Acoustic Routes Concerts will mark its fifth year promoting live music in Saline with a double-bill of blues artists at Stony Lake Brewing, 447 E. Michigan Ave., on Saturday, April 7 at 8 p.m. It will be the 80th concert Acoustic Routes has hosted in Saline since the first show featuring "A Prairie Home Companion" alum Dakota Dave Hull in April 2013.
Taking the stage first are Shari Kane & Dave Steele, with their four-handed guitar party of original and time-honored blues, gospel, swing and ragtime. Dave’s smoky vocals, percussive rhythm and innovative lead lines combined with Shari’s crisp picking style, rootsy leads, and stinging slide work are a testament to the juke joints of Mississippi and the jug bands of Memphis.
“We love Acoustic Routes because the interaction between musician and audience in small music rooms is incomparable,” said Kane. “As performers, it’s the spark that keeps us loving what we do. As music lovers, Dave and I learned so much by watching our favorite musicians up close in these great venues. If a person loves music, there's no better place to be.”
The co-headliners are Rollie Tussing and The Midwest Territory Band. With archtop instruments and vaudeville-era percussion, the trio perfectly captures the intoxicating sound of early blues and jazz. Rollie composes a lot of his own songs and he has a knack for re-working an old obscure tune, and finding beauty in the forgotten scratches, pops and grooves of his esoteric record collection.
“There is a definite lack of musical venues out there today,” said Tussing. “Without series like Acoustic Routes, touring bands would rarely come through this area, and there would definitely be not much of a local music scene. There's a lot of talent out there and very few places to play. Small venues keep live music alive!
During the last five years, Acoustic Routes headliners have included bands from as far away as Scotland, numerous Grammy-award winners, veterans of American Idol and The Voice, and some of the most talented bluegrass, blues and folk pickers in the Midwest. Several times a year, Acoustic Routes welcomes talented musicians from Saline High School to open for national acts. Until mid-2016, concerts were held above Mangiamo Italian Grill. Stony Lake Brewing has hosted the series ever since. Unlike most concerts, 100 percent of the cover change goes straight to the artists.
Upcoming concerts showcase the incredible variety of music Acoustic Routes is known for:
May 12 Detroit Music Award winner Julianne Ankley (Outstanding Country Songwriter) & multi-Platinum selling hit songwriter Gary Hannan
June 9 The Andrew Collins Trio (A fusion of bluegrass, folk, jazz and more from Toronto)
July 7 Clarence Bucaro (acclaimed singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, NY)
Aug. 18 Billy Brandt & The Sugarees (rootsy, folky, psychedelic alt-country)
Sept. TBA Finvarra’s Wren (one of North America's most exciting Irish quartets)
Oct. 13 Sofia Talvik (Sweden's North Sea siren delivers a distinctive fusion of pop, folk and America)
Nov. 17 Jason Wilber (John Prine’s long-time guitarist and one of Rolling Stone’s 10 new country artists you need to know). With special guest Sam Corbin.
Dec. TBA Jason Dennie & Friends (the master guitar and mandolin picker returns for his annual pre-Christmas show)