July issue of Smash Magazine local entertainment guide for Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Marshall Michigan

2014 ly Ju NT UR YO INME TA CE ER UR NT SO E Le ila M pa ar Bl lo sh oz ue al a sF l es t Free Entertainment Guide for Greater Kalamazoo, Battle Creek & Marshall
2014 ly  Ju  NT UR YO INME TA CE ER UR NT SO E  Le  ila M pa ar Bl lo sh oz ue al a sF l es t  Free Entertainment Guide fo...
SmashmagS.com KALAMAZOO STATE THEATRE 9, 2014 SEPT 404 S. BURDICK WWW.KAZOOSTATE.COM 269.345.6500 VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR INFO ABOUT ATTENDING A 3PM GUITAR MASTERCLASS WITH DWEEZIL! J
SmashmagS.com  KALAMAZOO STATE THEATRE 9, 2014  SEPT  404 S. BURDICK WWW.KAZOOSTATE.COM 269.345.6500 VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR...
20 14 SmashmagS.com MARSHALLBLUES July 2014 2
20  14  SmashmagS.com  MARSHALLBLUES July 2014  2
SMASH Magazine P.O. Box 1376 Battle Creek, MI 49016 smashmag@live.com SmashmagS.com Publisher/Graphic Designer Robin Cunningham Writers Robin Cunningham Raoul Duke Jr Corinne Kellogg Diana Marsh Ann Michels Colin Smith Bruce Tuck It’s gonna be a HOTTT Summer SMASHer’s!!!! We can’t believe its July already, summer is in full swing and WOW, Smash Magazine is out and about in high gear and ready to hit some of your favorite local festivals. We could not be more proud to be a part of the insanity!! July is going to be a busy one and we want to see your smiling faces at Leilapalooza. Brought to you in part by Smash Magazine, this year’s event is bigger and better than ever with over 50 bands on 6 stages and all the music you love, not to mention support for Battle Creek’s own Leila Arboretum/Kingman Museum and it’s all FREE. We will also be heading west to the Arcadia Festival Site to bring you The Kalamazoo Blues Festival and it promises to have the coolest of blues for these hot summer days. There is a new venue in town bringing you the best live entertainment in the state. The Music Factory is gearing up for their Grand Opening Weekend, July 18-20 with 3 nights of music from some of the best National, Regional and Local talent around. So saddle up SMASHer’s and let’s get this party started!! Advertising Robin Cunningham 269-986-3912 smashmag@live.com Events and Shows SmashmagS.com Submit listings to smashmag@live.com Disclaimer SMASH Magazine is dedicated to providing a platform for artists and musicians to promote and display their work. Because they have a unique way of expressing themselves it is important for people who pick up the magazine to understand you might not always like what you see. There are also articles that may contain sarcasm and adult content. This publication is intended for a mature audience. J
SMASH Magazine P.O. Box 1376 Battle Creek, MI 49016  smashmag live.com  SmashmagS.com Publisher Graphic Designer Robin Cun...
