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Caught in the Act...

...by the publisher

Rives Junxion put on a great show at the Sportsman Tavern in Mulliken. The set spanned at least 30 years of country music history, running the gamut from old to new. And youíll notice the band seems to find a way to show off the guitaristís skills in most songs. Also of note, the band also worked a Bob Seger request ("Turn the Page"), the fun "I Left Something Turned On At Home," and a little Stevie Ray into the evening. And the originals -- "Second One to Know" and "Bills Keep Rolling In" -- were every bit as strong as the covers.

...by Michael Hoadley

Well, it was one of the best shows in live country music that I have seen in a while, and thereís not enough paper or time for me to explain the talent, musicianship and hard work for YesFest in Downtown Lansing. So Iíll start at the top by saying David Kerch (and crew) is a young, up and coming star. His vocal prowess is dynamic and he dances cool, too. Well, David opened the show from backstage and walked on, and we knew we were in for a good show. Davey Kerch, you rock.

Well, with some hard work from the guys from Sound Efx, they cleared the stage for Mila Mason, and a good thing -- this girl can sing. Wow! I donít know who taught this girl, but they did it right. She is a real cool entertainer. Before she left the stage, I was amazed at her energy and sweet voice.

Once again, Sound Efx managed to maintain sanity through total chaos, and when they fired up Steve Warinnerís guitar, it was smokiní. Steve, I play a little guitar and bass and things with string and, ya know, youíre a way cool, tasty guitar player. Man, you must practice a lot. Steve, you sing and entertain the way it should be -- up front and cool. Iíve been waiting ten years to hear you live, so my hat's off to you, Steve Warinner, for all your hard work and effort in makiní music.

The lights got dim, and then the stage erupted with John Michael Montgomery, and he was dynamite from the opening song Ďtil the close and two encores. Thanks, John. What a talent -- he sings with one of the sweetest voices in music. Wow! What a show. Iíd like to see more.

P.S. Linda Davis had a lovely 3-song acoustic guitar set of her own music, and wow! Just wow! Thanks to everyone involved in YesFest.

...by Shane Copher

Savatage at St. Andrews Hall, Detroit, MI, June 10th, 1998: Savatage hit St. Andrews for their only Michigan appearance on June 10th, only to be greeted by a sparsely packed crowd at best. I couldnít believe the attendance, or lack thereof, as the band's albums are as good as anything Iíve heard. Now was my chance to see if they could transfer their progressive blend of symphonic metal to the live forum.

I am happy to report that I was not disappointed, as their live sound was immense! The guitarwork was outstanding, the vocals crisp, and the sound near perfect. Running through a host of cuts from the new Wake of Magellan album, along with plenty of favorites from Gutter, Thorns, and Dead, Savatage played absolutely brilliantly. I highly recommend you check them out, if they ever get back to Michigan, and if not, theyíre worth traveling for.

Without a doubt, one of the best live performances Iíve ever witnessed, and I have seen a lot of shows.

After the show, the band was more than willing to meet and greet the fans, signing autographs, shaking hands, and shooting the breeze. From their albums to their live performance to their down-to-earth personalities, there is nothing not to love about this band... flawless!

If you'd like Shane Copher to catch your show, call him at (517) 694-5625.

...by The Wild Card

The 23rd Annual North Lansing Heritage Festival started up on Friday, May 29 with the Last Hippy Band playing their blend of late í60s/mid-í70s rock Ďn roll. Blues Train played a very good combo of traditional and contemporary blues. Rusted Faith continued to pound the audience with their original material before No Warning got the crowd going with their blend of classic and alternative rock covers. Colt 45 (who also played on Sunday, May 31) closed things up on Friday with their set of good time country covers.

Saturday, May 30 saw Skull Buzz ripping it up with cuts from their recent CD. Acoustic C.P.R. (Jim Cott, Lynn Parks, and Les Rout) turned their folk-oriented set up a notch with the addition of Bill Baschler playing some tasty lead guitar licks. Sue Hirt played a very quick set of acoustic-oriented originals, as well, before The Notorious Smith Brothers blasted out some home-grown blues. A dance troupe shook and shimmied before we commenced to begin rockiní again with Rope Trick. Comfort Road played a great set of country and rock covers. Axis played a tremendous set of soul and R&B covers before Rare Earth finally graced the stage with their hit-filled set of great songs.

Sunday, May 31 saw Colt 45 play a great second set of what they do best. Life on Earth played a way cool set of their original material. Blade's Brigade played their own brand of contemporary blues, and Powerlight finally closed out the proceedings with their hour long set of great soul music. Hey, people, letís do it again.

Saw a fabulous Christian rock band that call themselves The Wash Kings the first weekend of August down at Riverfront Park. They were great! These guys played 45 minutes of their own tunes, as well as an updated version of the Cream classic "Sunshine of Your Life." I hope to see these guys again very, very soon.

Other Renegade Writers

If you'd like Patrick Ondrus to catch your show, call him at (517) 669-7124. If you'd like Mike Somers to catch your show, call him at (517) 393-8473. If you'd like Kevin Hurrell to catch your show, call him at (517) 333-9417. If you'd like Jack White II to catch your show, e-mail him at bosco@email.mintcity.com.

Local Scene Writers Needed

We're in need of a couple new local scene writers to fill this section. Cover the styles of music in which you have knowledge at clubs in your area and/or clubs you attend frequently.

If you're interested in covering Lansing's local music scene, contact the Renegade at (401) 849-3972 or renegade@efortress.com. As a "Local Scene" writer, you choose the clubs and the bands you cover. All you have to do is meet the writing deadlines. This is your opportunity to help expose Lansing's best bands to a broader public and to the music industry. No pay. Great perks. Call for details.

Lansing Music News

Shortly after Geoff Wilbur's Renegade Newsletter hit the streets in September, a mid-Michigan punk/metal musician died from a heroin overdose. Though it is against Renegade policy (for various reasons) to mention overdose victims or their bands by name in news items, the source of this news item pointed out that it is important that the local music community realizes that this can and does happen in Lansing; it isn't just a big city problem.

On its way is the new CD coming from Lansing, Michiganís Fruitflies.

With the departure of vocalist Matt "Ray Ray" Monroe, Lansingís Uncle Chuck continues on. Chris "Crazy Grady" Hall grabs the helm while continuing to provide the guitar riffs for this funky metal outfit.

After running into a small legal snag, the debut CD from East Lansingís Setritual will be going to press.

On Saturday, February 20th, The Automatic Blues Band will be recording its show at Jambalaya's for its debut CD, Live at Jambalaya's. There will also be a video crew filming the show.

Bands: Read the "Hey Bands" section for information on how to be included in the Lansing Music News section.

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