‘Be Careful Be Safe’ — New E-Man Bates Album Honors Mother’s Memory, Addresses Inner Struggles

Emmanuel “E-Man” Bates releases “Be Careful Be Safe” today. Cover artwork by Leo James Willer.

Emmanuel “E-Man” Bates keeps the phrase, “be careful, be safe,” close to his heart.

The Canton hip-hop artist frequently heard that cautionary, heartwarming phrase from his mother while growing up.

“Every time I left the house, no matter what I was doing, no matter if I was going out with friends or doing some sports stuff or going out to shows,” he said. “It was ‘be careful, be safe, make smart decisions.’”

Bates decided to name his latest album, “Be Careful Be Safe,” which drops today, as a tribute to his mother, who passed away in January. He also timed the album’s release to coincide with his mother’s Oct. 6 birthday.

“The original title was going to be ‘Green Balloons,’ which is the theme for the whole album, but then my mom passed, and I decided to go with the quote she always said to me,” he said.

Throughout the eight-minute title track, Bates sings about heeding his mother’s timeless advice and the lasting impact it’s had on him.

The song speeds up and down against a jazzy sonic backdrop, courtesy of metro Detroit’s Honey Monsoon, to chronicle the rollercoaster of emotions he’s experienced since losing his mother. Bates also included the lyrics from the slower part of “Be Careful Be Safe” in his mom’s obituary.

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Scott Zanni Revisits Allman Brothers with Top Cats Detroit Show Saturday in Waterford

 

A group of metro Detroit musicians will celebrate the legacy of The Allman Brothers Band with a special tribute show tomorrow night.

Top Cats Detroit, a classic rock band infused with blues, jazz and progressive influences, will revisit the memorable set from the southern rock band’s legendary March 1971 Fillmore East show in New York City at Sweetwater Entertainment, 1450 S. Hospital Road, in Waterford at 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

Released in July 1971, “At Fillmore East” is The Allman Brothers Band’s first live album and one of the last records to feature Duane Allman before he died tragically in a motorcycle accident.

“The musicianship and the level to which they had mastered the blues and then put their own spin on it, it’s just mind-blowing,” said Scott Zanni, Top Cats Detroit vocalist and percussionist. “To this day, with the exception of Peter Frampton’s ‘Frampton Comes Alive’ and ‘Live Bullet’ from Bob Seger, this has to be one of the best and most notable live recordings.”

As part of Top Cats Detroit, Zanni and his bandmates, including Frank Faga (guitar, vocals), Steve Bander (guitar), William Pope III (bass), Shawn McDonald (keys) and Ron Pangborn (percussion), will vicariously relive the spirit of “Statesboro Blues,” “Hot ‘Lanta” “Whipping Post” and other Allman Brothers Band classics. Mark “The Paz” Pasman, host of WCSX’s (94.7 FM) “The Motor City Blues Project” show, will join the band for part of the set.

“We did the show at Sweetwater Entertainment last month, they liked us and said let’s have you come back and do it again,” Zanni said. “We also do other covers and groovy tribute stuff with an emphasis on technical playing.”

Continue reading “Scott Zanni Revisits Allman Brothers with Top Cats Detroit Show Saturday in Waterford”

Ypsilanti’s Foster Records Supports Local Music Scene, Hosts Friday Ch’i Machines and Baby Fangs Show at Hamtramck’s Korner Bar

Foster Records’ Nate Zuellig, Griffin Schultz, Jerry Heiss and Matt Wagner at 734 Brewing Co. in Ypsilanti.

Four Ypsilanti friends are fostering creativity and collaboration in metro Detroit’s burgeoning music scene.

Known as Foster Records, Nate Zuellig (Ch’i Machines), Griffin Schultz (Baby Fangs), Jerry Heiss (Jeremiah Mack & the Shark Attack) and Matt Wagner (promotion) bring an eclectic mix of groovy rocktronica, experimental pop and acoustic alternative rock to Washtenaw County and the Motor City through their own record label.

In early 2017, they formed the homegrown Ypsilanti-based label to focus on artist development and management, music, multimedia production and promotion. While working together, Zuellig, Schultz, Heiss and Wagner realized the collective value of combining their music, artistry and industry expertise.

“Foster Records was born over cups of coffee when we realized the path to success was spreading us too thin, and we started the label because we were booking shows by ourselves,” said Zuellig, Foster Records co-founder. “We started combining our talents and then recruiting the talented among us. Together, we elevate each other’s musical vision and know that no one creates alone.”

As a unit, the group recently released their first “Foster Records” sampler album, which includes two tracks by Zuellig, two tracks by Schultz, a collaboration between Zuellig and Schultz, and two tracks by Heiss. The album serves as a strong example of Foster Records’ emerging diverse artistry and musical approach.

“We have a team now with Griffin doing graphic design and communications, including posters and promos, he’s got the eye,” said Zuellig, who hails from Ypsilanti and shares a home studio with Schultz. “Jerry does video and web design while I’m doing the booking now, and Matt oversees public relations and promotion for us as artists.”

Continue reading “Ypsilanti’s Foster Records Supports Local Music Scene, Hosts Friday Ch’i Machines and Baby Fangs Show at Hamtramck’s Korner Bar”

Grand Rapids’ Major Murphy to Enlist New Fan Base at Audiotree Music Festival on Sunday

Major Murphy’s Jacki Warren, Jacob Bullard and Brian “Bud” Voortman

Editor’s Note: This is the second installment in a multi-part series this week previewing the Audiotree Music Festival and profiling artists from the lineup.

Major Murphy will enlist a battalion of new recruits at Kalamazoo’s Audiotree Music Festival this weekend.

