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Henry Ford Estate to celebrate centennial with folk music festival

This August marks the 100th anniversary of Henry and Clara Ford taking up residence at Fair Lane, a palatial estate surrounded by farm land in Dearborn, Michigan.
According to a release by the Henry Ford Estate, the Fords called Fair Lane home from 1915 to 1950. "Upon Clara’s death," they write, "Fair Lane was given to Ford Motor Company, and in 1957 Ford donated the estate and the farmlands to the University of Michigan for construction of the Dearborn campus. In 1966, it was among the first in the nation to receive the prestigious designation as a National Historic Landmark from the National Register of Historic Places. In June 2013, ownership of the Estate transferred from the University to the Henry Ford Estate, Inc., a new 501c3 corporation that will now restore, reimagine and reopen the Estate."
To celebrate Fair Lane's centennial, the Ford Estate will host the first ever Fair Lane Folk Festival on its grounds on Saturday, August 1, from 4-10 p.m.
The full lineup of musicians includes NBC’s "The Voice" finalist Joshua Davis, Matt Wertz, Frontier Ruckus, Rayland Baxter, The Accidentals, PigPen Theatre Co., Rachel & Dominic Davis, The Giving Tree Band, Chris Bathgate, Thunderwude and The Green Gallows.
In addition to live music, attendees will also be able to enjoy Michigan craft beers in the Bell’s Beer Garden, a variety of food trucks and local artisans and vendors.
Advanced tickets are available at two prices levels:
$25 general admission - Includes admission to festival, parking in a university parking lot, and access to estate grounds. If still available, tickets can be purchased on site on the day of the event for $35.
$75 VIP - Includes VIP parking at the estate, admission to festival, access to House, VIP reception in the air conditioned Pool Room with snacks, drinks and private acoustic performances.  VIP tickets are limited.
More information: fairlanefolkfest.org

Lincoln Park Historical Museum wants your help celebrating MC5's 50th anniversary

Did you know that most of the founding members of seminal Detroit rock group the MC5 met 50 years ago while students at Lincoln Park High School? Now you do.
To help commemorate the 50th anniversary of the band's formation, the Lincoln Park Historical Museum will host an exhibit honoring its native sons this summer. The News Herald is reporting that the exhibit will be kicked off with a reception on July 11 and a tribute concert at the Lincoln Park Memorial Band Shell on July 12. Both events will be open to the public.
According to the News Herald, "Museum curator Jeff Day is looking for MC5 memorabilia and material for the exhibit…and is specifically looking for items that show the group’s ties to Lincoln Park, such as high school photos."
“It’s important for us to approach it from an angle of their early history,” Day said. “I’ve talked to some local fellas here who went to high school with them and played ball with them. I’d like to show who these guys were and where they came from.”
Read more in the News Herald, "The Voice of Downriver."

Henry Rollins digs obscure Detroit bands

Ever heard of long gone metro Detroit rock bands like Sonic's Rendezvous Band or Death? Henry Rollins has. And he considers them top o' the underground heap.


"One of the most undermentioned American rock bands of the last century. It was, literally, a Detroit supergroup. Fred 'Sonic' Smith of the MC5 on guitar, Scott Morgan of the Rationals on guitar and vocals, Gary Rasmussen of the Up on bass, and Scott Asheton of the Stooges on drums. This is both post-Stooges and post-MC5. In my opinion, both Smith and Asheton, two of the most solid musicians to come out of the entire Detroit late-'60s, early-'70s scene, both realized their mightiest playing in this band. Most of their recorded output is live material that is fairly easy to locate. They made a single of one of their best tracks, 'City Slang,' and released it in 1978. In a little over 5 minutes, the band delivers some of the most thrilling, blowout, burn-up rock and roll. Smith's tone and attack is without peer, Asheton's solid drive is the epitome of rock drumming. The band is a cohesive thing of perfection. I was introduced to this song in the early '80s and have never recovered."

Read the rest here.

