If Jeff Haas is a cocktail pianist, he mixes a heady cocktail. The Traverse City-based pianist and composer has been swirling the music of Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and other jazz legends with his own original compositions, along with fresh takes on the Great American Songbook, at two jam-packed summer gigs in northwest Michigan all summer.
When The Pyramid Scheme opened its doors in April 2011, the atmosphere its co-owners had in mind was clear. They wanted employees who cared about their establishment, their neighborhood and, above all, the music. If they had that, everything else would fall in to place.
One listen to American Authors’ smash hit single, “Best Day of My Life,” and it’s easy to think the band has only seen sunshine and good times. But talk to lead singer Zac Barnett about his band’s road to success and a deeper different story unfolds.
When he’s out and about in Kalamazoo, little kids will sometimes see Richard Bowser, his portly stature and flossy white hair and beard, and think: Santa Claus. And Bowser, a man with a sense of humor and fun, will engage them. “Have you been good?” he’ll say. If it’s summer, he lets them know he’s on vacation from the North Pole. But Bowser is, in real life, a cultural Santa Claus for the region.
With this year marking Aerosmith’s 45th year together, the “Bad Boys from Boston” will bring this summer’s Blue Army Tour to a triumphant close with their August 4 return to Grand Rapids. “Grand Rapids is part of the section of the country where we first made it,” Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton told Revue. “When we’re playing in a city like that we know we’re going to have a great time."
People often say no music is truly original. That’s probably true given songwriters openly cite their musical influences while occasionally suing each other for copyright infringement. Garrett Dutton, better known as G. Love, understands nobody is reinventing the harmonious wheel.
When REVUE heard three Calvin College students were headed to Chicago for the 10th Annual Pitchfork Music Festival, we decided to put them to work. The festival, which ran July 17-19, featured a laundry list of big-name and emerging bands, DJs and rappers. We asked the students to spotlight their top three performances. Here’s what John Williamson, Chloe Selles and Grant Stiles had to say.
Pitchfork Music Festival hit its milestone 10-year anniversary this weekend with three days of non-stop music at Chicago’s Union Park. From July 17-19, approximately 18,500 fans endured the sweltering 100-degree heat and a heavy down pour on Saturday that caused a 40-minute evacuation of the park.
Lansing’s Common Ground Music Festival has been going through changes over the past few years. Growing pains – a transitional period, one might say. Once known for hosting an array of hairy classic-rock bands, the 15-year old festival has ushered in more alternative rock and mainstream pop stars over the past couple years.
After being lead into the spotlight by stagehands, Brian Wilson sat down at his piano and immediately let his fans at the Fox Theatre know he was happy to be in the Motor City. Good vibrations filled the room. It was a jovial start to what became a night of over 30 songs from Wilson’s long repertoire of intricate pop songs.
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