SmashmagS.com 4 July 2014
SmashmagS.com  4 July 2014
J SmashmagS.com
J  SmashmagS.com
SmashmagS.com 6 July 2014
SmashmagS.com  6 July 2014
Dancing in the Street By Ann Michels The Marshall Blues Fest is gearing up for their 11th annual event on July 19, 2014 (rain or shine). The festival musical portion is FREE and will take place on the generally traffic-laden Michigan Avenue. Anytime there is a reason to close a main street and enjoy great blues music, it is an awesome time. The beer tent opens at noon for the start of the festivities and keeps pouring until 11pm. Various food vendors will be offering BBQ to cotton candy and other tasty morsels. The LIVE music experience creates a great time for all ages. It is a great event to re-connect with family and friends. Erica Bush of MAEDA (Marshall Area Economic Downtown Alliance) mentioned her family, “They can’t wait to come back.” Local shop owner Caryn Drenth from Handle & Hinge attended the event for the first time last year and was impressed with the caliber of talent at the fest. Drenth said, “Even if you don’t typically listen to the “blues,” listening to it LIVE is fantastic.” Local favorite Danae and the Grind will be returning to perform in the beer tent (2:30pm-9:30pm breaks between sets). At the main stage, Two Piano Guys (3:30pm), Eddie Blue & The Ravens (5:00 pm), Laith Al-Saadi (7:00pm), and the headliner Liz Mandeville (9:30pm). Danae and the Grind admitted in a previous interview to enjoying the close surroundings of playing their music on the beer tent stage. Their sound comes through multi-faceted from a variety of musical influences in the band members. Inspirations range from Stevie Ray Vaughn to Iron Maiden. SmashmagS.com Two Piano Guys hail from the Detroit area. Each of them has been perfecting their craft since the 70’s. The two gentlemen combined their talents in 2010 to create an awesome sound, blues with a classic/pop style. Known as Paul and Dann on their website, their sound can be compared to Johnny Lang. Eddy Blue & The Ravens lead singer, Eddy Raven, has musical ties dating back to the 60s. With a list of Number One hits, “Bayou Boys”, “I Got Mexico”, “I’m Gonna Get You”, ”In a Letter to You”, “Joe Knows How to Live”, and “Shine, Shine, Shine”. Along with multiple Top Ten hits spanning through the decades. Laith Al-Saadi J
Dancing in the Street By Ann Michels The Marshall Blues Fest is gearing up for their 11th annual event on July 19, 2014  r...
Laith Al-Saadi hails from Ann Arbor, MI, and has been singing from a very young age. Al-Saadi began playing the guitar at age 13. He had a band at 15, and was opening for powerhouse performers including, Son Seals, Luther Allison, Buddy Guy. Al-Saadi continues to prove himself worthy by opening for Kenny Wayne Sheperd, Johnny Winter, and BB King at the House of Blues in Chicago. Eddy Blue SmashmagS.com Liz Manderville comes to Marshall after her induction to the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2013. Based in Chicago, Manderville has toured from the East to West, North to South states and everything in between. Her stage presence has been shared in Belgium, Canada, France, Holland, Latvia, Mexico, and South Africa. Her musical talent has brought many standing ovation. ~Ann Michels can’t wait to dance in the street and meet new people at the Marshall Blues Fest from her downtown shop, Vint-edge in the heart of the fun. Liz Manderville July 2014 8
Laith Al-Saadi hails from Ann Arbor, MI, and has been singing from a very young age. Al-Saadi began playing the guitar at ...
J SmashmagS.com
J  SmashmagS.com
MARCIA BALL COCO MOntOyA t I nFuChs • ALBeRt CAstIgLIA sLey eLLIs DAnA BRAnDOn sAntInI•LIOneL yOung tweeD FunK • the JIMMys 21st ANNUAL ALAMAZOO K 2th AL PLACE J U LY 1 0 - 1 K FESTIV DIA CREE ARCA Days 2 Stages, 23 Bands, 3 and information. kVBa .org for tickets Visit July 2014 SmashmagS.com FEST 10
MARCIA BALL  COCO MOntOyA t I nFuChs     ALBeRt CAstIgLIA sLey eLLIs DAnA BRAnDOn sAntInI   LIOneL yOung tweeD FunK     th...
