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Spirit of the Woods Folk Festival

June 16

SPIRIT OF THE  WOODS FOLK  FESTIVAL,  16  June  2018;  Brethren,  Michigan
The   41st  Annual  Spirit of the  Woods Folk Festival will be held  at Dickson Township Park, 14270 Coates Highway, Brethren, Michigan  on Saturday,  June  16,  2018  from  12:00 noon  until  10:00  p.m. ,and will feature some of the artists who helped  make the festival a success over the last four decades.   Admission   is  free  but donations are  gratefully accepted.  The Spirit of the Woods Music Association, a 501(c)(3) group, is the sponsor of this  event.

Raion Taiko Drummers  |  Betse and Clarke  |  Dominic and Rachael Davis  |  Drive South Band  |   Miriam Pico  |  Cheryl Wolfram and Peace Love Music.


12:00  Raion Taiko Drummers

1:30    Peace Love Music

2:30    Dominic and Rachael Davis

3:30    Betse and Clarke

4:30    Drive South Band

5:30    Dominic and Rachael Davis

6:30    Miriam Pico

7:30    Betse and Clarke

8:30    Drive South Band


Raion Taiko Drumming Team

One of the featured groups at this year’s Folk Festival is the  Raion Taiko Drumming Team of Novi,Michigan:. established in 2005. The music starts at noon with the Taiko Drummers. Taiko drumming is a form of music, and just as important, it is movement and dance as well as rhythm. A Raion Taiko performance enables the listener to not only hear the music, but feel the beat deep inside. The powerful sound of the 3.5 foot diameter drum, carved from a single tree trunk, calls out across the miles.  The band members include: Brian Sole (director), Mayumi Sole, Tom Menzies, Larry An, Eileen Ho, Ash Brown, Yoshino Watanabe, and Wendy Whiteside. Away members: Yuko Nozoe, Ken Yasui, Chitose Taguchi. Raion Taiko is a professional performing group sponsored by the Great Lakes Taiko Center in Novi, Michigan. The Great Lakes Taiko Center also offers classes and instruction in Japanese Taiko Drumming. Taiko (太鼓) means simply “drum” in Japanese. Outside Japan, the word is used to refer to any of the different kinds of Japanese drums (和太鼓, wadaiko, “Japanese drum” in Japanese) and to the more or less new art of taiko drumming bands (sometimes better called, “kumi-daiko”, 組太鼓). The taiko drum originated in the country of Japan. This drum was created by Daihachi Oguchi in 1951. The taiko drum makes a very loud, deep sound. In a traditional Japanese village the odaiko (big drum) defined the extent of the village land. In modern Japan, wadaiko has become more of a performance art, seen only during festivals or in concert.  The group influences include traditional Japanese Taiko as well as contemporary global taiko artists. For more information: see http://www.michigantaiko.net, or raion.taiko@gmail.com.

Cheryl Wolfram and Peace Love Music

Peace Love Music is based in Manistee County, and featured Cheryl Wolfram, Sandra McLean and Jeri Dziabuda.     With an arrangement of  12 string guitar, bass, and keyboard with three part vocal harmony,  Peace Love Music provides an upbeat variety of soft rock, oldies, ballads, country, and current hits.  Peace Love Music formed in 2014, and have performed at venues around Northern Michigan. Cheryl Wolfram on guitar and vocals, has been performing as a singer songwriter in Northern Michigan since 2001.  She has released three original CDs. .  During her blues rock years, 2000 to 2010, she and her band released three CDs. Her vocal ability, phrasing, and song writing earned the band enthusiastic reviews. Sandra McLean on  bass and vocals  is an accomplished musician with a colorful lengthy musical resume including country, rock, and an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry!Jeri Dziabuda on keyboards, percussion, and lilting, versatile  vocals has been in several bands through the years, including blues, rock, jazz, and variety.

Dominic and Rachael Davis (2 Sets)

Spirit of the Woods is pleased to bring Michigan all-stars, Dominic and Rachael Davis, back to the Festival stage this year.  Rachael, a Cadillac native, sings wonderfully in many different musical styles.  Dominic, a veteran of the wildly popular Michigan band, Steppin’ in It, shows true mastery of the upright bass by making it look so easy.  The couple now lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where Dominic is in demand as a studio musician and member of Jack White’s band and Rachael pursues her career of singing in the style she calls, “Motown Banjo”. Rachael Davis was born into a musical family and has been in the company of music all her life. Davis is swayed by many different types of music so her style doesn’t simply rest amid broader musical genres. Rachael’s slant on acoustic music originates with a mixed cassette tape that her father had during her childhood. One side of the cassette was the soundtrack for The Big Chill, on the other side was John Hartford’s “Areoplane”. Hours of listening in the family van during a critical time for an impressionable child had a lasting effect thus creating a unique category of acoustic music Davis amorously calls ‘Motown-Banjo’. Rachael is a multi-instrumentalist, award-winning songwriter and widely celebrated vocalist whose talent has taken her across the world and left many people of many cultures thunderstruck by the power and purity of her preternatural talent.
Born and raised in Southwest Detroit, Dominic is a product of Motown’s rich musical history. Davis attended Detroit Public School’s Cass Technical High alongside historic bass alumni Ron Carter and Paul Chambers where he took up studies in the Upright Bass. Known for his tasteful playing, tone, and deep pocket, he is equal parts Jazz, Hip-Hop, Rock & Roll and Classic Blues. Styles that have all called Detroit home over the years. A busy studio musician, Dominic has recorded with the likes of Wanda Jackson, Tom Jones, Jeff Daniels, Rachael Davis, Beck, Brittany Howard & The Secret Sisters but is best known for his work with Jack White & The Buzzards. Fluent on both electric & upright, Davis brought the stand-up bass back to the forefront of modern music with the help of The Super Bassman 300. “Tube amps are often overlooked when it comes to amplifying an upright bass,” says Davis. “All of that power and tube compression helps bring out the subtlety of a Doghouse. We’re seeing this new wave of tiny amps for the upright and it’s no wonder everyone has a problem with their stage sound. You’ve got to push air to make noise!”

