*Madcat, Jen Sygit, Jess McCummons, May Erlewine, Rachael Davis, Jon Brown in a rousing group number (pic: Fred Ellert) / Ebird, show producer/visionary/founder Erin Zindle of The Ragbirds (pic: Fred Elbert)
Being a part of the Ebird & Friends holiday show serves as a powerful reminder of why I love this Michigan music community so much. Especially in the midst of these troubling times where the cynicism & troubles of the world are so clear and present, that love & gratitude runs particularly deep. A shared culture of joyful collaboration, mutual respect, loving friendship, and commitment to community is such an inspiring spirit to be in the midst of.
* Joe Hertler always bringing the spirit, here working on sprucing up a Christmas tree / Madcat in the zone / Joyful jams minutes before showtime. Jen Sygit, Brad Phillips, Mark Lavengood
In the program notes, show creator Erin Zindle (aka Ebird) of the Ragbirds says, " Christmas music is often thought of as - well, let's just say "cheesy". People rarely appreciate the fact that there exists a giant book of songs from which almost all of us can sing. And that catalog is deep - it covers everything from doubt, loss, war and pain to sugarplums, magic animals and chilly noses. There are many songs to tell the story of a baby born to face all of humanity and just as many about a jolly fat man who brings us the desires of our heart. The songs share a common thread of hope as we prepare for the long winter ahead."
The spirit of hope & community shown through in this past weekend's 4 packed house performances. There are too many highlights to mention but here's a few behind the scenes images & conversations captured from my Santa/stage manager view as well as a few beautiful pictures of the show & cast from Fred Ellert & May Erlewine. -Chris Good
*Ebird & Friends program / Night 1 a success, 3 more shows to go! Myself & Rachael Davis (pic: May Erlewine)
Thoughts on being a part of this production for the first time? May Erlewine: “It’s always a beautiful thing to see what happens when hearts join together to create something special. This show is a collaboration in the greatest sense of the word and the result was a very uplifting night of music and community. I hope the tradition continues, it was an honor to be included.”
Can you believe that you've been doing this show for 10 years? How does that feel? Randall Moore: "To hit 10 years of this show is amazing. It always feels like a big family reunion, both the musicians that come together as well as the community who has supported us through the years. More than anything I'm so proud of Erin...for all the work & vision she's put into creating this tradition."
Any reflections from this year's musical director? Brad Phillips: "I've said it before and I'll say it again -- don't let anyone tell you that there's nothing happening in the Michigan Music Scene. Sending out huge gratitude to my Ebird & Friends friends. What a phenomenal week! Love you all!"
Rockin solo into the new year...what are you looking forward to? Mark Lavengood: "I'm so excited about 2018. I'll be recording & touring nationally on some new releases, doing some shows with Seth B., and digging into working on strengthening the MI music & Earthwork communities. Don't be a stranger!"
How does it feel to have 5 shows in 9 days on the legendary Ark stage? *4 Ebird performances & 12/17 Appleseed Collective* Brandon Worder: "Well you'll have to check back next week. But walking through the doors this afternoon it kind of felt like just going to work. It's my third straight day here getting to support & perform with all of these amazing musicians. it feels pretty damn good. Appleseed Collectivd is here next Sunday and I can't help but think how lucky we are to have this space. It might not always be here. Thank god and everyone else for the ark. No joke."
The Earthwork Music collective believes in the intrinsic and historical power of music to raise both community and self-awareness and serves to facilitate and encourage original music in the state of Michigan and beyond.