J SmashmagS.com
J  SmashmagS.com
SmashmagS.com 12 July 2014
SmashmagS.com  12 July 2014
Leila Arboretum Welcomes 4th Annual Leilapalooza Festival By Bruce Tuck L eila Arboretums 72 acres of breathtaking gardens has been named one of Michigan’s best festival sites. Located at 928 West Michigan Avenue in Battle Creek they are gearing up for the fourth annual Leilapalooza. SmashmagS.com T he Arboretum’s collections include nearly 1,700 accessioned woody plants and about 25,000 total plants, comprising trees, shrubs, perennial and annual plantings laid out in the manner of European gardens with many plantings dating back to the 1920s. T he Arboretum has focused on increasing the diversity of woody plants and developing demonstration gardens including a lilac garden, perennial walkway, native plant garden, and labyrinth. P erennial gardens feature daylilies, purple coneflowers, and daisies; the annual flower displays include a yearly planting of some 7,000 spring bulbs including tulips and daffodils, as well as approximately 5,000 annuals and 1,500 chrysanthemums. I n addition, Kingman Museum, a natural history museum and planetarium, is located on the Arboretum grounds. T he Leila Arboretum dates back to 1922 when Leila Post Montgomery, widow of breakfast cereal magnate C. W. Post, purchased 72 acres of an old country club and donated the land to the City of Battle Creek “to be laid out and improved as a public Arboretum...”. This gift was part of the larger vision of Edward M. Brigham who started planning an educational campus consisting of a museum, a historical building for the Battle Creek Historical Society, a fine arts building, a hall of music, and a lyceum (lecture hall) building. M rs. Charles E. Kolb, W. I. Fell and Burritt Hamilton donated additional land, and the combined property, which became known as Leila Arboretum, was designed and developed by T. Clifton Shepard between 1924 and 1930. However, the Depression soon overshadowed these plans and the gardens fell into great disrepair. T hey were finally revived in 1982 by a band of volunteers who styled themselves the Leila Arboretum Society and who set about the ultimately successful task of reclaiming the fine landscapes hidden under years of overgrown brush. J
Leila Arboretum Welcomes 4th Annual Leilapalooza Festival By Bruce Tuck  L  eila Arboretums 72 acres of breathtaking garde...
val S ome 32 years later the Arboretum has become a major destination and continues to provide the citizens of Battle Creek and surrounding areas with the education and park like atmosphere originally intended by its creators. he Recent addition of a professional style disc golf course has brought many newcomers to the arboretum to enjoy the natural beauty while indulging in one of the areas fastest growing sports. T he inception of Leilapalooza was brought on as a fund raising effort by the Battle Creek Area Mustache Society (B.C.M.A.M.S) a philanthropic organization dedicated to providing fund raising efforts for many local charities including the Leila Arboretum as well as the Arboretum Society. M oving into its 4th year, Leilapalooza has been met with outstanding and ever growing support among the community. With multiple stages of live music, entertainment value for the entire family and the good will that was intended, Leilapalooza has become the major event of the summer for the City of Battle Creek. This July 2014 E veryone is encouraged to enjoy this incredible day of sunshine, Live Music, Food, and Fun at Leilapalooza 2014. A dmission is free and this years event will host over 40 musical acts on five stages. There will be plenty of food vendors and three beer gardens for you to enjoy. P arking is on site and costs only five dollars all the proceeds from the event go to the Leila Arboretum Society. S o grab your blankets and chairs, and bring the kiddo’s and the pooches because everyone is invited to enjoy this fun filled day of music and entertainment on Saturday July 26th at Leila Arboritum from 11AM to 11PM. SmashmagS.com T music festival has grown exponentially, all thanks to the likes of the Arboretum Society, B.C.M.A.M.S., the Network of amazing volunteers and the support of the community. 14
val  S  ome 32 years later the Arboretum has become a major destination and continues to provide the citizens of Battle Cr...
