Thursday, July 19, 2012

Music in the Park features Drew Nelson

Musician Drew Nelson performs for Music in the Park at 8pm, July 19, 2012.
Michigan-born Navy veteran Drew Nelson is a storytelling songwriter and multiinstrumentalist. A fly fisherman and world traveler, he writes as a witness to the lives and journeys of those he has met along the way, mixing Americana and roots-rock with traditional folk styles.
Drew has toured across North America and Europe, performing solo and opening for popular rock artists like Melissa Etheridge and Edwin McCain as well as esteemed folk singers like Josh White Jr. and John Gorka.
He first met John Gorka in 2006, when Drew performed as part of Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s prestigious songwriting contest. John found him backstage after his performance and told him how much his songs moved him. Since then, Drew has shared the stage with John several times, including at such big events as the Kerrville Folk Festival. “Drew Nelson is one of my favorite new artists,” John Gorka says. “His songs sound like the rest of us feel….dazed, angry, amazed and climbing.”
Drew garnered further attention in 2009, when he released Dusty Road to Beulah Land (Waterbug Records), and it topped the folk radio charts. It also caught the attention of the Grammy-winning indie label Red House
Records, which just signed him. “I love that Drew can rock out as well as write sensitive ballads,” Red House president Eric Peltoniemi says. “I admire his down-to-earth songwriting which portrays our world and ordinary people with such deep feeling and unflinching clarity. He has worked hard in life and hasn’t been afraid to get his hands dirty. He has 100% credibility in the subject matter he writes about, and I’m excited to get the chance to work with him.”
Drew’s Red House debut Tilt-A-Whirl comes out in early 2012. He can also be heard on the new album Dark River: Songs of the Civil War Era, along with Jon Dee Graham, Slaid Cleaves, James McMurtry and new label-mate Eliza Gilkyson.
In support of his new album, Drew Nelson will be showcasing at the 2012 International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis and will be touring across North America and Europe.
When Drew is not on the road, he enjoys reading, rooting for the Detroit Tigers, doing hot yoga and working as an amateur luthier, building guitars and octave mandolins. He is also working on putting together a photography show.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Have You Heard?

Mackinac Arts Council has so much to offer island residents and visitors alike. Currently on display at our beautiful library is the Maritime Art Exhibition which features original maritime art from artists across the country. It is a lovely collection of maritime inspired art in a variety of mediums. Viewing it in the library with the lake breeze blowing in and sound of waves upon the shore could not be more perfect.  If one piece moves you so much that you find you are stopping in at the library frequently to gaze upon it, the good news is that pieces are available for sale with delivery occurring July 31st at the end of the show. Proceeds benefit the library and Mackinac Arts Council programming.

During the Chicago-Mackinac Yacht races, there will be special activities for children.  Paint the Finish, as it is called, will be held at Windemere Point on Monday, July 23 from 12 noon to 4:00 pm.  Everyone welcome!

The Music in the Park series continues every Thursday at 8:00 pm until August 2nd. What a peaceful setting for beautiful music -- it soothes your soul and inspires you!

Also occurring on August 2nd is a special one-time event in 2012 -- a free outdoor movie in Marquette Park beginning after Music in the Park at 9:40 pm or so. The Mackinac Arts Council is offering this family friendly event to all. We will be showing a collection of Pixar shorts -- creative, fun, and unique! Bring the kids, a blanket, snacks and enjoy this special evening! The backup location in case of rain will be the Community Hall.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mackinac Arts Council Drawing I Workshop with Bill Murcko

Born and educated in Michigan, Bill has spent most of his career as an award winning advertising and creative executive. He has loved the arts his whole life. A strong desire to improve his portrait painting skills drove him to enroll in his first formal oil painting class - at age 48. Murcko's formal art instruction continued with the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Association and workshops in Santa Fe, New Mexico with the Academy of Realist Art from Seattle, Washington.  In 1996, he was selected for a special tutoring program in New York City conducted by nationally known portrait painter, John Howard Sanden. Today, Bill splits his time between Detroit and Mackinac Island.

7pm-9pm, July 10, 2012
Drawing I Workshop with Bill Murcko at the Richard & Jane Manoogian Mackinac Island Art Museum.
All levels welcome. Adults.  Live models dressed in period costume. Model fee $10.  Supplies provided.

To Register call: (231) 984-4124 or email

For more about Bill Murcko, please visit

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Guitarist Lawrence Barris featured at Music in the Park

On July 5, Music in the Park features celebrated smooth jazz guitarist Larry Barris. Born in Detroit, Michigan, he started playing guitar at a very young age, began working professionally in and around Detroit at the age of 13, with "The Black Nasty," a well known local R &B Group. Recorded a couple singles with The Black Nasty on the Big Hit label. Larry shares "my first paid gig was with the group, and comedian Rudy Ray Moore. This was before Dolomite came out. The band was on stage while he was doing his act, bringing him on and off. His act was very crude. My mother and sister were in the audience. He notices my mother and says "hey a white lady is here" and he's about to say something else, I was sitting on top of my Kustom amp and I yelled "Thats My Mother" he turned around and looked at me and didn't say another word about her. It was a memorable first gig. Around the same time, I was practicing a lot and working on pop tunes like, Roberta Flacks's "Feel Like Making Love", Marvin Gaye's " What Goin' On " and The Isley Brothers " For the Love of You", turning them into instrumentals on guitar "I thought I was doing something new."
What today is called smooth jazz". Shortly thereafter started working with Detroit Jazz Greats, Marcus Belgrave,Teddy Harris, Donald Walden, Dennis Rowland, Wendell Harrison, Bobby Wright and Rod Lumpkin. Also worked, and/or performed with artists of national acclaim, including George Benson, Mary Wilson & The Supremes, Ben E. King, The 5th Dimension, George Burns, Joan Rivers, Earl Klugh, Joe Sample, Richard 'Groove' Holmes, Jack McDuff, Dave McMurray, Fabian, Little Anthony & the Imperials, David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks and more. 2001 was the release of his self titled first CD and 2003 he released Love on Me. 8pm-9pm, Thursday, July 5-Marquette Park, Mackinac Island (rain location is Horn's Gaslight Bar)