Like with her music, ZZ Ward follows a classic style by incorporating fedoras into her wardrobe, paying homage to her blues heroes like Robert Johnson, while adding a twist of her own. "I have, like, 60 fedoras," Ward said.
"I started singing in a blues band when I was 12 and I would always wear a fedora because it would remind me of the blues. So I wear a fedora to pay homage to the blues artists that I grew up listening to."
Founders makes damn good beer. That's not a secret, especially to those of us right here in West Michigan. But word has gotten out, and in the company's short 16-year history, its reach has already spread to 25 states.
Musician and producer Tommy Schichtel likes to think of himself as a mad scientist when he's in the recording studio. He admits he can lose hours experimenting in his analog-only studio, Goon Lagoon, based in Grand Rapids' North side.
Ultraviolet Hippopotamus is a behemoth of the road, a formidable force on the national progressive jam band scene. The instrumentally adroit Grand Rapids rock band travels coast to coast, playing 150 to 200 shows a year.
Let's face it — playing music doesn't always bring in the paper. Many of West Michigan's finest musicians tend to 9 to 5 jobs to pay the bills. We followed six musicians to their day jobs and found out what they do when they’re offstage.
While it may not be by design, Matt Ten Clay’s workspace is fitting. Ten Clay, 32, owns, operates and sometimes lives out his recording studio, Amber Lit Audio.
When Pennsylvania-based singer/songwriter Koji was looking for a place to write his first full-length album, he chose Grand Rapids. But why travel all the way to Grand Rapids to create such an important milestone of his career?
Not every concert has to be the Super Bowl Halftime Show. For many, some of their most memorable music experiences happen in smaller venues, where it just feels like you're actually part of the show.
West Michigan is chock full of untapped musical talent. If you're out and about and see one of these bands gracing a local stage, do yourself a favor — pop in and give them a listen.
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