Berliners envision defunct Fisher Body factory as dance club

Germans like Detroit grit: Visionaries there are thinking of retooling an abandoned factory into a dance club. And they're exploring sending their creatives to the city as resident artists.


"On each of his last 15 visits to Detroit, Dimitri Hegemann has visited his old friend, Fisher Body 21...

Fisher Body 21 is a decrepit six-story building that is covered in graffiti, lined with smashed windows and, according to state authorities, dangerously contaminated. Built in 1919, the former auto-parts plant in Detroit was deserted two decades ago.

But where others see a case for the wrecking ball, Mr. Hegemann and his friends see the first step toward the revival of America's abandoned city...

Mr. Hegemann, founder of a Berlin nightclub and record label, is spearheading a project called the Detroit-Berlin Connection, an effort by the movers and shakers in this city's music scene to help restart the Motor City. The Berliners compare Detroit to their city after the fall of the Berlin Wall and say it has all the ingredients for a similar rebirth as a center of underground culture: deserted buildings, cheap rents and a gritty reputation...

Katja Lucker, head of the Berlin Music Board, a government-funded agency that promotes the city's music scene, said she is discussing funding a Detroit residency for German artists with officials in both cities. Ms. Lucker, a political appointee who wears Adidas high-tops and a Detroit Tigers jacket around town, said her trip to Detroit this May made her see the city as "a healing place" that would rejuvenate burnt-out artists. "People are jogging in the streets because there are no cars," she said. "It's so inspiring."

More here.

Local school districts rank as best communities for music education

Several southeast Michigan districts – Ann Arbor, Oak Park, Bloomfield Hills, Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Fraser, and Rochester – are attuned to excellence in musical education.


"This year, the NAMM Foundation designates 376  districts  as Best Communities for Music Education and 96 individual  schools  as SupportMusic Merit Award winners. These districts and schools set the bar in offering students access to comprehensive music education...

More than 2,000 schools and school districts participated in this year's survey, resulting in a 21% increase in designations."

More here.

Folk music gets new play in Michigan

Michigan was supposed to be just another stop on folklorist Alan Lomax's folk-music documentation road trip, but Lomax parked his car here for quite a while.


"Detroit is famous for its music, from the Motown hits of the 1960s to the cutting-edge punk of Iggy Pop to the rap of Eminem. Little known, though, is that Michigan was also fertile ground for folk music, brought to the region by immigrants in the early 20th century and played in the logging camps, mines and factory towns where they worked.

Legendary folklorist Alan Lomax discovered the music in 1938 when he visited the Midwest on his famous 10-year cross-country trek to document American folk music for the Library of Congress...

Lomax, son of famous musicologist John A. Lomax, spent three months in Michigan on his research, which also took him through Appalachia and the deep South. He drove through rural communities and recorded the work songs and folk tunes he heard on a large suitcase-sized disc recorder powered by his car's battery.

The trip was supposed to cover much of the Upper Midwest, but he found so much in Michigan that he made only a few recordings elsewhere in the region."

Metro Detroit schools tops in country for music education

Strike up the music! The NAMM Foundation has called out the school districts of Berkeley, Bloomfield Hills, Dearborn, Ferndale, and Troy, as being among the best in the nation for music education.

Read the full list here.

NAMM Foundation calls Ferndale "Best Community for Music Education"

Troy, Berkley, Bloomfield Hills, Fraser, and Ann Arbor all made the list but Ferndale was selected as the bestest. (yes, we know that's not a word).


"The district's music program includes a vocal music program that begins in kindergarten, instrumental music beginning in fourth grade, band, orchestra and choir programs for middle and high school, and a State Championship marching band.

What Ferndale offers for music education is especially significant considering the district's small size, Jamison said.

"We're still offering basically everything," he said. "We have most everything that schools two, three or four times our size have.""

Read the rest here.

Troy-based CEO is pluckin' talented

Yeah, business is important but there must also be music. John Smith is president and CEO of Ross Controls Co. and trustee for Lawrence Tech and plays a mean banjo.


