A Plymouth-based Americana quartet will harvest their homegrown rootsy sound Friday night in Farmington.
Known as Cold Tone Harvest, the band will join Ypsilanti indie folk singer-songwriter Chris DuPont as part of the intimate “Friday Night Live” concert series at the Farmington Civic Theater, 33332 Grand River Ave. in Farmington, at 8 p.m. Friday.
“We’re excited to be in a new venue with new people,” said Brian Williams, Cold Tone Harvest’s drummer and banjo player. “We just hope to keep spreading the word, get a nice little turnout and have a great night together.”
Cold Tone Harvest will perform a headlining set with raw emotional tracks from their latest album, introduce some highly anticipated new tunes and covers and bring DuPont on stage to round out the night. The band also will join DuPont for part of his opening set to add a fresh take on his past, present and future music.
“Chris is going to join us on a bunch of our tunes, and then we’re going to support him when he joins us for a couple of his tunes and maybe mix in a little surprise here or there,” said Williams, who originally hails from Plymouth.
With their rich country-infused melodies, rhythms and instrumentations, Cold Tone Harvest’s Andrew Sigworth (vocals, acoustic guitar), Ozzie Andrews (acoustic bass, bass guitar, bass banjo), Anthony Pace (electric guitar, lap steel, dobro) and Williams will perform thoughtful, heartfelt tunes that poetically chronicle adversity and creatively demonstrate the inner strength to overcome it.
Whiskey songs, personal reflections and heartache anthems summarize Cold Tone Harvest’s magical 2018 debut album, “After You,” which sonically captures the feel of watching a piercing crimson sunset on a crisp autumn evening while freshly fallen leaves crunch beneath one’s feet.
Formed in 2008, Cold Tone Harvest originally featured soft-spoken singer-songwriter Sigworth in partnership with Williams. Together, the pair advocated for a sonic landscape built around Sigworth’s voice as a centerpiece against a percussive backdrop.
A special celebration of Ypsilanti’s emerging do-it-yourself (DIY) music culture will take place tonight at The Late Station.
Hosted by After Hours Radio, the 8 p.m. show will commemorate the DIY music venue’s one-year anniversary with a stacked lineup featuring Liquid Thickness, Varsity Letter, Dis Orda, Tequila Deer, and Vest and Tyler.
It’s the ultimate mixed genre show filled with funk, acoustic folk punk, hip hop, post-punk, EDM and chiptune. Eclectic lineups are one of The Late Station’s specialties – the venue accurately reflects the diversity of music, sounds, approaches and performance styles coming from one of Michigan’s brightest music scenes.
“There’s this aspect of community that organically happens here, and it’s been great over this past year seeing similar faces in the same location,” said Greg Hughes, bassist for After Hours Radio, an Ypsilanti-based progressive groove-heavy indie rock trio. “I love seeing so many people coming back to the same stage experiencing different lineups and shows and having so many different talented artists perform here as part of it all.”
Along with bandmates Nate Erickson (vocals, guitar) and Mark Dunne (drums), Hughes started The Late Station in 2018 after performing at University of Michigan co-op open mic nights as a college student and experiencing the Chicago DIY music scene.
“When I was living in Chicago, they have a very vibrant DIY scene there, and there are lots of venues like The Late Station there where they’re not necessarily big houses with students living in them,” Hughes said. “It’s musicians or artists who want to create their own art space specifically devoted to their craft. After I moved back here, I just wanted to recreate that.”
To date, After Hours Radio has hosted 24 shows at The Late Station. For each show, bandmates, friends and volunteers help book shows, promote events, run the door and assist with gear. The band also accepts donations from attendees at each show to help fund shows and other venue-related needs.
For tonight’s show at The Late Station, After Hours Radio is accepting $5 donations to help pay for venue repairs, including the iconic sign by the stage. Donations can be made through PayPal or at the door.
Tonight’s show also allows After Hours Radio fans to embrace the versatile artistry and musicianship of the show’s five special guests. Here’s a quick look at each artist and what they’ll be bringing to tonight’s performance.
Spirits of Fire knows how to rekindle a heavy metal flame.
The heavy metal supergroup is reigniting fans with the release of their highly combustible self-titled debut album today on Frontiers Music.
Together, Tim “Ripper” Owens (vocals), Chris Caffery (guitar), Steve DiGiorgio (bass) and Mark Zonder (drums) fuse 11 scorching tracks that blaze an invigorating musical trail heavily influenced by Judas Priest, Savatage, Testament and Fates Warning.
“To get a chance to do this record was really special to me, and to work with somebody like Roy Z., who I have always considered to be one of the good, really modern minds of heavy metal, it was just a win-win thing all the way around to have this going and to get a chance to make these songs,” Caffery said.
With the help of Frontiers Music, Caffery teamed up with longtime pal Owens and new friends DiGiorgio and Zonder to form Spirits of Fire in August 2016 and recorded their debut album with renowned Los Angeles-based producer Roy Z.