J SmashmagS.com
J  SmashmagS.com
SmashmagS.com 16 July 2014
SmashmagS.com  16 July 2014
July Music Board 411 Club 411 N Westned Ave ge Kalamazoo 269-276-9240 www.the411club.com Kalamazoo Blues Festival Jam Thursday 10th 10PM Bell’s Eccentric Caf e 355 E Kalamazoo Ave Kalamazoo 269-382-2332 bellsbeer.com Old Shoe, Fried Egg Nebula Thursday 3rd 8PM Zion Lion Saturday 5th 8PM The Singles, Boring People, The Hemingers Thursday 10th 8PM The Ventucky String Band, Run Boy Run Friday 11th 8PM SmashmagS.com Family Groove Company Saturday 12th 8PM Afro-Zep Thursday 17th 8PM Steve Leaf & The Ex Pats Friday 18th 8PM Corn Fed Girls Saturday 19th 8PM Mark Lavengood Blue Grass Bonanza Featuring Time & Luck WSG Keith Billik & Lindsay Lou and The Flatbellys Thursday 24th 8PM The Crane Wives, Jamie Leno, Noble Heart Friday 25th 8PM The Go Rounds, The Beat, Maraj Saturday 26th 8PM Turkuaz, Mr. F Friday 31st 8PM District Square 139 S Edwards St Kalamazoo 269-978-8451 www.districtsquare.co Angelo Santelli Band Friday 4th We Know Jackson Saturday 5th Crossroads Resurrection Friday 18th Nick Moss Band Friday 25th Kate Nash Wednesday 30th The Honey Pot, The Union Suits, Abraham, Oddly Social Thursday 3rd Captin Ivory & Wild Adriatic Thursday 3rd Lake Effect Saturday 5th Duffield Caron Project Saturday 5th Plain Jayne Saturday 26th Man Forever + So Percussion, Prognosis Negative Friday 11th 7th Son Blues Jam Sunday 6th Dani Jamerson Acoustic Thursday 31st The Free Life, Grave Hounds, Oddly Social Saturday 12th F riends & Company The Yugos, Indigo Wild, Dogs In Winter, Squirrel Shaped Fish Tuesday 15th Megan Rae Band Saturday 12th Drop 35 Friday 18th South County Friday 25th 1055 West Columbia Battle Creek 269-963-2614 Summer Bash Dory Drive, OTC, Unhinged, Bad Tattoo, Tripwire Saturday Aug. 2nd Leila Arboretum 928West Michigan Ave Battle Creek 269-969-0270 Leilapalooza Saturday 26th 11AM The Dock@Bayview 12504 E. D Ave Richland (269) 731-4911 www.f acebook.com/TheDock-At-Bayview 214 E Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo Free Jukebox Friday 4th David Lloyd Friday 11th 7PM Douglas James Band Saturday 5th David Lloyd Friday 25th 7PM Bronk Brothers Acoustic Thursday 10th Louie’s T rophy House Grill The Unknowns Friday 11th 440 East North St. Kalamazoo 269-385-9359 London Grill 269-381-9212 Genius Hired Guns, International, Thought Industry Saturday 19th Deep Waters, Secret Animals Friday 25th Glowfriends, Brilliant Beast, Care Saturday 26th Prawn, Foxing, Brave Bird, The Reptilian Sunday 27th Mangia Mangia 209 S. Kalamazoo Mall Kalamazoo 269-226-3333 mangiamangia-kazoo.com Tony Fields & Doug Decker Saturday 19th 7PM 10$ Cover Old Dog T avern 402 E Kalamazoo Ave Kalamazoo 269-381-5677 olddogtavern.com Moody Coyotes, Double Strung Friday 11th Old Time Jam 2-5PM Gator Boys Blues Jam6-9 Sunday 13th, Valentiger Thursday 17th Dumuela Project Friday 18th Duffield Caron Project 5-8PM 4 Wheel Drive 9PM Saturday 19th Rootstand & Macpodz Friday 25th 9PM Hired Hands 5PM Kalamazoo River Monsters 9PM Saturday 26th Crossroads Blues Jam Sunday 27th, 6-9PM The Music F actory 191 Angell St. Battle Creek 269-962-2121 Big Love, Crossroads Friday 11th 7PM J
July Music Board 411 Club 411 N Westned Ave ge Kalamazoo 269-276-9240 www.the411club.com  Kalamazoo Blues Festival Jam Thu...
