“All band members have played many styles of music in Ann Arbor, Detroit and throughout Michigan for many years,” lead vocalist Terry Samuels said. “Medicine Men and the Westside Girls is the latest combination whose purpose is to play dance music and have fun. Everyone has a deep and longstanding connection to the Ann Arbor music community.”
Many people also like this band because they perform covers of great oldies.
“We play dance music from the 60’s and 70’s,” Samuels said. “We look for musically challenging songs that invoke wonderful memories of the great music we all grew up with. I describe it as ‘Funky and psychedelic grooves.’”
Samuels said though they are “constantly adding new gems,” some fan cover favorites are “Glad” by Traffic, “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” by Jackie Wilson, and “I’m A Man” by the Spencer Davis Group. Another song that seems to get almost everyone on the dance floor is “Light My Fire” by The Doors.
A unique sound
But the “Medicine Men and the Westside Girls” also compose and perform their own original songs, and will even be recording their own music soon.
“We play originals as well as covers and will be recording in the studio in early December,” Samuels said. “It will be an eight-song release of songs written by Andy Adamson, who has also written and recorded four jazz fusion albums. We currently play three originals in our show, ‘We All Know,’ ‘Why Are We Such Fools,’ and ‘It Has Begun.’ These songs are consistent with our approach to playing music that makes you want to dance. The album release will be early next year.”
Origins of the name
Many people around town often comment on the uniqueness of the band’s name and how it came about. Samuels — who is of Native American heritage and also a retired physician—elaborated upon this as well.
“The name ‘Medicine Men’ was to honor a late friend of ours, Jakson Spires, most notably from the band Blackfoot, but who played in Ann Arbor with many well-known musicians here,” said Samuels. “He wrote a song called ‘Medicine Man’. My dear friend Chris Goerke and I wanted to honor Jakson as well as our Native American heritage. The ‘Westside Girls’ are self-named and were all from the west side of Ann Arbor.”
The band is comprised of nine members. Terry Samuels: lead vocals, percussion, guitar; Andy Adamson: keyboards, vocals; Pete Bullard: guitar, vocals; Dan Bennet: saxophone; Doug Kachorek: bass guitar; Richard Dishman, Michael Moenart: drums; Carol Shaw: vocals, percussion; Cheryl McIntire: vocals, percussion.
See them live!
“We have a deep love and respect for each other and it is always fun, be it live performance, rehearsal or recording,” Samuels said. “We have a genuine appreciation for each other. It is a shared love and energy between all of us and our audience.”
Donna Marie Iadipaolo is a writer, journalist, and State of Michigan certified teacher, since 1990. She has written for national publications like The Village Voice, Ear Magazine of New Music, Insurance & Technology, and TheStreet.
She is now writing locally for many publications, including Current Magazine, Ann Arbor Family, and the Ann Arbor Independent. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she graduated with an honors bachelor’s degree and three teacher certificate majors: mathematics, social sciences, English. She also earned three graduate degrees in Master of Science, Master of Arts, and Education Specialist Degree.