Weekly What’s Up July 18: Graham Parsons and the Go-Rounds (Farm Block Fest)

. July 18, 2014.

I’m not saying you have to go to the Keweenaw Peninsula, but you should really consider it. I’m not saying you need to be keen on the Kalamazoo-area music scene, but you really are missing out. I’m AM saying that you should go over and give a ‘LIKE’ click to the Dan Schmitt Gift Of Music Fund.

Now let me elaborate by streaming this new song by Graham Parsons & The Go-Rounds:
 

More info: thegorounds.bandcamp.com

Those rhythms kicking onward and upward like a hike up rocky slopes, those woozy organs like the chilly morning air, the piano and pedal-steel’s rustling like the brightening glow of a rising sun from somewhere over the top – and then there’s that voice that’s got a ghostly kind of beauty to its feathery crackle, it’s that arresting moment when you reach the summit. I’m sorry, but the Go Rounds, with those crashing guitars at the crescendo and those busy drums at the bridge, evoke an outdoorsy sort of whimsy or a sort of contemplative uncertainty liable to lean or launch in whichever direction the strongest gale blows (…and that’s usually determined by the drums, bass or, as noted, that imposing lead vocal).

But I bring up “No Eyes” to pull your ears towards the recently released E.P. by this Kalamazoo-born collective, while also nodding to the festival that Parsons puts on with his family up in Allouez, MI, (way up on the shark fin of the Upper Peninsula) known as Farm Block Fest. The idea: creating a “safe, family-friendly environment that harnesses the power of music and arts to create a unique and positive community experience.” More info: www.farmblockfest.com/info

That care for the community and a sense of responsibility to foster burgeoning talent and the creativity of local youths –is inherent to the mission of the Dan Schmitt Gift Of Music Fund (for which Farm Block Fest benefits). Farm Block was started by Parsons (and his family) seven years ago, hosted in his home community as a force for forging community while also paying tribute to his close friend (Schmitt) who had, at its inception, recently passed away. Proceeds from Farm Block funded acquisition of instruments that were then used for the tutoring of local youths by local musicians. The Kzoo-bsaed non-profit Communities In Schools then assisted Parsons (and his talented friends in Double Phelix, a local music/arts collective) in, first, running a pilot program for non-classical hands-on training in music inside a local middle school, that soon expanded into four schools.

I’m just saying, Ann Arbor, Ypsi, you should look westward to Kalamazoo. Turn your ears towards Graham Parsons & The Go Rounds latest recordings and then maybe clear your schedule for an ambitious road trip up north.

Farm Block Fest August 1 – 3
Directions: www.farmblockfest.com/info
The line-up includes locals like Frontier Ruckus and Nathan K., along with Breathe Owl Breathe, Kansas Bible Company and many more. Full line-up here: www.farmblockfest.com/lineup

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