July Music Board Meccabone Saturday 12th Almost Kings Sunday 13th 8PM Genius Hired Guns, Thought Industry, No Tomorrow, The Waterladies Friday 18th 9PM Flaw, WSG Along Came A Spider, Nuskin, Broken Like Me, Deleted By God, Legion, Voodoo Theory Friday 18th 6:30PM Arson Party EP Release WSG PAN, Flood The Desert, Mine Enemies Fall Friday 25th 9PM Liberty Fest IV Mine Enemies Fall, Eye Remain, Body Bag Fit For A King, No Shelter, Templars Verdict, Devils Delema, Rai Lazarc, Black Gate Saturday 19th 7PM ONE The only tribute to Metallica WSG SXX Thursday 31st 8PM Skid Row WSG Sakara, Hair Mania, Bad Tattoo, 10 Gauge Rage Sunday 20th 7PM Rhythm & Wine Paul Erdman Band, The Hawkeyes Friday 25th Shakespears Lower Level Donna The Buffalo, That Freak Quincy Thursday 10th 8PM 716 S. Kalamazoo St. Paw Paw 269-657-5568 Bob Hausler Saturday 5th 2PM Brocoustic Saturday 12th 2PM Treading Bleu Saturday 19th 2-5PM Big Boss Blues Band Saturday 26th 2-5PM The Union Cabertet & Grill Bike Tuff, Tens Friday 11th 9PM 125 S. Kalamazoo Mall Kalamazo 269.384.6756 Inflatable Best Friend Album Release Wednesday 16th 9PM Jazz Mix Night Every Wednesday, 9 PM Beckfunk Thursday 10th 8PM The Shelagh Brown Band Friday 11th 9PM Sterio Garden Saturday 12th 8PM The Honey Pot Tuesday 15th 9PM Blue Lake International Big Band, Tom Knific Quartet Thursday 17th 8PM 7th Son Blues Band Friday 18th 8PM Marci Linn Band Saturday 19th 9PM Alex Mays Tuesday 22nd 9PM Benje Daneman Group Thursday 8PM Crossroads Friday 25th 9PM Tony Fields & Doug Decker Saturday 26th 9PM Rumblefish Tuesday 29th 9PM Warehouse July 2014 1299 Columbia Ave Battle Creek 269-979-9273 Saltbound Tuesday 1st 9PM High Tyde Friday 11th Kanola Jass Band Thursday 3rd 8PM Drag Girls of Kalamazoo Thursday 17th 8PM WMU School of Music Every Thursday, 8PM Kit & Paul Saturday 12th Old Skool Band Friday 18th Steve McCoy Summer Gospal Showcase Saturday 19th Yancyy Friday 25th Chameleon Saturday 26th Double Down Duo Curt Lingo, Rob Whitaker Saturday 12th R&D Project Randy Draper, Dave Haan Saturday 19th Jim Jam Jim Oliver, Jim Dyer Saturday 26th Wings Stadium 3600 Vanrick Dr. Kalamazoo 269-345-1125 wingsstadium.com Kalamazoo Funk Festival All Hudson & One Way WSG Eddie Robinson, Jimmy J & The Hard Drive, Lady Sax Saturday 19th 6:30PM M89 S ports Bar & Grill 129 E Allegan St, Otsego 269-694-6970 Blue Star Highway Fri. 4th & Sat. 5th T.Y.P.O Fri. 11th & Sat. 12th Tricks Fri. 18th & Sat. 19th Michatucky Fri. 25th & Sat. 26th Zarzuela 301 E Michigan Ave Marshall 269-789-9180 zarzuelamarshall.net COW Kjell Croce, Jim Oliver, Bob Wentworth Saturday 5th SmashmagS.com 214 East Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo 269-488-3330 St Julian Winery Lyndsey Winfield, Island Projesct Tuesday 8th 9PM 18
July Music Board Meccabone Saturday 12th Almost Kings Sunday 13th 8PM  Genius Hired Guns, Thought Industry, No Tomorrow, T...
Kalamazoo Blues F estival SmashmagS.com All Star Blues Jam Onl At y Thursday, July 10 Thursday July 20 10:30PM After 10:30 the Blues After the Blues Festival f estival $5 at the door $5 at the door Free with weekend F ree with weekend pass pass J
Kalamazoo Blues F estival  SmashmagS.com  All Star Blues Jam Onl At y  Thursday, July 10 Thursday July 20 10 30PM After 10...