“I’d say there was about a year in the writing process before we went into the full recording process of it. Then, just because everybody’s on different schedules, it took about another six months to get everything finished, to get the guitars, bass and vocals and everything done, it was finished completely by the beginning of April 2018,” Caffery said.
In November, Spirits of Fire released their first single, “Light Speed Marching,” a turbocharged heavy metal anthem featuring electrifying guitar solos, pounding drums and surging bass lines. The band also met in downtown Los Angeles last summer to film the video, which features a fast-paced performance in a hot industrial underground setting.
“I was the one who put my foot down to have ‘Light Speed’ as the one that was going to get the video because it’s got a longer guitar solo,” laughed Caffery, who also performs as a solo artist as well as with Savatage and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. “I thought it mixed together the instrumental music a little bit better, and it went through Ripper’s voice a little bit better.”
In response to the success of “Light Speed Marching” Spirits of Fire also has released two explosive follow-up singles, the victorious, ready-for-battle masterpiece, “Stand and Fight,” and the personal ode to darkness, “It’s Everywhere,” to spark attention from the heavy metal music community. The band also plans to release a video for “It’s Everywhere” soon.
“There’s a lot of different metal and a lot of different tones in the music on this record,” Caffery said. “I really like ‘Temple of the Soul’ because it comes together in way that I really enjoy the band musically, or when you look at something like ‘Light Speed Marching’ and listen to Ripper just using his full range, there’s a lot of different things that I like for a lot of different reasons.”
In addition to their three powerhouse singles, Caffery admits the band’s signature and self-titled track, “Spirits of Fire,” best captures the feeling, inspiration and approach behind their music. It beautifully weaves the album’s 11 tracks together and provides an intimate look into the band’s musical soul.
“I remember when I first wrote the ‘Spirits of Fire’ song, I took something and added a short description of a character into a thing that was talking about something in a positive way,” Caffery said. “The spirit of fire is the most powerful of the good spirits, so when people would be looking to summon spirits to get rid of evil, they would call for the spirits of fire. That was the most badass, powerful good spirit.”
Luckily, the band remains in good spirits with the release of their debut album and hopes to play festivals later this year to support it.
“I’m hoping this develops as a band so people will want to hear us more and turn around and say, ‘Hey, there’s a week of shows that this guy wants you to do in Brazil with Spirits of Fire,’” Caffery said. “That’s the type of thing I’m looking for, the main things I’m gonna find out or what’s going to happen once it gets out there.”
With a vibrant new single and lineup, Honey Monsoon is floating in a new musical stratosphere.
Earlier this week, the metro Detroit jazz-fusion quintet dropped their latest single, “Cloud,” a five-and-a-half-minute peaceful sonic journey filled with funky guitars, bright synths, gentle cymbal crashes and slow grooves.
“It’s a dynamic love song about being in an amazing state, realizing that you’re there, being present and preserving that,” said Ana Gomulka, Honey Monsoon’s vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist. “It’s a complex song where I put myself in a character role and follow a floaty, vibey path that’s immediate and accessible.”
That uplifting musical path soars to the sky-high auditory intersection of jazz, disco, rock, funk, soul and R&B – think Stevie Wonder, Nile Rodgers, George Benson, Sade and Toro y Moi combining their signature styles into an atmospheric sound.
Honey Monsoon will release a new video soon for “Cloud” that features footage from some of their local favorite spots in Detroit, including the Fisher Building and the Renaissance Center. Additional footage was shot at a local church in Ypsilanti.
“Cloud” is the first single from Honey Monsoon’s forthcoming album, “Opal Soul,” a follow-up to their 2017 jazzy, soulful debut, “Rose Gold,” due out March 22. It also features a fresh lineup with new members Sam Naples (guitar, vocals) and Binho “Alex” Manenti (bass, keys) along with Taylor Greenshields (drums), Leo Willer (paintbrushes) and Gomulka.
“We’ve been in the studio collaborating with so many incredible people in the area on horns, keys, strings and vibraphone,” said Gomulka, who started writing songs for “Opal Soul” in September. “We’ve been in the trenches putting together this eclectic production for ‘Opal Soul.’”
Produced, engineered and mixed by Greenshields and Naples at Fundamental Sound Co., “Opal Soul” will feature eight tracks and include former member Andrea Holther-Cruz on two to three songs written with the previous band’s lineup.
“Opal Soul” also will feature a more diverse sound that draws influences from pop, rock, Latin, funk, Afrobeat and world music. For “Rose Gold,” Honey Monsoon intertwined jazzy, soulful sonic textures against a rock-infused backdrop with bright vocals and saxophone solos.
“‘Opal Soul’ is based on a concept of reflection, and I was inspired by that while writing for this album,” Gomulka said. “It highlights the reflection and soulfulness that we put into the creative process.”
