Music at the Museum - Red Tail Ring & Seth Bernard/Mark Lavengood Duo
Red Tail Ring -
Laurel Premo and Michael Beauchamp of Red Tail Ring create lush, intricate arrangements of original folk music and traditional ballads with banjo, fiddle, guitar, and close harmonies. The very best of the 21st centurys minimalist and highly original folk music . . . a peerless duo. American Roots UK.
The Michigan-based band is fresh off their fourth full-length studio release, Fall Away Blues. Featuring new songwriting fused with old-time and country blues themes, the album tackles topical subjects such as gun violence and environmentalism as well as age-old questions of place and love. Red Tail Ring doesnt just pay homage to vintage folk and roots music: The Kalamazoo duo breathes new life into it, channeling the power and charm of seminal material into its own original songs. John Sinkevics, LocalSpins.com
Seth Bernard/Mark Lavengood Duo -
Seth Bernard has a uniquely Michigan anatomy: knee deep in glacier-folk with a belly full of whiskey and peaches smuggled from the root cellar of a '70s guitar god. Fingers resinous with fresh cut white pine, and sacred north star geometries whirling around his brow.
Born on April Fools Day, and playing the trickster-bard every day since, he's grown from a potent young Interlochen idealist into a black-bearded surprise-eyed psych-rocker singing the woods and water, souls and soils of the Great Lakes.
The tools! He's got a pine-box-full, from his Gretsch (and the chops to play it, mister), to the many iterations of Seth-music. I mean Airborne or Aquatic, bristling with fuzz-poem arena-anthems, to Starlight Six, the madly talented hybrid of Michigan royalty (May Erlewine, Joshua Davis of Steppin' In It, Mike Shimmin of, well, everything, and the power duo of Dominic and Rachael Davis). Or he can roll solo, with a catalog of hundreds of original tunes, thousands of covers and millions of improvisational licks. And the waltzes. By god the waltzes.
And more tools: Earthwork Music Collective, Family Weekend, Harvest Gathering, The Water Festivals, On the Ground, 350.org (you gotta google this stuff, links below), youth engagement, and partnerships with dozens of local non-profits. Like a true old-school folker, he plays the songs because they mean something, and that something they mean drives a life beyond just playing songs.
His most valuable tool, though, doesn't live in that box: two good ears. Seth listens like a priest. To his audience, to his community, to his deep-rooted intuitive star-born aurora borealis campfire ancestor soul. That alone makes every show - EVERY SHOW - worth the price of admission.
Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1984, Mark Lavengood's first musical impressions were formed by a family that valued the importance of music; a family that looked to music for strength and for the purest sense of joy and community. At a young age, Lavengood was informed by the raw movement of music, by percussion, the beat. Joining the middle school band as a percussionist in 6th grade, he quickly became an important source of talent and inspiration within his community. After teaching himself to play the drums, he began to venture into unfamiliar territory ranging from guitar to ukulele, congas to steel pans, and eventually to the resonator guitar & straight steel console (amongst other instruments).
Mark studied with Dave Zerbe in the Alma College Percussion Ensemble on top of dabbling in the jazz band, choir, and marching band while studying Spanish and International Business at Alma College. Post-graduation, Lavengood honed his skills on the dobro playing with the self-proclaimed rebels of Michigan folkgrass, winter/sessions while simultaneously working part-time at the world acclaimed Founder's Brewery in Grand Rapids, MI.
In the summer of 2010 at the Blissfest Music Festival in Northern MI, Mark crossed paths with Josh, Lindsay & Spencer and proceeded to the song tree immediately following a classic "Cherokee Shuffle" jam.
Mark first saw Michigan dobro player extraordinaire Joe Wilson (of Steppin' In It) and Drew Howard (multi-instrumentalist, MI natural treasure) perform at the Frederick Meijer Gardens, August, 2005 and was instinctively drawn toward the resonator guitar. Since then, Mark has carved his technique and attack on the instrument through observing the playing and instructions of aforementioned Joe Wilson & Drew Howard, Rob Ickes, Jerry Douglas, Andy Hall, Todd Livingston, Sally Van Meter, and Mike Witcher - all contemporary (with some legends in the list, yet still contemporaries) dobro players in the national bluegrass and beyond community.
One could call Lavengood a renaissance man where that his impact is not felt so heavily and heartily than by those at the places and professions he has spent time. Lavengood also spent time in the foothills of California's Sierra Mountains, working in the vineyards there and playing and promoting his music.
Tri-Cities Historical Museum (View)
200 WASHINGTON AVE
GRAND HAVEN, MI 49417
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