SmashmagS.com 20 July 2014
SmashmagS.com  20 July 2014
I n this big fine State of Michigan the music over flows from one city to the next, like a magical energy that over comes all the pot holes. SmashmagS.com T here are great venues all over from Machine Shop in Flint to the Intersection in Grand Rapids with a very special addition to the music mecca here in Southwest Michigan. T he grand opening of The Music Factory is proving to be a very important link between the big city venues and is providing our area a place for all of us who don’t want to make the drive to Detroit or Grand Rapids but still want to go see live music in a great venue with amazing sound, lights and stage. T he Music Factory is equipped with a massive 60,000 watt sound system with flown TVI array speakers, two new GB8 sound boards, backed up by state of the art LED lighting that allows this venue to provide you a mind blowing experience. L ocated at 191 Angell Street in Battle Creek the venue is able to bring big name acts because of its convenient location to surrounding cities and its state of the art facility that attracts musicians who want to have that unique experience only clubs like The Music Factory can provide. Because it is the only place with the high performance sound system that these acts are looking for but still has a small club feel where fans can get close up and personal with the musicians. O nly 30 minutes or less from Kalamazoo, Cold Water, Hastings, and Marshall there is plenty of local talent playing too. Along with Sunday Blues Jams, Monday Bike Night, and even an opportunity for you to get on stage with Thursday’s Karaoke the venue is a well-rounded entertainment destination. Not to mention special events like the popular Magic Men Male Revue and Hip Hop dance events. T 20th. he music Factory will be having their Grand Opening Extravaganza weekend from July 18th through the K icking off the festivities will be Flaw with all original band members, along with Nuskin, Broken Like Me, Deleted By God, Legion and VooDoo Theory. J
I  n this big fine State of Michigan the music over flows from one city to the next, like a magical energy that over comes...
F riday nights line up will get your blood pumping for Saturdays Liberty Fest IV. Kalamazoo’s favorite metal band Mine Enemies Fall will be headlining with special guests Eye Remain, BodyBag Fit For A King, No Shelter, Templars Verdict, Devils Dilema, Rai Lazerc and BlackGate. E F verything you could possibly want right here in your back yard. or listings of up coming shows you can go to www.musicfactorybc.com or check them out of Facebook. T his amazing line up of bands is just a glimpse of what is to come for all of us in Southwest Michigan as The Music Factory has so much more up there proverbial sleeve! D rink specials served up by an amazing, professional and friendly staff. A perfectly balanced menu because your gonna get hungry but cant miss the show. and an atmosphere that will make you feel like your stepping into another world of mind blowing live music. O wner Jeff Harris has spared no expense in making this venue the absolute best in Michigan. With an outside patio for smokers, huge drop down movie screen, July 2014 Trill Gates with Music Factory Staff SmashmagS.com F or the Finale The Music Factory brings you 80’s rock legend Skid Row. Backing them up are Sakara, Bad Tattoo, 10 Gauge Rage and Hair Mania for a night of head banging flashbacks. high top tables and VIP booths but most of all, this venue will bring a large array of entertainment from blues to country, rock and metal to comedy shows and male revues. 22
F  riday nights line up will get your blood pumping for Saturdays Liberty Fest IV. Kalamazoo   s favorite metal band Mine ...
MOVIE REVIEW- “THE MACHINE” by Raoul Duke Jr. You can go rent this little movie at your local video store. But dont waste your time Im still not sure what the movie was actually about. It looked very pretty, and the Girl was very cute as you can see by the picture here. But It seemed to take place in one room and never held my attention. Plenty of Lens Flares and CGI. Looked Like a Nice Camera too. It felt as if the whole thing was shot on “Green Screen”. Before I knew it, the movie was over. And it seemed they never left that same room And I still dont know what the movie was about. Im questioning myself “What happened, Its over?” Congrats on your lens flares and CGI, It Didnt make this a good movie. Or even a decent movie. Its a Total Waste of my time movie thank you. Next. -RDJ SPECIALIZING IN SAFE ALTERNATIVE PAIN MANAGEMENT TREATMENTS Dr. Robert Townsend/Denali Healthcare SmashmagS.com Located within the CRCWM Wellness Center 1611 West Centre Ave, Suite 100 Portage MI. 49024 WWW.denalihealthcaremi.com    269-366-5878 Medical Marihuana Certifications providing local, professional, defensible bona fide-doctor/patient relationship (medical records required) Suboxone therapy for prescription addiction Acupuncture, Counseling/Cognitive based therapy Massage Therapies and Essential Oils …... J
MOVIE REVIEW-    THE MACHINE    by Raoul Duke Jr.  You can go rent this little movie at your local video store. But dont w...
