Annie Bacon and Kyle Rasche Come Together to Write the Michigan-Based Musical "The Keeper" and Perform Songs February 17 at Trinity House Theatre
Back in October, two Michigan folk singer-songwriters formed an unexpected partnership.
Ann Arbor’s Annie Bacon and Alto’s Kyle Rasche met at the Folk Alliance Region Midwest conference outside Chicago and quickly learned they would be ideal collaborators for a new musical.
“I think we both knew of each other, and I was a fan of Annie before we [had] actually met in person because she had written this amazing folk opera a few years ago,” said Rasche, who writes, records, and performs under the moniker Chain of Lakes.
Within only a few short hours of meeting Rasche, Bacon started writing the initial songs for a full-blown, stage-ready musical called The Keeper and shared them with him.
“I’d done my stalking and knew she’d be great to work with and immediately shared my dream with her to write a musical that had been germinating for a few years,” he said. “She came back to my room later to work on it with a bunch of it already written.”
Shannon Lee's Album "Stars" Follows an Emotional Journey Through Love and Loss
Shannon Lee wanted her new album to progress like an emotional journey, from the pain of a broken relationship and the loss of a loved one to the rediscovery of love. The seven songs on Stars trace that quest, though it’s a subtle sojourn.
“I’m not sure if other listeners can tell but I wanted to start the album off with my heartache and loss and have the album move toward lighter themes, which I think I accomplished,” said the Ypsilanti-based Lee.
“Anymore” and “I’ve Gone Away” cover the break-up phase, while “Brother” recounts the tragic loss of her brother on New Year’s Day four years ago and “Stars” imagines his light shining down on her. Lee then pays tribute to a fellow songwriter on “Sunni Leilani” and closes Stars with two songs, “Here to Stay” and “Sing to Me,” that revel in love.
Lee’s songs share elements reminiscent of folk and Americana artists such as Emmylou Harris, Brandi Carlile, Patty Griffin, and Lucinda Williams, and cites artists who were played in her house while growing up as influences.
“I always had an ear for music; ever since I was a kid,” Lee said. “I had a knack for picking out harmonies in three or more part harmony singing, too, and always found myself singing along to my dad’s records. His collection of course had Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and many more in that classic rock vein.”
Understorey Time: Ann Arbor’s Jess Merritt Celebrates Her 40th Birthday and a Return to the Stage at The Ark
Some say reaching 40 is a milestone but that each decade lived should be celebrated.
Ann Arbor singer-songwriter Jess Merritt will take The Ark stage on February 13 to celebrate all of her decades as well as her 40th birthday, recent life changes, and what is yet to come.
“I’m so grateful to be celebrating this new chapter of life with The Ark and that they were willing to put this on,” said Merritt who used to be known as Jess McCumons when she co-led the soul, rock, and blues band The Understorey. “It feels so great to be getting back to the stage after a few years away, and this is a really big way to kick things off at my favorite place to perform.”