ann arbor’s 107one Martin Bandyke on George Bedard and the Kingpins

annarbor's107one Martin BandykeAll good things must come to an end, including the sixth season of Sonic Lunch! To close things out this Thursday at Liberty Plaza will be George Bedard and the Kingpins, making their long-awaited Sonic Lunch debut.

Guitar wizard George Bedard has been a staple on the Michigan music circuit for well over three decades, playing rock, jazz, blues and rockabilly with equal dexterity and style. George began his career in the 70s when he formed the Silvertones with guitarist/harp player Steve Nardella, then went solo after spending time in the 80s as part of Tracy Lee & the Leonards.

Bedard’s latest album is called “Further On,” an ambitious exploration of acoustic blues, New Orleans jazz, swing, jump blues and vintage rock ‘n’ roll. It’s high time for Ann Arbor townie Bedard to play Sonic Lunch, so come and celebrate the season finale at noon this Thursday at Sonic Lunch, brought to you by the Bank of Ann Arbor.

– Martin Bandyke, ann arbor’s 107one

Spend the last Sonic Lunch of the summer grooving with George Bedard & The Kingpins

It’s that time of year again… time to say farewell to Ann Arbor’s 6th year of Sonic Lunch (*sniff sniff*), and boy was it a doozy! From 1,800 screaming teenagers waiting outside the Michigan Theater in the rain at 5am to an 8 1/2 month pregnant Erin from the Ragbirds still rocking just as hard as ever, it’s been a very special summer and we’ve had a blast!

Helping us take things out in style is Ann Arbor’s favorite rockabilly dance band, George Bedard & The Kingpins. Come join us this Thursday for your last chance to get down in the summer sun!

ann arbor’s 107one Martin Bandyke on Kopecky Family Band

annarbor's107one Martin BandykeKopecky Family Band was formed in Nashville some six years ago by college students Kelsey Kopecky and Gabe Simon, the group quickly expanding to a sextet and recording three EPs while juggling weekday classes with weekend gigs. Independently releasing their debut full-length “Kids Raising Kids” last year, the album was reissued early in 2013 by the very cool ATO Records label (co-owned by some guy named Dave Matthews).  Featuring the clever, infectious hit single “Heartbeat,” “Kids Raising Kids” is a terrifically diverse and beautifully crafted effort which incorporates elements of indie-rock, pop and folk.  I have an interview with guitarist/vocalist Gabe Simon appearing in this Thursday’s Ann, and here is a quote from my Q&A with Gabe about his band’s philosophy towards making music:  “We follow our hearts in what we feel needs to be played.  One of our favorite bands is My Morning Jacket.  Their songs don’t all sound like “Highly Suspicious,” or “Gideon” or “Holdin’ On to Black Metal.”  I love the ways all the songs can sound so different and yet be cohesive on one record.  With six people inspired in completely different ways the songs come together in all kinds of different ways. Whether it’s horns, cello, percussion and everything you can imagine to just keeping things really simple, we just play what we need to play, man.”

I spoke to Simon literally minutes before his group taped a performance of “Heartbeat” for Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, evidence that Kopecky Family Band is well on its way to being a household name.  Check ’em out this Thursday at Noon as part of Bank of Ann Arbor’s Sonic Lunch concert series, with opening act Kate Peterson of the Ann Arbor-based duo Nervous But Excited kicking things off at 11:30am.

– Martin Bandyke, ann arbor’s 107one

ann arbor’s 107one Martin Bandyke on Greensky Bluegrass

annarbor's107one Martin Bandyke

As their name implies, the Kalamazoo quintet known as Greensky Bluegrass specializes in bluegrass music, a genre inspired by Appalachian sounds and rooted in U.K. folk.

A hard-working band which averages close to two hundred gigs a year, GSBG has a progressive attitude when it comes to playing bluegrass, sharing stages with the Avett Brothers, Bela Fleck, the Grateful Dead’s Bill Kreutzman, Sam Bush and many others. Skilled musicians with seven albums under their belt, the ensemble won the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 2006.

Come out to Bank of Ann Arbor’s Sonic Lunch this Thursday for a performance of roots music played to perfection by Greensky Bluegrass.

– Martin Bandyke, ann arbor’s 107one

This week at Sonic Lunch – Greensky Bluegrass

If you’re familiar with bluegrass music, then you’re tuned in to some of what Michigan’s Greensky Bluegrass does.  But you’ve only just scratched the surface.  According to Rolling Stone Magazine, “Greensky Bluegrass is representing the genre for a whole new generation.”

Crafting everything from poignant rural ballads accompanied by sweet multi-part vocal harmonies, to distortion-fueled barn burners that cross over into good old fashioned rock n’ roll, this group of musicians play with incredible skill that has prominently placed them as one of the future leaders on the American bluegrass scene.

Check out this video of the group covering Prince’s “When Doves Cry” and then join us Thursday for a hootin’ and hollerin’ good time at Bank of Ann Arbor’s Sonic Lunch!