There’s times when it’s really hard to be a local musician, and there’s times when you are so proud that all the hard work, all the suffering, all the sacrifice, and the pain just fade away.
For years now, Susie Keat has been doing all she can to support and promote the live music scene here in Michigan, specifically in Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and the surrounding area. In the past, she managed and nourished an up and coming duo through some growing pains, and watched them flourish into an amazing pair of performers, who have continued to expand their touring area, and hone their craft.
Unfortunately, during the past couple of years, Susie has had several medical problems that have had a serious impact on her life, and her lifestyle. Her mobility and vision have been severely hampered, and she requires ongoing treatment, in addition to a few surgeries, and the installation of a chair lift, so that she is able to navigate the 14 steps into and out of her home.
This past Sunday, we were truly blessed to witness the power of local music. GW Staton, another generous supporter of live music, opened up the Chelsea Depot to host a benefit concert, and local DJ, John Bommarito MC’d the event. The lineup was truly outstanding, with Annie and Rod Capps kicking it off, with the help of Jason Dennie on Mandolin and the bass player from Cold Tone Harvest, who went next. Following these two amazing groups, Mike Stephens shared his set with Bobby Pennock and Sigrid Christiansen, followed by Bill Edwards, and his bandmate, Shannon Lee. Rochelle Clark, who is 1/2 of The Potter’s Field, had Jason Dennie fill in on a few of her songs, and the closer of this musical bonanza was none other than Dave Boutette.
Was the music top notch, you bet! What made it even better was that the place was packed! So many people came out to lend their support. I saw many friends, as well as familiar faces, seen at various concerts over the years. There were plenty of people I didn’t know, as well. It was a magical night, and I can’t help but be proud to be part of the local live music scene. We truly do look after our own.
I wasn’t aware of it until after the fact, but the night before, another local musician, Tony Lollio , who suffers from ALS, had a benefit concert held in his honor as well, and by all reports, the music, love, and support flowed just as freely there. Tony founded The Skinny Raccoons, and I’ve had the pleasure of catching them live several times in the past several years, and watched Tony’s gradual process of stepping back and eventually handing over the reins to the band, and I wish we could have been there.
Thankful to be a part of this group of talented and wonderful people. So, what are you thankful for this Thanksgiving week?