"This is a club where a CEO takes cues from a crane operator. Brian Newsom directs the Ban-Joes of Michigan and is chairman of the North American International Banjo Convention. He spent 42 years as a crane operator, helping build Joe Louis Arena and General Motors Co.'s Poletown plant.

One of the clubs is Canadian. "Hence, we've got the international thing going on," Newsom said."

Read the rest here.

Paste Magazine lists 12 Michigan bands you gotta listen to

Okay, let's start off by mentioning my intense love of Lightning Love, Chris Bathgate, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jr. But that's just the tip of the local music worth owning iceberg. Paste spotlights a dozen Mitten-based bands that you should be spreading the gospel about.


"Lightning Love is a trio that features siblings Aaron and Leah Diehl along with guitarist Ben Collins. Aaron’s simple, appropriate drums are a great backbone for Leah’s tongue-in-cheek lyrics that explore subjects that range from every day routines (“Everyone I Know”) to the more ridiculous (“Friends”). The band just released the excellent Girls Who Look Like Me EP on Quite Scientific Records."

Read the rest here.

Harper Woods' Mack Avenue artist wins a Grammy

Put another notch in Metro Detroit's music cred belt. The Grammy this time is for jazz. Which, as anyone will tell you, is what we has.


"Mack Avenue Records bassist Christian McBride received his first GRAMMY Award as a leader at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles. McBride won in the “Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album” category for his big band debut, "The Good Feeling."

Read the rest here. Watch the videos about McBride's work below.

Farmington music firm scores Super Bowl ads

It used to be a bait shop. Now, it's home to Yessian music, a firm that's created soundtracks for Budweiser and Hyundai commercials. At this year's Super Bowl their musical efforts could be heard in five different commercials.


"Generally, Yessian will compete with several other companies to produce the best music for a particular commercial. For the Budweiser "Eternal Optimism" commercial, they wowed ad agency Anomaly with a mash-up of "She Sells Sanctuary" by The Cult and "Good Feeling" by Flo Rida that matches a visual movement through time, from the early 1940s to today. Rapper Flo Rida's 2011 hit doesn't readily evoke a 1950s aesthetic, but Emmy Award-winning composer Dan Zank, who works out of the New York office, was able to make the sound fit a different time period."

Read the full story here.

Eminem, gospel style

Listen. Watch. Wait for the goosebumps to subside.

Grosse Pointe's The Selected of God Choir does up Eminem's Lose Yourself.


Proceeds from iTunes sales of the single will benefit local charities.

Watch the video below.

It's official: world's youngest professional drummer lives in Macomb

Okay, this Macomb musical prodigy is seven years old. Seven! Julian Pavone recorded his first CD at 20 months. He has appeared on about 150 television and news shows. And now he's in the Guinness Book of Records.

Feel inadequate yet?


"Julian Pavone was certified as of March 21, 2010, when he was 5 years, 10 months and 3 days old, Guinness announced Tuesday.

The rules for London-based Guinness say a drummer must play on at least one commercial record and be paid for the work. The drummer also must have given at least 20 concerts of 45 minutes or longer within five years."

Read more here.

Watch the video here.

Metro Detroit's creative community gets its own incubator

In the rush to create new economy jobs in metro Detroit the talk has mostly centered around incentives and support for engineering, life sciences, green energy, and computer technology. But building a creative class is more than hot on the job market front.

Enter Detroit's new Creative Ventures Acceleration Program, an incubator oriented toward design, film, music, and social media. And it's getting national attention.


"The Creative Ventures Acceleration Program offers local entrepreneurs access to resources, services, strategic counseling, development support and other services that seek to "increase the density of creative-sector businesses in the downtown area," according to the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, a business accelerator that developed the program.

Backed by $500,000 in funding by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the U.S. Small Business Administration, among other groups, the program features a 12-month curriculum for "ventures-in-residence" to better identify development goals and best practices."

Get the rest of the story here.
51 Music Articles | Page: | Show All
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