Spring Fever – The Stratton Playlist April 2020 Edition Captures Carefree Spirit

This month, we’re springing forth with a new edition of “The Stratton Playlist.”

In this April Spotify compilation, you’ll feel rejuvenated with experimental jazz, timeless techno, heavy alt rock, spirited folk rock, uplifting Americana, imaginative Tom Petty renditions and bouncy hip-hop  from Michigan and other regional artists.

Featured artists include Project 206, Doogatron, Linen Ray, The Whiskey Charmers, Paddock, E-Man Bates, Mike & Joe and more. Enjoy this refreshing escape outside of daily quarantine life.

We’re also taking future submissions for upcoming editions of “The Stratton Playlist” at strattonsetlist@yahoo.com. All genres are welcome.

Equinox Party – Grove Studios Hosts Fall-Themed Celebration for Ypsilanti Creative Community

Grove Studios provides a 24/7/365 rehearsal and recording space for local artists and musicians. Photo courtesy of Grove Studios

For Grove Studios, fall’s arrival calls for an annual celebration of music, creativity and community.

The Ypsilanti rehearsal and recording space will host an “Equinox Party” Saturday to bring artists, musicians, creatives and community leaders together for an evening of networking and performances.

“We had a similar event last year, and it’s like an anniversary party for us. It’s also a back-to-school event celebrating the fall intermixed with networking and performances,” said Erich Friebel, Grove Studios partner and director of operations and community. “We’re going to have people from different support organizations and service providers and feature performances from a variety of rock bands, hip-hop artists and DJs.”

The “Equinox Party” will feature presentations from Grove Studios, Alexis Ford from the Music and Arts Guild, Ypsilanti Mayor Beth Bashert, Dan McPherson from Leaders Must Lead, Leo Casares with Issa Wrap Productions, E-Man Bates with Beats and Brews podcast, Rod Wallace from Double Negative People and RW Consulting, and Taylor Greenshields of Fundamental Sound Co.

“I just want people to take away how welcoming and opening the vibe is and how it’s a place where artists can come and they can create, and it’s not just about coming into a studio space with 55 racks on the wall that are never being used,” said Wallace, who serves as the studio’s lead engineer.

“It’s really a place where true collaboration and true artistic freedom can happen, and there’s a great deal of trust that the owners have in allowing people to come into this space 24/7/365.”

The “Equinox Party” also will include performances from Steve Somers and Friends, Painted Friends, Still in Denial, DJ Nitro, Graham Rockwood and Rockwell Music Therapy artists, Louis Picasso and The Gallery, and Wallace as well as live painting from Doradiaspora and Holly Schoenfield.

“These presentations and performances are from people who use our space and patronize our growth. We’re about a year and a half in at the current location, and prior to that, we had been doing events at Riverside Arts Center,” Friebel said. “Before that, when we were at the Michigan Avenue location, Alexis Ford from the Music and Arts Guild was doing a lot of the booking for us for events there.”

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‘Be Careful Be Safe’ — New E-Man Bates Album Honors Mother’s Memory, Addresses Inner Struggles

Emmanuel “E-Man” Bates releases “Be Careful Be Safe” today. Cover artwork by Leo James Willer.

Emmanuel “E-Man” Bates keeps the phrase, “be careful, be safe,” close to his heart.

The Canton hip-hop artist frequently heard that cautionary, heartwarming phrase from his mother while growing up.

“Every time I left the house, no matter what I was doing, no matter if I was going out with friends or doing some sports stuff or going out to shows,” he said. “It was ‘be careful, be safe, make smart decisions.’”

Bates decided to name his latest album, “Be Careful Be Safe,” which drops today, as a tribute to his mother, who passed away in January. He also timed the album’s release to coincide with his mother’s Oct. 6 birthday.

“The original title was going to be ‘Green Balloons,’ which is the theme for the whole album, but then my mom passed, and I decided to go with the quote she always said to me,” he said.

Throughout the eight-minute title track, Bates sings about heeding his mother’s timeless advice and the lasting impact it’s had on him.

The song speeds up and down against a jazzy sonic backdrop, courtesy of metro Detroit’s Honey Monsoon, to chronicle the rollercoaster of emotions he’s experienced since losing his mother. Bates also included the lyrics from the slower part of “Be Careful Be Safe” in his mom’s obituary.

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