Check out the performers line up at the Thunder Bay Folk Festival! Incredible, and more to come.
2018 Thunder Bay Music Festival - Alpena, Michigan
A love of fishing brought Chasin' Steel together. A love of music keeps the four friends united. The band, which is billed as bluegrass but plays country, rock and just about any other kind of genre in its own special style, has opened for national acts and put out original-music CDs that are being played on radio stations all around the country. Chasin' Steel -Adam Carpenter, Jacob Kuhlman, Jonah Kuhlman and Evan Simula -plays dates throughout the Midwest and its members are enjoying every bit of the fun.
Charlie Baran has lived a life of music. Before moving the the United States he was a founding member of the legendary Honduran musical group Banda Blanca, who’s song “Sopa de Caracol” became the #1 Billboard Top Latin Songs hit in 1992. Now a maintenance man at a Catholic grade school by day, Charlie has kept his musical flame glowing largely through acoustic solo performances around Chicago for the past ten years.
Charlie Baran is a true virtuoso. No one sees him perform without recognizing the presence of a true master – an heir to a rich tradition of Honduran music, as well as a guitar slinging showman and a gifted songwriter whose skill transcends all genres. But throughout most of his career he has existed in the shadows – until the formation of Radio Free Honduras.
Radio Free Honduras is a diverse collective of Chicago musicians, all united under one goal – supporting the artistry of Charlie Baran and bringing this tremendous talent into the spotlight where it belongs. Founded by Dan Abu-Absi, longtime guitarist for JT and the Clouds and Birds of Chicago, Radio Free Honduras plays mostly Baran originals, but their live shows often feature a wide variety of reimagined cover songs. This band provides Charlie with the wide musical pallet his talent (and songs) deserve. Abu-Absi has gathered a large, revolving collective of some of Chicago’s most talented musicians; lively percussion, eclectic instrumentation, and rich harmonies all provide the backdrop, allowing Charlie to do what he does best – stunning guitar work, tapping into what seems a limitless supply of energy and enthusiasm for music.
Charlie Baran has lived a long and storied musical life – but very few are familiar with his side of the story. Radio Free Honduras has made it their mission to change that.
Polka Riot is a group of musicians from the Frankenmuth and mid-Michigan area. We formed this generation of Polka Riot together in 2009 and have been playing festivals, wedding, parties, taverns, and even a garage or two ever since. We are a group of God-fearing, America loving, fun-seeking friends who love to bring our unique American Style polkas and waltzes to the stage.
We are proud to announce we released our first CD this past June. It's titled "In this Crazy Life", and can be purchased by calling 989-598-5434.
Our members include Trent Urbytes, accordion, trumpet, and vocals. Trent plays the accordion since 2010 at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant in Frankenmuth and leads the Polka Riot. Trent has written several Polka Riot songs, including four on the new CD, "In this crazy Life".
Mike "Chipper" Reinbold, trumpet and vocals. Mike is a part-time farmer and delivers mail in Frankenmuth and Vassar. Mike also has played Trumpet in the Frankentrost Band for over 15 years.
Jacob Hecht, trumpet. Jacob put in a ton of hours with the big farming company, Star of the West out of Richville, just north of Frankenmuth. Jacob plays trumpet often in his church band, and is a former member of the Frankentrost band also. Jacob's entire family are farmers.
Erich Reinbold, Bass Guitar and vocals. Erich loves stringed instruments and his pontoon boat. Erich is Chipper's brother, and also grew up in the Frankentrost band playing percussion. Erich works full time and also farm part-time with family.
Rick Kluka, Concertina player. Rich works 3rd shift as a nation-wide trucking dispatcher and enjoys his beautiful pool in the south end of Bay City. Rick played with Jimmy K, CJ & the Krew, and occasionally with Steve Drzewiki before joining Polka Riot in 2009.
Mike Sversko, Sax and vocals. Mike was bred into polkas, as his parents and grandparents are polka musicians and polka lovers. Mike's sax has added so much to the sound of the band since he joined in the spring of 2015. Along with a few Polish tunes Mike sings, he provides great harmony vocals (when he's not giving us great sounding Sax fills...)
Justin Krick, Drums. Justin is a full-time farmer who works for Star of the West and also for his own family farm 8 days a week. When he isn't in the fields or playing polkas, Justin is usually enjoying a few days of rustic camping.
Mark Grzegorczyk, Accordion. Mark started playing with the Polka Riot in the early spring of 2018, and has a few engagements under his belt with us, including the Frankenmuth Bavarian Fest in June. Mark has also grown up with (Polish) polkas and plays in his own three-piece band, Bay City Polka Panic.
Of her own volition, Grand Rapids-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Olivia Mainville dove headfirst into the world of music as early as the fifth grade, when she had begun playing viola and upright bass in orchestra. Following her first Wheatland Festival in 2012, Mainville fell in love with the idea of performing her own songs on stage, which eventually inspired her 2014 gypsy swing and baroque pop debut EP, Full Steam Ahead featuring members of The Accidentals.