The Grand Rapids nostalgic rock trio will conquer the crowd Sunday with a 12:50 p.m. set on the main stage at the two-day festival in Arcadia Creek Festival Place. Major Murphy will join nearly 30 other acts, including Father John Misty, Local Natives, Real Estate, Diet Cig and Blitzen Trapper.

They’re one of five West Michigan-based artists featured in the Audiotree Music Festival lineup along with Michigander, Lushh, Jake Simmons & The Little Ghosts and Moss Jaw.

Founded in 2013, the Chicago-based, Michigan-born Audiotree Music Festival celebrates new and emerging artists and is curated by the popular web music series Audiotree Live.

Major Murphy’s Jacob Bullard (vocals, guitar), Jacki Warren (vocals, bass) and Brian “Bud” Voortman (drums) will share their 1970s-inspired radio rock with Audiotree festivalgoers during a much-anticipated set.

They’ll be performing laid-back, catchy songs from their full-length debut album, “No. 1,” which dropped in March on Winspear. Those new to Major Murphy will hear jangly guitars, shimmering riffs, synth-sheened grooves and dreamy, commanding vocals.

“When we perform as a trio, there is a more immediate sound and energy that I think we all enjoy. It boils down and reveals the really important parts of the songs,” Bullard said. “When you’re in a festival setting, there’s generally a big stage with a big PA so you can push the crowd a little bit, and it’s super fun. Live music is powerful, and it’s important to let loose sometimes.”

Continue reading “Grand Rapids’ Major Murphy to Enlist New Fan Base at Audiotree Music Festival on Sunday”

Montréal’s Common Holly Branches Out to Kalamazoo’s Audiotree Music Festival This Weekend

Common Holly, aka Brigitte Naggar, will perform at Kalamazoo’s Audiotree Music Festival on Sunday.

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in a multi-part series this week previewing the Audiotree Music Festival and profiling artists from the lineup.

Common Holly will grow her West Michigan following with a first-time appearance at Kalamazoo’s Audiotree Music Festival this weekend.

The dark indie folk singer-songwriter will perform a noon Sunday set on the main stage at the two-day festival in Arcadia Creek Festival Place. She will join nearly 30 other acts, including Father John Misty, Local Natives, Real Estate, Khruangbin and Chicano Batman.

Founded in 2013, the Chicago-based, Michigan-born Audiotree Music Festival celebrates new and emerging artists and is curated by the popular web music series Audiotree Live.

Common Holly – otherwise known as Brigitte Naggar – will share her hauntingly intimate songs with Audiotree festivalgoers during a highly-anticipated 50-minute set.

She’ll be playing tracks from her 2017 critically-acclaimed debut album, “Playing House,” on Solitaire Recordings. Naggar also re-recorded six of her tracks for an “Audiotree Live” session last December.

“I’m bringing a band with me this time. And yes, we’re going to do new songs – three or four, I think,” said Naggar, who hails from Montréal. “I like them much better than the old songs. I hope fans will, too.”

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No Alarms Hits the Ground Running with New Uplifting Single, ‘The Landing’

With “The Landing,” No Alarms soars hopefully above the indie pop stratosphere before enthusiastically hitting the ground running with both musical feet.

The Detroit indie pop quintet released their new four-minute, uplifting synth-fueled single last week as a follow-up to their vibrant, self-titled debut EP, which dropped in March.

“‘The Landing’ is about taking a leap of faith and having it work out. I had just watched the ‘Black Mirror’ episode, ‘Hang the DJ,’ and was riding high off of optimistic inspiration, and felt compelled to make something purely joyful, purely hopeful,” said Andrew Boles, No Alarms frontman.

“I wrote the verses to climb and climb, leading to a chorus that just exuded optimism, and that made you want to move. Overall, I wanted to capture the feeling of landing on your feet after taking a leap of faith.”

One listen to “The Landing,” and it’s optimistic, inspirational lyrics and spacious indie pop grooves are infectious. It’s the perfect song to help you take flight after long day.

“I hope fans are imbued with the same positive energy that I put into the song,” Boles said. “I think it’s distilled hope and elation captured in song form, and when it comes down to it, makes you want to move.”

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‘Acoustic Introduction’ – Trey Simon Celebrates Latest EP with Friday Release Show at 20 Front Street

Trey Simon knows how to make an introduction – an acoustic one, that is.

The Rochester, Mich., soulful singer-songwriter will introduce his latest EP, “The Acoustic Introduction of Trey Simon,” to fans at 8 p.m. Friday during a special release show at Lake Orion’s 20 Front Street.

Simon will play tracks from his current EP, debut songs from his upcoming full-length album and perform with special guests Kenny Watson and Stephie James.

“We’ll have physical copies of ‘The Acoustic Introduction of Trey Simon,’ which will have bonus tracks from the full-length that’s coming out,” Simon said. “If people buy the CD, then they get the four acoustic songs, but they also get one-minute clips of these full-production songs that are coming out.”

Simon released the four-song “The Acoustic Introduction of Trey Simon” EP in July as a follow-up to his 2014 debut EP “What the Future Holds.” With “Acoustic Introduction,” Simon and Grammy Award-winning engineer and producer Quentin “QueWeezy” Dennard II opted for a simple, stripped-down sound with upbeat pop songs and romantic, soulful tunes.

“My whole vision for the EP is that I really want to build a relationship with people. I’m not looking to get rich quick, I’m not looking to become some big overnight thing,” Simon said. “I really want to build a community and movement around my music and with people. I want people to fall in love again, I want to blend cultures together, and I think the best thing to do is just give people an unfiltered, un-jazzed, unpretentious, just right-to-the-core introduction of me.”

Continue reading “‘Acoustic Introduction’ – Trey Simon Celebrates Latest EP with Friday Release Show at 20 Front Street”