them, the first single, Blonde’s Heart Of Glass released at the end of Jan.  They released and toured the TIME OUT album in March with Gary Burr (Pure Prairie League) Georgia Middleman, and Mary Bragg. Hosted their first SOLD OUT FAN Cruise and Bike Tour in Croatia in June and played a packed summer of shows w/ occasional bassist/guitarist, Patty Pershayla. Keep your eyes on that covers album coming out in April 24’ and the brand new TIME OUT 3 album release (produced by Mary Bragg) out in October 24’.  Their music can be found online, all the streaming platforms, Barnes and Noble, and at their shows.  Show schedule can be found at Bandsintown and on their website at www.theaccidentalsmusic.com

Jay Gavan and The Flying Leaps w/ Helen Yee

This is a 18 and over event with standing room only Jay Gavan is a Kalamazoo musician who has dabbled in rock, jazz, klezmer, surf rock, folk, soul and classic album cover projects. He has played in a variety of groups, produced several records of original music, and currently shares the stage with The Birdseed Salesmen, Guitar Up Surf Band!, The Corn Fed Girls, and the Kalamazoo Academy of Rock. The Flying Leaps is his latest group endeavor, performing an eclectic mix of original music and cover tunes and featuring Kalamazoo greats Mike Shimmin, Ben Lau, and Mike Fuerst. And always keep an eye/ear out for guests!  Helen Yee is a violinist, multi-instrumentalist, composer whose regular stomping grounds include the worlds of music between traditional and new, “high” and “low,” East and West. Over the years in New York City she expanded beyond the confines of classical training to improvise and compose in multiple styles. Now residing in Kalamazoo, MI, her explorations continue with solo works incorporating violin with live looping and electronics.  

Alejandro Escovedo w/ James Mastro

This is a 18 event with standing room only No one has really ever been able to define themselves and their music like singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo does. His life in music of all kinds sometimes feels like a swirl through the sky, where his songs point out all the majesty and mystery of how he sees the world. The sounds he makes take him places that he might not even predict, but once there, greatness always follows. It’s just the way Escovedo is. It has happened over and over for decades, almost like a fateful agreement he has with the cosmos. There is a good chance it cannot be explained, especially by him. Maybe that’s because this is a musician who feels magic, both in himself and the world around him, and is open to the experience of whatever comes his way. It is not always easy, and can have a high demand on how a person lives. But it is the way that Escovedo is always moving forward. On this new album, Alejandro Escovedo has taken a road rarely traveled, which is totally in keeping with how he has lived his life in music. Echo Dancing is an experiment in how to use the past to shape the future. By recording completely new and repurposed versions of songs from his past, Escovedo actually gets a chance to rewrite his own history. It’s also an idea that pushes growth into the present, and asks an artist to see themselves anew. “I always feel that a well-written song can withstand a lot of abuse,” Escovedo says. It is an area of creativity that the man has always honored. “Turning a past song inside out leads to discovery of new ideas you might not have understood about the song,” he says. “Even lyrical refurbishing has proven helpful and effective. It’s like interpreting your own work anew. The songs never seem to be complete. They are always evolving.” Deeply embedded in the burgeoning Austin scene in the 1980s, Escovedo was a prime architect in the new band True Believers, which included his brother Javier and Jon Dee Graham. In many ways the band helped build the gateway to the whole burgeoning Americana music scene which prospers to this day, but it was also the turning point for Alejandro Escovedo to take his life in his control and record solo albums. In the thirty-plus years since that decision has come a wild roller-coaster ride of groups, spinoffs, tribute albums and even original dramatic projects and experiments. In 1998, No Depression Magazine named him Artist of the Decade. “I said goodbye to certain phases of my life as I have grown,” the musician says. “I greeted new acquaintances musically. And I was extremely surprised by the outcome. That is the thrill of being alive. I feel we have now made a beautiful collection of songs recorded in an effortless vibe of collaboration and camaraderie. I can’t give Nicola and Antonio enough credit and thanks for their musicianship and wide-open approach to making this album. And I should also mention Ivano Giovedi, who incredibly engineered the recordings. He did an amazing job.”  Echo Dancing makes sure Alejandro Escovedo’s evolving circle remains unbroken.  

Tim Kinsella & Jenny Pulse wsg Fred Thomas

This is a 18 and over event with standing room only Tim Kinsella and Jenny Pulse have spent years making thoughtful and unpredictable art, whether musically as Joan of Arc or Spa Moans, or under their given names as writers and visual artists. On Giddy Skelter, their debut album as the unadorned “Tim Kinsella & Jenny Pulse,” they once again take an unexpected turn, but aim for something more direct. They’ve crafted a swirling, past-future, future-past, sorta-rock, collage-rock, melange borne from the confined anxiety of the pandemic. It’s a full-length undeniably of its moment, rich with musical references while radiating a visionary path forward. To assemble Giddy Skelter, Kinsella and Pulse aggressively culled their tracklist until they had a lean and impactful 11 songs, unlike anything either musician has released before. Opening track “Unblock Obstacles” chugs along on a three-chord riff and dubbed-out drums before venturing into a hypnotic, feedback-filled drone that channels pre-Loveless My Bloody Valentine. “Over and Over” imagines a world where Slowdive or Lush collaborated with Prefuse 73. On “Nena,” one minute features loops of classical piano, the next Spacemen 3-style psychedelic drone, and the next contemporary R&B. The majority of songs on Giddy Skelter foreground Pulse’s yearning, ethereal vocals, giving the music a distinctly feminine overtone. The title Giddy Skelter alludes to both Gimme Shelter, the infamous documentary about the Rolling Stones’ disastrous Altamont free concert, and the Manson Family’s Helter Skelter scenario. But none of this is an homage to a bygone era. And there’s another dimension to the title: It can be interpreted alchemically, combining two of the most popular songs in rock history — “Gimme Shelter” and “Helter Skelter” — both of which have sinister associations that give them greater gravity. Sometimes the thing that makes great rock n’ roll is the ineffable and the intangible, something you can only describe as alchemy; other times it’s the rigors of process. On Kinsella and Pulse’s Giddy Skelter, it’s both — and it sounds unlike anything else you’ll hear this year.

Beaton, MacGillivray, and MacNeil: A Cape Breton Trio

This is a family friendly event  Beaton, MacGillivray, and MacNeil: A Cape Breton Trio   Andrea Beaton, piano, fiddleTroy MacGillivray, piano, fiddleTracey Dares MacNeil, piano, fiddleAndrea Beaton, Troy MacGillivray, and Tracey MacNeil hail from the isolated beauty of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. Their joyful style of dance music is defined by its improvised folk piano tradition. Expect instrument-switching, solo dancing, and inspiring harmonies, as they explore the traditional music of Ireland, Scotland, and Cape Breton, along with original compositions. Their performances offer a shared sense of fun and years of making music together. Enjoy the band in their natural habitat in Bell’s Back Room, with plenty of room for dancing!  If you would like to purchase tickets to this show click here 7pm Concert    

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