Since the release of her first solo output, Olivia has forged a unique path, becoming known alongside her band, the Aquatic Troupe, for their energized, dynamic performances and their gargantuan musical talent. Olivia Mainville & the Aquatic Troupe’s debut album, Maybe the Saddest Thing, released on December 10th, 2015 with a special guest appearance by none other than David Bowie’s bandleader and lead guitarist, Gerry Leonard —their multifarious, enthusiastic delivery is sure to be a hit with listeners everywhere.
Batten down the hatches folks, a bluegrass storm is brewing. Bursts of picking to exceed 140 bpm at times with scattered banjo and frequent fiddling expected. This Michigan bluegrass band, features fine instrumentation and high lonesome harmonies from some of the foremost pickers in the state. With an emphasis on the traditional style, these fellas are sure to get your toes tappin' and your ears tinglin' with those classic numbers we all love!
The Bootstrap Boys are a four-piece country band who have developed a fresh take on the classic country sound. Based in Grand Rapids, MI, The Bootstrap Boys have worked out a unique sound that is less influenced by the contemporary “Nashville” country stylings, instead their original tunes take their cues from that particular mix of country and gospel found in the small churches of rural Michigan, spiced with the redneck flavor of the small town honky tonks of the Midwest. While tunes about whiskey shots and getting stoned have landed The Boys with the brand “outlaw”, there’s more to their music to be found. There’s no shortage of thoughtful, well-crafted lyrics, twangy guitar riffs, and steady rhythms to keep your boots tappin’ and heart happy.
The Bootstrap Boys are: Big Jake Bootstrap, Nicky Bootstrap, Clyde Bootstrap, and Jeff Bootstrap. Their manager, personal chef, and spiritual adviser is Li’l Mama Bootstrap. They ramble the countryside in their classic Chevy Rockwood RV, affectionately dubbed The Delta Dawn, making friends all along the way.
Since their formation in early 2013, Nina & the Buffalo Riders have performed continuously at venues such as PJ's Lager House in Detroit's historic Corktown neighborhood, the famous Blind Pig Ann Arbor, the New Dodge Lounge in Hamtramck as well as headlining spots at both the Ferndale City Pride Fest and the Allen Park Street Fair.
Nina & The Buffalo Riders' sound has been fashioned by a decade of live performance experience, songwriting and commercial session work for companies like ALP Music, as well as a myriad of influences ranging from bluegrass to soul. The group is valued for their high intensity live performances and cross-genre instrumentation.
Full Cord started as a project between band members Todd Kirchner, Eric Langejans, Paul Kirchner. All seasoned musicians, they wanted to build a musically diverse band using traditional bluegrass instruments.
The band has an extraordinary song base, with songs ranging from traditional country and bluegrass to modern pop hits, big band era tunes and everything in between (and we do mean everything!). With hundreds of songs in their repertoire, they never run out of songs to choose from.
The band’s performances are done using a single microphone traditionally seen on the Grand Ole Opry. Instrument solos and vocal parts are all choreographed around the single microphone bringing an old-timey feel to their performance.
The band is based in West Michigan and has had the privilege of performing all over the state, from private parties and events to breweries, barns and bluegrass festivals.
Full Cord has over 80 years of combined musical experience and is using their extraordinary talent to break the bluegrass stereotype and breath new life into it. They are introducing new styles and arrangements that keep everyone wanting more.
Conor Larkin is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Alpena who has been sharing his music throughout Michigan since he was 10 years old. He was cutting his teeth at long bar gigs, local music festivals, and open mic nights since before he was old enough to drive to them. Not one to turn down a chance to perform, Conor has played all over the state as a “hired gun” guitarist, bassist, drummer, and vocalist. His unique talent and genuine love of music makes him a standout member of every ensemble he has performed with. Seeking a more personal outlet for his musical side, Conor began writing songs and developing a voice of his own. Over the past few years he has been honing his craft as a songwriter and is ready to share his own music with the world. His debut EP is currently being recorded and he’s eager to perform his songs. Alongside Conor will be an all-star cast of local musicians backing him up and adding their own talents to the music.
Bo, Pete and John began playing in bands together in their early teen's and continued throughout their twenties and thirties. Now they've reunited as Bubba and the Roadmaster's. Fiery lead's, throbbing bass and lewd drum rhythms create a depraved mix that's sure to make polite society blush. Serious fun!
Chester's Habit does what you need. We have fun! Chester Fletcher, lead guitar, banjo, mandolin, and Doc Bungard, bass, guitar, vocals, have been making music together for over 20 years. Bruno Wojcik plays drums and helps produce our shows. Phil Gorny sings covers, originals and plays keyboard and guitar. Oh, and we named the band after Chester.