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2023 Performers

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Matt Watroba

"Many know Matt Watroba as the voice of folk music in Michigan for his work with WDET–Detroit Public Radio. As producer and host of the Folks Like Us program, and the nationally syndicated, Sing Out Radio Magazine and Folk Alley, Watroba has come in contact with many aspects of folk music and culture. This has helped shape a repertoire and presentation that is unique on stages across the state and country. He is committed to inspiring the world to sing-- one town at a time. In 2019, Matt, along with his life-long musical partner Robert Jones, Co-founded the Detroit Non-Profit, Common Chords. Also in 2019, Matt Was inducted into the Folk DJ Hall of Fame at the Folk Alliance International conference in Montreal."

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Michael Robertson &

the Broken Hearted Saviors

"From the first notes of Michael Robertson’s debut CD, it’s clear that the singer / guitarist is a skilled storyteller. The Michigan native has a knack for recognizing irony when exploring the nuances of unremarkable ¬– yet universal – life experience. Robertson crafts songs that blend modern Americana with country and rock flavors, and his vocals go down smooth, with a tinge of world-weariness that fits the lyrics. While he’s a fiercely talented musician, his instincts favor measured restraint over brazen flash.

Summing up his musical journey, Robertson says, “I’ve had the great fortune to belong to a community of friends and musicians who have helped me move in the direction I was supposed to go rather than the direction I thought I was going.”

If you ever needed an excuse to hop in the car and take off on the open road with no particular place to go, “All My Stories” will get you there, offering a display of roadside attractions of the human condition for you to absorb along the way."

"Lyrically-centric, vocally-charged folk songs that occasionally take on political issues. Those are what singer-songwriter Mike Ward loves to create. Living in Detroit, Mike grew up listening to Irish music and singing in choirs. A few of his influences are Jason Isbell, Nanci Griffith, Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and John Prine. His writing echoes along empty sidewalks, on our nation’s backroads,

in family portraits, and in the thin lines between joy and tragedy, love and loss, past, present and future. Mike spent the better part of 40 years on the creative side of the advertising industry but now creates music full time and is immersed in the Michigan music scene.

 

Mike performs at venues and house shows throughout Michigan and beyond. You might find him at Trinity House Theatre, Wiltsie's, PJ’s Lager House, Pete’s Candy Store and Over Yonder House Concerts. Festivals such as Wheatland Folk Festival, FARM DJ Showcase or Performance Lane, Thumbfest, HollerFest, Thunder Bay Folk Festival and Arts, Beats & Eats. He has been featured on Ron Olesko’s Folk Music Notebook Shelter in Place Showcase, Jon Stein’s Hootenanny Cafe Showcase, John Bommarito’s Acoustic Alternatives, Charlie’s Open Mic Acoustic Showcase with Charlie Mosbrook and The Stratton Setlist.

 

Why Psychosongs? Well his nickname as a hockey player is “PsychoWard”. Enough said"

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Mike Ward

"Peter has spent the last 20 years trying on many different hats in the music world.  Whether performing, recording, writing or producing, there is a thread that unifies all of his  endeavors. 

 

In his most recent recordings for the film "Welcome to Happiness,"  this Multi-instrumentalist treads the line between pop and folk songwriting. using heartfelt lyricism and catchy melodic sounds, Peter creates a familiar yet new and eclectic experience for all."

Peter LeClaire

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"Award winning finger-style guitarist Rollie Tussing performs timeless classic and country blues, Dewy-eyes tunes of the 20's, as well as, Godforsaken songs of the nineteenth century. his own compositions are influenced by those lonesome, haunted and abandoned melodies that we all forgot to remember.”

Rollie Tussing Trio

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"Ruth and Max celebrate 45 years of performing their style of Acoustic Americana, with roots in Folk, Bluegrass, and traditional Country music. Ruth is well known for her songwriting as well as her striking alto voice. She was a winner of Merlefest’s Chris Austin Song Writing competition in 2003 with her gospel number, By The River. The pair's 2010 CD release, Turn Back a Page reached No. 5 on the Folk DJ Airplay Chart with 4 songs in the top 100 for that year. A Youtube video featuring Michigan Girl, a track from that CD, has been viewed over 395,000 times. The pair has toured in southern France nearly every year since 2008. A live CD was released in 2012 and a Christmas EP in 2015. The couple released their sixth full length CD, On A Canvas Painted Blue, in October 2017. "

Ruth & Max Bloomquist

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"Sarah Schingeck is a musician and singer/songwriter based out of Bay City, Michigan. Her music is positive, thoughtful, tender, and hopeful. She treasures acoustic, folk, gospel and americana music and through these influences, felt inspired to write her own songs and music. 