Shon Jay knows how to create a groove-fueled musical time machine.
The Southfield indie artist mixes retro R&B with current pop-inspired textures on “Nothing Is Forever,” his eight-track debut EP that drops today. He magically transports listeners to a personal sonic world that fuses late ‘70s, early ‘80s vibes with catchy 21st century melodies.
Jay, aka Shon Johnson, teamed with his father Lamont Johnson, a renown electric bassist from the Detroit-based funk group Brainstorm and a solo artist, to record and produce the beautifully crafted EP.
“There’s a heavy old school element in the entire project, but then I’m bringing my youth and whatever naiveté I want to try to recapture as I hit a career path,” Jay said. “We worked together to go through his catalog of songs that I’ve known since I was four or five years old.”
Jay and Lamont Johnson recorded “Nothing Is Forever” from September to December with Todd Johnson at Throne Muzik in Southfield. Together, they weave a powerful relationship theme throughout the Lamont Johnson-penned project – it exquisitely captures the rollercoaster of emotion with falling in love, becoming a couple, drifting apart, breaking up and moving forward.
The EP’s latest single, “Dreamin’,” includes a laid-back Earth, Wind & Fire feel surrounded by soul grooves, electronic finger snaps and gleaming synths.
“It has such a mellow mood, and it has ups and downs in terms of delivery for the notes and the melody. It’s very intricate and smooth. To do both, I would say that was the most challenging song to record because of how all over the place it is with intonations,” Jay said.
“That song is supposed to make someone think about what they’re really looking for in life and what types of things they want and how easy it is to obtain, but they just really need to go out and get it.”
“I think we’ll pull from all of our experiences of working together and songs that we’ve written together, songs that we’ve done solo, songs that are cover tunes, songs that we’ve performed and recorded, and maybe have some new stuff, too,” said Krist, who’s recovering from a broken shoulder. “I have a couple of new songs that I’m hoping we’ll be able to play.”
Together, Krist and Bizer will perform as part of a fun, formidable duo where the sum is greater than the already substantial parts. Their performances mesh and interlock with lyrics and melodies that interweave in surprising and intriguing ways.
Originally hailing from Detroit, the duo has played together for more than 40 years and first crossed musical paths as teens during the burgeoning singer-songwriter movement of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Krist absorbed Joni Mitchell’s folk, rock, jazz and pop-inspired tunes while Bizer studied James Taylor’s catchy folk rock. They also developed an affinity for the Motown sound coming out of Detroit.
“Both of us had independent careers and achieved a bit of notoriety on our own, and then we decided it would be fun to tour together,” said Bizer, who started out playing cover songs in local bars and restaurants. “We’d perform as a duo and take turns performing each other’s songs. We got more and more developed into that kind of show, and we started writing together, and the songs became more crafted for a duo, which is where it really got fun.”
“Saint Andrew’s is a great venue, and I couldn’t pass up this opportunity,” said Cocco, who originally hails from Sterling Heights. “It’s a fun homecoming for me, and what I like about RAW is that it’s not just about music. I’ve always thought of Science for Sociopaths since its conception as a multimedia project. For each project that I’ve done, I’ve worked very closely with an artist.”
Hosted by RAW Detroit, an international artist collective, Reflect will be the first show Cocco has played in the Motor City since relocating to the Bay area in September. She will reunite with Detroit bandmates Neil Eby (guitar), Alex Marshall (bass) and J Durrell Gibbs (drums) for her set.
“I’m bowled over by their willingness to play with me,” Cocco said. “I’m going to do some of the favorites from ‘Love & Life,’ and then I’m going to do a new song, ‘Where I Belong,’ that I’m going to release right before the show.”
“Where I Belong” will be Cocco’s first new Science for Sociopaths single since releasing her double EP “Love & Life” in June and the first of 10 new tunes she’ll be sharing throughout 2019 to her Patreon supporters. All 10 tracks will be released as part of an official album later this year.
“It’s a love song, just like ‘Love & Life,’ which I felt was very aptly named. My music compulsions are divided between philosophical shit that I’m figuring out in my brain for myself with how life works with boundaries and then my romantic life,” said Cocco, who’s influenced by Carole King, Brandi Carlile and Sheryl Crow. “I’m a very romantic person, it sort of overflows, and it’s always about half and half.”
Cocco recorded the untitled pop-rock project with Benjamin Warsaw, a Nashville-based producer and sound engineer, over four days in Ohio. She also worked with Warsaw on “Love & Life,” her heartfelt nine-song ode to the trials and tribulations of life and love.
Throughout 2018, Cocco released a new Science for Sociopaths song each week through Patreon, an online platform that allows artists to receive funds directly from their fans.
“It was a very prolific year for me,” she said. “I think I grew a lot as a musician, but this year I’m trying to dedicate more time and resources to getting the music I already have in front of more people.”