Betse & Clarke (2 Sets)

Betse Ellis & Clarke Wyatt formed their duo in the fall of 2014, after meeting and realizing a shared love of deep sources of traditional southern mountain music, along with the draw to create new music. Betse & Clarke released their debut full-length album, “River Still Rise”, in July 2016. This collection of music is to be enjoyed as a musical adventure, much like the river exploration of the famous duo Lewis & Clark, an inspiration for the band’s name, and a part of their Kansas City home’s history. A second recording, “Tunes We Like”, was released in limited quantity in September 2017, featuring Ozark fiddle tunes. Betse & Clarke explore their love of old time music with an inventive spirit, taking listeners on a field trip across mountain folkways and new landscapes. Their music is familiar… and totally different; a fiddle and banjo duo with a sense of adventure. Betse Ellis plays fiddle and sings like nobody’s business. Her years with The Wilders proved her passion for Ozark tunes and an unstoppable stage presence. Her early violin studies continue to shape her musicianship through technique and composition. Clarke Wyatt has an original and innovative approach to three-finger banjo. His background as a pianist and composer inform his banjo method as much as his love for old time music. Together, Betse & Clarke give every listener something to appreciate. They perform traditional tunes learned from cherished sources, creative arrangements of familiar and forgotten songs, and original compositions. You can expect to hear something new that reminds you what makes the old music so good.    http://www.betseandclarke.com;     betswilder@gmail.com

Drive South Band (2 Sets)

Drive South brings together two seasoned musicians, Roger Brown and Mary Sue Wilkinson.  Vocal duets, tight harmony singing and finger style guitar work complement Brown’s original American roots music. Joining Mary Sue and Roger will be their former band mates from Sister Wilene – Joe Wilson (Steppin’ In It) on dobro and Kevin Gills (Billy Strings) on string bass. Adding to the fun will be Peter Knupfer (Detour) on fiddle. Raised in North Carolina, Roger has recorded and toured with Jerry Rafferty/Stealers Wheel and Freddy Fender among others.  He also wrote the music and lyrics for Ringo Starr’s children’s release “Scouse the Mouse.”  Mary Sue grew up in Iowa and is best known for her work in the Michigan based band Iowa Rose.  She is also the founder of Singing Heart to Heart and the Young at Heart Music Program, providing music experiences for seniors. Guitarist, steel guitarist, trombonist and singer Joe Wilson is best known for playing with longtime Michigan favorites, Steppin’ In It.  With Steppin’ In It, Joe has played many of the nation’s top concerts and festivals, including the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Wheatland, Blissfest, Old Settlers Festival, the Woody Guthrie festival, Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour, and Live at Mountain Stage. Joe has been performing with Steppin’ In It for over 15 years.  Joe has been fortunate enough to share stages with Wayne Hancock, Bill Kirchen, Greg Brown, Tim O’brien and many others. Upright bass player Kevin Gills along with Wilson  form the duo The True Falsettos, who have have a six-year history playing western swing and country music together in the bands Rusty Blaides and Sister Wilene. Peter Knupfer(fiddle)  has been a professional bluegrass, folk, swing and jazz fiddle player for over 30 years. He has performed with Byron Berline, Joel Mabus, Alan Munde, Donald Stiernberg, John McCuen, Tony Trischka, Bill Evans, Bill Keith, Tim O’Brien, Peter Wernick, Greg Cahill, Peter Ostroushko and Howard Levy. Peter teaches U.S. History at Michigan State University and lives with his family in East Lansing. “Peter Knupfer is one of those rare and wonderful fiddle players who can do it all,” says mandolin virtuoso Donald Stiernberg. “Peter always brings a joyful intensity to the session and elevates his fellow musicians.”

Miriam Pico

Another featured performer is singer/songwriter Miriam Pico whose talent, spark and smile endear her to audience wherever she appears. Based in Traverse City, she began her career as a vocalist at the age of eleven, singing for weddings and church services. She has spent the past two decades fine-tuning her art; strengthening her voice, crafting new songs, collaborating with top Michigan musicians and expanding her repertoire.  In addition to performing locally and touring throughout the US, Puerto Rico and Europe, Miriam conducts the Little Bird School of Song to introduce young music lovers (birth to 5 years old) to the wider world of songs.  Miriam never fails to connect with her audiences from the heart as she weaves her unique blend of folk, jazz and pop into each song. Miriam was voted “RED HOT BEST” female singer/songwriter in The Traverse Magazine for multiple years and also voted “BEST SOLO ARTIST” in the Northern Express Magazine for multiple years. @miriampicomusic  miriampicomusic@gmail.com  http://www.miriampicomusic.com

For additional details on this festival, visit the associations website at: www.spiritofthewoords.org.
The Festival  will  remain in the  Dickson  Township  Park,  even if it  rains.  Festival is handicapped  accessible and is near a public beach.


June 16
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Spirit of the Woods Association


Dickson Township Park
14270 N Coates Hwy
Brethren, MI 49619 United States
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