Her most recent project, “The Album of Hope” came after a personal experience of losing a family member to suicide. As Sarah tried to process this deep grief and loss, one of the places she turned to was songwriting and music. It was in her faith, and a transition from heartbreak to hope, that inspired the songwriting for this record. As Sarah aspires to “simply be a hope dealer,” the twelve tracks on this album aim to spread hope far and wide.

The Album of Hope crowd funding campaign (to be announced), live release shows and album sales, will give portions of the funds to The Barb Smith Suicide Resource and Response Network (SRRN). This network has been caring for the community at the local, state and national level for the past 32 years. The SRRN’s mission statement is to prevent suicide through education, connection to resources, and support for those impacted by suicide. SRRN supports the understanding that mental health is just as important as physical health. "

Sarah Schingeck

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"Stella! was founded by singer-songwriter Jo Serrapere to showcase country-roots songwriting and three-part harmonies. The current line-up includes Jo Serrapere on guitar and percussion, Jen Sygit on acoustic and electric guitars and banjo, and Julianna Wilson on upright bass."

Stella!

"Writing and performing together since 2007, Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler inevitably formed The Rough & Tumble in 2011 as the friends turned into bandmates.  In 2015, after a bad Nashville landlord left them without heat for 12 days during an ice storm, the bandmates turning spouses decided to hit the road. They sold everything they could, bought a 16’ camper (despite the warning of their families and the lot salesman), packed up their instruments, their dog, and a couple of small trinkets shaped like elephants and mice that they couldn’t part with, and hit the road.  They’ve been touring relentlessly since with their two 100lb rescue dogs, Mud Puddle and Magpie Mae, in spite of multiple burnt up axles, busted tires, and consistent water leaks.  

In 2022, the duo is tackling less defined matters of the heart-- love. When the 2020 pandemic hit, The Rough & Tumble were dependent on the loyalty of fans to keep them afloat through song commissions. The latest EP, Love is Gross (but it looks good on you) is a compilation of the sweeter songs Graham & Tyler were asked to write, with a couple of nearly-love songs the couple wrote for themselves. The February 11th release is welcomed levity on the heels of the harder matters of their previous release-- the balance feeling not unlike their live performances. "

The Rough & Tumble

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"Billy Brandt is a multiple-award-winning Detroit area singer-songwriter, whose rootsy, folky, psychedelic alt-country background underpins strong songwriting and an adventurous spirit.   Join us as we celebrate his musical vision with performance from his group Voxanna and the Sugarees along with special guest Mary Hartman.

When 2020 brought us lemons, Voxanna made lemonade.

The result of two musician couples combining their talent during lockdown to pass the time and stay sane, Voxanna’s sound is uniquely eclectic, groove focused and drenched with three-part harmonies and sparkling acoustic guitar.

Their songs travel deftly through the realms of neo folk, psychedelic rock and jazz with touches of The Byrds, Miles Davis and the sentimental musicals of the 1950’s, with a world beat sound provided by the rhythm section.

Voxanna has had numerous successful virtual and live performances since early 2021, and are looking to play at venues and parties in 2023 and beyond."

Voxanna

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The Whiskey Charmers

The Whiskey Charmers are a Detroit-based band led by Carrie Shepard and Lawrence Daversa. Fans have often compared their sound to riding through the desert with the top down, or the feeling of being in some lonesome smoky bar off the side of an abandoned highway, or music from a Spaghetti Western. William P Davis (Former Deputy Director of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville) says of the band, “I’ve heard a lot of good musicians. The Whiskey Charmers remind me of no one – and, to me, that is one of the best compliments an act can receive.”

The Whiskey Charmers are currently touring to support their brand new release “On The Run” (Nov 2022), which is striking listeners as their best album to date. The rest of their discography includes a self titled album (2015) and “The Valley” (2017) which received a Detroit Music Award for Outstanding Country Recording, and “Lost on the Range” (2020), which received a Detroit Music Award for Outstanding Americana Recording.

Many fans have become familiar with The Whiskey Charmers music through the video game Detroit: Become Human, a cinematic neo-noir thriller game that has sold more then six million copies worldwide.

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