Dutcher Snedeker covers new local additions to 88.1FM WYCE in this edition of New Music Monday
Stillness by Patrick Booth
Those who’ve ventured up near Marquette and caught any jazz in the area have probably heard Patrick Booth making a variety of intriguing sounds with his fellow sonic warriors. A force of music as powerful as Lake Superior, Booth’s latest release reflects on creative energies fueled by the surrounding northern Michigan landscapes that he calls home. His quartet, including guitarist Dan Palmer, bassist Ben Rolston, and drummer Travis Auckerman, show their command of their instruments with Booth’s saxophone playing, with tracks that dive into churning melody lines, rich harmonic palettes, and colorful textures. Listening to the record feels peaceful, even during songs with the more active, exploratory moments. There is a confidence behind this record that shows what you can do as a creative if you just take a step back, breath in your surroundings, and have moments of stillness and reflection.
Highlights: "Inch by Inch", "Skipping Stones", and "We Emerge"
My Heart Billows Soot by Kaitlyn Zittel
This debut release from Kalamazoo artist Kaitlyn Zittel is an emotional journey through many aspects of life we all face like fear, self-doubt, and worthlessness. That being said, each song is a firmly seeks out the positives of humanity, calling the listener to recognize their own hurdles and confidently leap over them. Blending Folk Rock, Roots, and Americana together with a variety of West Michigan artists, Zittel’s songs are given a powerful presence with added strings and percussion to her band. The album feels warm and inviting in spite of such delicate subject matter, showcasing Zittel’s ability to articulate emotions with poetic lyricism and solid arrangements. If you are an avid listener in the West Michigan music scene and need some indie folk gems to add to your collection, check out this release and if you missed her at The Wealthy Theatre on January 6th for her album release, you can catch her at the Park Theatre Jan 15th at 8 pm!
Highlights: "Limestone", "My Heart Billows Soot", "Take Me Down"
Walking Like He Knows Something by Justin Wierenga
If there is one thing you can’t put Justin Wierenga in, it’s a box. From solo, ambient looping concerts to bluegrass pickin’ to jazz fusion, Wierenga has made a name for himself as a fiercely unique guitarist among his peers. This album showcases a variety of sounds and styles, with Wierenga's trio rounded out by fellow genre benders Justin Avdek on bass and Hayaman Mana Tzach on drums. From track to track, you get a flurry of riffs, ambient twang, crazy sonic textures, slamming drums and beefy bass. I couldn’t help but smile at this record, as I’ve known these three musicians for years and to hear their talents combining on Wierenga’s releases is awesome to see! If you’re a fan of shameless shredding, funky grooves, and prog rock that pushes you as a listener as much as it pushed the musicians on the record, then check out the recently released album! You can catch him doing a solo guitar set at Rockford Brewing Company on January 17th from 8:30 - 10:30 pm!
Highlights: "I’ll Have My Own Coffee, Thanks" and "Fresh Dirt"
You Are What You Sleep by Justin Avdek
As mentioned in the previous review, I’ve known Justin Avdek for a few years now, and he has established himself as a diverse perform, a thoughtful producer, a unique composer, and fearless creative. I’ve had the pleasure of tracking several releases with him and even just this weekend I’ll have played with him in Earth Radio and The Mark Lavengood Band, two groups that show just how much musically Avdek can handle. This latest release, recorded in pools of lo-fi sound at Goon Lagoon, combines all of Avdek’s strengths into another great release. Featuring cheerful, folksy songs about the apocalypse, beautiful, soaring melodies, a wide range of ear candy for lovers of all instrument sounds, and equal parts headbangin prog rock with catchy vocal lines, this album is just about as hard to describe as it was to record some of these parts! I definitely encourage you to seek out this man the next time you’re looking for a truly unique voice in Michigan, and catch him on Earth Radio’s January 12th show at the Pyramid Scheme!
Highlights: "Your Head", "The Temple", "A Date with the Apocalypse", "Cliches Fear Me"
Additional local adds:
The Go Rounds - Code
Elroy Meltzer - Resetting Sun
The Jebeats - High Time
Seventh Son - Paper Chase
Gaye Adegbalola - The Griot
Walter Trout - Survivor Blues
Nick Waterhouse - Nick Waterhouse
The Get Right Band - Live In Asheville
Greensky Bluegrass - All For Money
The Way Down Wanderers - Illusions
Mandolin Orange - Tides Of A Teardrop
Bob Sumner - Sings Wasted Love Songs
The Steel Woods - Old News
Lula Wiles - What Will We Do
Tommy Emmanuel & John Knowles - Heart Songs
Gabriel Teodros - History Rhymes If It Doesn't Repeat
Michael Wolff - Swirl
Frances Cone - Late Riser
The Nude Party - The Nude Party
Chrome Sparks - Be On Fire [EP]
Bay Ledges - In Waves [EP]
Tallies - Tallies
Idan Raichel - And If You Will Come To Me
Dutcher Snedeker is a volunteer columnist and album reviewer for 88.1FM WYCE in Grand Rapids, MI.