SmashmagS.com 24 July 2014
SmashmagS.com  24 July 2014
Vintage Vinyl Revisited A look back at rock records you never heard, or may have forgotten By Todd Cope Parshallville, Michigan is a quaint little unincorporated community along US 23, south of Flint in Livingston County. Not much happens in Parshallville & the locals like it that way. In the 1970's, however, it just happened to be the location of "The Swamp", the rehearsal complex & recording studio of Mich-rock legends Grand Funk Railroad. Back in 1976, when everyone was listening to Frampton Comes Alive and preoccupied with painting fire hydrants red, white & blue, Grand Funk Railroad was breaking up. Long derided by music critics as simplistic caveman thud-rock, GFR always had difficulty earning respect from their peers, even with past chart success with songs such as "I'm Your Captain" (Closer To Home), and "We're An American Band". For a band on the verge of a breakup, GFR had a very busy 1976, recording 2 albums, "Born To Die", and "Good Singin', Good Playin', both well received by their fans, but largely ignored by music critics & the public in general. SmashmagS.com Grand Funk was indeed in a funk and needed a creative spark to hold their interest in staying together. Enter Frank Zappa. Zappa always had a propensity for producing acts that one would not expect, starting with the earliest days of Alice Cooper & Captain Beefheart. Though they were basically broken up, Zappa's involvement inspired GFR to reassemble for one more attempt to regain a high chart position, which had become elusive as the airwaves at the time were becoming more & more dominated by disco. Frank Zappa found one of his biggest challenges of travelling to rural Michigan was finding suitable coffee, which was Frank's only drug of choice. Recorded for MCA Records, "Good Singin', Good Playin'" displayed a great bunch of songs. Mark Farner & Don Brewer were in fine form on vocals, and the performances were superb. As Grand Funk progressed into the mid 1970's, their style shifted from their early garage rock bashing, towards a much more polished & sophisticated AOR version, showing their Motown influences on tracks such as "Just Couldn't Wait", "Pass It Around", and "Release Your Love". Mark Farner was blessed with one of the most amazing & soulful singing voices in rock & roll ever, and his vocals on "Miss My Baby", and "Crossfire" are just mesmerizing. The magic of his high vocal harmonies are just unsurpassed in the history of rock. Frank Zappa originally wasn't too thrilled about Farner's pro-gun tune "Don't Let Em' Take Your Gun", being a hippie left coaster who had never fired a gun before, but Farner took Frank out back & let him fire his 44 Magnum at some tin cans, just so he could feel the power & Farner remarked how Zappa's eyes got as big as saucers with the excitement of it all, cuz he hit that tin can! Zappa even got to perform on the album, playing the extensive winding guitar solo on "Out To Get You" in his inimitable style, after Farner begged him to, saying that he personally just didn't know what to play on it? Overall, this album delivers exactly as the title promises, good singin' & good playin', and factoring in that this album was recorded in the 70's with that beautiful analog production that you just don't hear anymore, and you have a real treat for the ears for anyone who may have missed out on this great LP from 1976. Unfortunately, it only made it to #52 on the Billboard Top 200 & the band folded soon thereafter, even though Zappa tried to talk them out of doing so. This was Grand Funk Railroad's last album of the 70's with their original lineup, Mark Farner, Don Brewer, Mel Schacher & Craig Frost (who joined the band on keyboards in 1973), and nearly 40 years on, it still holds up today. A necessary piece of Michigan aural history. Todd Cope is the guitarist for King Kooler ( www.reverbnation. com/kingkooler ) and is a ne'er do well in general.. J
Vintage Vinyl Revisited A look back at rock records you never heard, or may have forgotten By Todd Cope  Parshallville, Mi...
SmashmagS.com 26 July 2014
SmashmagS.com  26 July 2014