Northern Michigan Bands That Have Us Talking

Interlochen Public Radio might be 50, but young energy still surges over the airwaves thanks to arts reporter Brad Aspey, whose show “In Studio With Brad Aspey” often highlights smart, inventive bands. So, who’s creating buzz now? Aspey shares.

The Accidentals. This Traverse City “alt-pop” duo—Katie Larson and Savannah Buist, high school students at Interlochen Arts Academy—are known for their sophisticated melodies and harmonies, and play about a half-dozen instruments each.

Blood Sisters. Three friends, hailing from Mackinac Island (Mary McGuire), Petoskey (Michelle Chenard) and Birmingham (Barbara Payton), make up Blood Sisters. Although they often do “unplugged” concerts, they can rock hard.

Hipps-n-Rico. Charlie (Hipps) Witt-hoeft, on harmonica and vocals, and Eric (Rico) Jaqua, on guitar and vocals, make up this “electric Chicago blues” duo. Just two guys, but they sound like a full blues band.

Rachel Brooke. This Northern Michigan blues singer, guitarist and songwriter performs music that’s “as edgy as any Chicago blues out there and her lyrics can be menacing.”

Dede and the Dreamers. Dede, who calls her sound “ethereal gypsy music,” sings while playing vibraphone and other percussion instruments. This gives the band an other-worldly sound—“her songs sound like a description of her nightly dreams.”

Saldaje. A Frankfort duo that plays ukuleles and other vintage instruments. Their goal is to look and sound like a Gypsy caravan with haunting, dreamlike songs.

Stream band performances:

This article is also featured in the August 2013 issue ofTraverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine.Get your copy now!