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M897 Artist Spotlight


From the M897 Spotlight to International Arenas

Story by LCC Radio Reporter Sarah Spohn

Imagine finding a new reason to be smitten with the mitten, each and every day. That’s how we feel here at LCC Radio each time we find an up and coming artist that calls our Great Lakes State home. With every record label signing, management deal, song placement, sold-out show, and worldwide recognition of new albums, we feel like proud parents. Just because the interview is over, or the upcoming show has passed, doesn’t mean we’re done supporting Michigan musicians. In fact, we love to keep in touch. Here’s an update on what’s been happening with some of our past M897 artist spotlight musicians and bands, since the last time we spoke to them.

Jax Anderson of Flint EastwoodFlint Eastwood - June 2015 M897 Artist

Detroit’s Queen of Soul will always be Aretha Franklin, but the Motor City’s slowly claiming Flint Eastwood’s front woman Jax Anderson as royalty too. The Michigan musician continues to bring her Spaghetti-Western inspired tunes all across the world. She celebrated the release of her EP, “Broke Royalty,” via Neon Gold Records, at a sold-out party in one of Detroit’s most beautiful architectural pieces, the Fischer Building. Flint Eastwood also performed plenty of festivals, including Lollapalooza and others in Ohio, Illinois and more. Interviews with Jax were featured in NYLON Magazine, detailing her journey as a female musician staying true to herself, and also in Ones to Watch. Her song, “Queen” was featured in ESPN’s coverage of Serena Williams at Wimbledon. Flint Eastwood’s music video for “Rewind” was featured on VEVO. Up next, the band is jumping the pond, and touring with Foster the People in Melbourne, and Sydney, Australia. Cheers, Queen!

Greta Van Fleet - Black Smoke Rising EPGreta Van Fleet - August 2017 M897 Artist

Being labeled as the second-coming of Led Zeppelin, lends you pretty big shoes to fill. Fortunate for us and the rest of the world, Greta Van Fleet is living up to all the hype, and then some. This Frankenmuth band is proud Michigan rock ‘n’ roll through and through, and even got to perform with one of their idols. The band announced just a few days after our interview with them, they were opening up for Bob Seger at his Saginaw, MI show. The foursome had already experienced so much success, and radio airplay off of their four-track EP, and have since released their debut album, “From the Fires.” Greta Van Fleet is on the bill for many high-profile festivals this summer including Coachella, Rock on the Range, and Rock Im Park/ Rock am Ring in Germany this summer. They’ve had interviews in Billboard, and were listed as one of the 10 New Artists You Need to Know in Rolling Stone. Greta Van Fleet continues selling out shows all over the world, including infamous LA nightclubs, but no matter where they land, Michigan will always be happy Greta Van Fleet found their voices in the Great Lakes state.

The AccidentalsThe Accidentals - December 2014 M897 Artist

When you have this much talent packed into a trio like this, success is no accident. For this Traverse City band, Michigan has been a stepping stone for much bigger and better things, but The Accidentals will never forget their home. They’ve got an entire ode to the mitten state with their song, “Michigan and Again,” which has been featured in tourism commercials statewide. Their newest album, “Odyssey” has been included in HuffPost’s Top 5 Albums of 2017, and ABC News’ Top 50 Albums of 2017. The energetic band has performed on WKAR’s Backstage Pass, and Paste Studios in NYC, and is featured on the NOW 65 compact disc. They’ve got a great team of people behind them, including sponsors: Shure, Fender, Roland, Takamine Guitars, Liquid Violins, and more. AudioFemme even named them the #2 spot for the Hardest Working Band in the U.S. with 187 shows and 30 weeks of touring. Up next, the trio is returning to their alma mater- Interlochen Center for the Arts on Jan.27 for a monumental homecoming show.

John Bee of American OperaAmerican Opera - February 2016 M897 Artist

After signing to Spartan Records, Saginaw’s American Opera released a full-length album, “Small Victories,” and the record has largely seen positive reception. HuffPost premiered the video for “Sand & Seed,” and lead singer John Bee was featured in Prelude Press, and “Small Victories” reached #16 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter Chart, beside John Mayer and Norah Jones. American Opera even stopped by into our studio, whilst on tour with Carter Hulsey, and had an impromptu station-wide singalong. Also, American Opera has award-winning silly boomerang videos on social media, and the most hilarious Facebook status updates. It’s the little things that matter in life, those small victories, and each day American Opera makes us smile that we’re all in this thing called life – together.

Gasoline GypsiesThe Gasoline Gypsies - March 2016 M897 Artist

National Rock Review referred to this Port Huron rock group as the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band currently in the Detroit underground scene, reminiscent of Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent and Mitch Ryder. The Gasoline Gypsies made the top 5 in the JBL America’s Best Band Contest, with their music video “Salem.” The band keeps on rockin’ with its newest album release, “Killin’ Time” and is off to a busy 2018 with gigs on the books including Wheatland Music Organizations Winter Wheat Festival, and shows in Kalamazoo, Traverse City, and Ferndale. Looks like the Gasoline Gypsies have no lack of fiery fuel, with plenty of miles on ‘em left. We’re excited to see where 2018 will take these rock ‘n’ roamers.

The Crane WivesThe Crane Wives - September 2013 M897 Artist

If it’s one band we’re not mad at for beating out the Gasoline Gypsies for America’s Best Band Contest, it’s The Crane Wives. The fact that our lovely musical mitten state had two finalists made us have all the feels, but didn’t surprise us. The Grand Rapids folk band won $5,000 and a spot performing at the JBL Fest in Las Vegas, and of course, bragging rights. This wasn’t the only national spotlight The Crane Wives found themselves under though, they were also in the NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert contest, with over 100K YouTube views. Though they didn’t win, The Crane Wives were listed in the “10 More Tiny Desk Concert Entries We Loved,” a well-deserved shout-out to the group. The band released a new single, “Volta,” with their iconic harmonies, and let’s just say – we’re still blissfully happy to be the other halves to these Crane Wives.

Desmond JonesDesmond Jones - October 2016 M897 Artist

If any East Lansing or Grand Rapids resident has not seen the name Desmond Jones on a gig poster, it’s only because they weren’t looking close enough. These hardworking musicians played countless weekly resident gigs, with a whopping amount of live shows in their musical career so far. Finally releasing their debut self-titled album, Desmond Jones features four separate writers on eight different tracks on the record. The album charted at #3 on WYCE next to Billy Strings and May Erlewine, and is in the running for Album of the Year at the WYCE Jammie Awards. Dreams came true for this group of guys when they were interviewed by Mark Lavengood on Michigan Radio’s “Stateside” program. Desmond Jones is on the lineup with Papadosio for Grand Rapids and Detroit shows in early 2018, but we can guess they’re still jonesin’ for even bigger and better things. You may say Desmond Jones is a dreamer. We just did.


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