Jimmy Thackery is one of the few blues guitarists still performing who learned firsthand from the masters of the blues. Early in his career, he played several years with the legendary Muddy Waters Band. Later, he helped found the well-known band The Nighthawks, and he recorded three albums with his all-star R&B and funk band, The Assassins.
In 1992, Thackery put together a three-piece band called The Drivers to highlight his explosive guitar, and together they hit the blues highway. Since then, he has recorded eight discs on the Blind Pig label, and he continues a busy schedule of live performances.
Whether Jimmy headlines a festival in South Dakota or jams for hours in one of the numerous blues bars that dot the musical landscape, he’ll always unleash an intense volley of rockin’ blues guitar guaranteed to leave crowds emotionally spent. His double-edged guitar dynamics allow him to fire off tracer missiles, bend a note so it will fit under a limbo bar, run off dive bomber riffs, and find space within the trembling of one stinging note. As Thackery puts it, “I put all my senses on hold and find the zone and follow what’s inside. There’s an electricity from your mind to your heart to your fingers. You just try and remember to breathe!”
Visit his website: http://www.jimmythackery.com
Doors Open at 7 PM
Susan Werner has cultivated a reputation as a daring and innovative songwriter, infusing traditional music styles and methods with her unmistakable contemporary worldview. Her engaging live shows keep audiences guessing and laughing simultaneously.
Opening on the Main Stage will be Michigan’s own Joel Mabus. One of contemporary folk music’s most eclectic performers, this talented multi-instrumentalist has produced 27 solo albums throughout his career and is well known for his entertaining live shows.
Visit Susan Werner’s website: http://susanwerner.com
visit Joel Mabus’s website: http://www.joelmabus.comTICKETS
We are very excited to again be able to present Laith Al-Saadi and his Power Trio on the main stage to close out 2019! One of The Franke’s favorite performers, this is a show we always look forward to.
“Al-Saadi surges mighty musical squalls of electric blues, with a bit of soul and some rock ‘n’ roll mixed in. With precise command of his voice and the frets along his fender, he’s an alchemist of emotional blues ballads, twanged-out toe-tapping rockers, face-melting solos, and everything in between.”
After years of playing numerous venues on the local scene in Ann Arbor, Laith Al-Saadi won America’s hearts and a spot in the finale of the 2016 season of NBC’s The Voice. His love of classic Rock and searing guitar work brought a different genre of music and performance to the show which typically features modern pop music, featuring Blues/Rock classics such as “Born Under a Bad Sign”, “The Thrill Is Gone”, “White Room”, and the classic Dylan tune “All Along the Watchtower”. Laith is well known for his ability to make a Telecaster sing, filling every performance with stunning improvisations woven into a wide range of music including classic rock covers, jazz standards, soul, blues, and original compositions.
A graduate of the University of Michigan school of music with degrees in Jazz and Bass guitar, Laith spent years on local stages in Ann Arbor and across the country working with legends like Taj Mahal, Luther Allison, Buddy Guy, Son Seals, Gregg Allman, and B.B. King. One of the hardest working musicians in Michigan, he played upwards of 300 gigs a year and endeared himself to legions of local fans. Entertainment Weekly called Laith Al-Saadi “a power performer who is so legitimate and memorable.”
This will be a great way to close out 2019 – Make your plans now to be at The Franke for what promises to be a fantastic night of music in The Franke’s intimate theater with a performer that is truly a Michigan treasure!
visit Laith Al-Saadi: https://laithalsaadi.com
Now a Franke Center January tradition, this year’s event features the award-winning six-piece Celtic band Kennedy’s Kitchen from South Bend, Indiana. Enjoy an evening of music and storytelling with traditional Irish instruments, outstanding vocals, and good cheer!
“Irish Kitchen Music from the home, the hearth, and the heart”
“Kennedy’s Kitchen is all things Irish from pub songs and sing-a-longs, stories, recitation, to ripping dance tunes; from pounding on the tables to crying in your beer. It is voices raised in song, rich harmonies, fiddle, flute, whistle, mandolin, tenor banjo, bouzouki, guitar, and bass. when we are being serious we can bring you to tears; and every now and again, a kazoo or two. We sing and play from the deep tradition while also composing our own tunes, songs, and recitations.”
Kennedy’s Kitchen has been making Irish music together since 1998, averaging about 80 shows per year playing everything from backyard parties and weddings to pubs, concert halls, and national festivals. From their home in South Bend, Indiana, they have traveled as far as New York and Naples, Florida, recording five CDs along the way (they are working on their sixth).
They are family and friends, gathering every Thursday evening for dinner, laughter, and music rooted in traditional Irish Music, jigs, reels, hornpipes, aires, recitations, stories, and songs adding their own compositions along the way. They play traditional instruments including fiddle, flutes, whistles, mandolin, bouzouki, guitar, tenor banjo, harmonica, bodhran, and bass. It’s a mix of all things Irish from traditional to pub songs, from toe-tapping to deeply moving….and it’s always fun!
The band is led by joHn Kennedy, an award-winning singer, and guitar player. Joining in is joHn’s nephew Liam Ladewski, then Theresa Kubiak, Chris O’Brien, and Jacob Turner. Liam, Theresa, and Jacob are award-winners themselves having competed in the All-Ireland Fleadh on their respective instruments.
Here is a link to the Kennedy’s Kitchen Ireland Tours page, with the full brochure.TICKETS
One of the Franke’s favorite wintertime events, the annual Winter Blues Fest will feature Chicago’s Wayne Baker Brooks on the Main Stage. Preshow entertainment begins at 6 PM with The Fat Animals Bands in the Downstage Club. During this time, a barbecue dinner will be available for purchase, along with beer, wine, and soft drinks. The Main Stage show starts at 8 PM.
Hailing from Battle Creek, Michigan, the five-piece Fat Animals Band blends the elements of raw soul and blissful improvisation to produce interesting twists on modern and classical music, while remaining true to their Blues roots. Band Members include Don Daniel on Vocals, Phil Wiswell and Alvin Lautzenheiser on guitar, Shawn Kelly on Bass, and Colin McKernan on Drums.
“The Fat Animals are a super cool new band that brings joy to your body, soul, ear, and feet. This Rock/Soul/Blues band is not to be missed.” -Walk the Beat, Albion, MI
Taking to the Main Stage at 8 PM will be the Wayne Baker Brooks Band. Born and raised in Chicago, Wayne Baker Brooks is considered one of today’s top guitarists who’s signature style combines powerful vocals with liquid fire guitar playing that honors his rich blues heritage yet effortlessly expands the boundaries of the genre. Son of Blues legend Lonnie Brooks, he was literally born into the Blues and spent his childhood regularly visiting such historic places as Chess Studios, Checkerboard Lounge, Wisefools, and many other Blues landmarks at which he witnessed many live performances by blues masters like Buddy Guy, Jr. Wells, Luther Allison, KoKo Taylor, the great Muddy Waters, & his father.
He has toured worldwide with his band for over 20 years including performances on national TV programs (including CNN’s “Showbiz”), as well as endless national radio programs, performing at the 2003 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Chicago, and even performing for First Lady Hilary Rodham Clinton at Chess Studios (Willie Dixon Blues Heaven Foundation) with legends Bo Diddley, KoKo Taylor, & Lonnie Brooks.
“Down and Dirty, from the-gut-blues” ”
— – Chicago Tribune
“A Must See” ”
— – Chicago SunTimes
Visit Wayne Baker Brooks Website: https://www.waynebakerbrooks.com/home
We are very excited to bring the Wayne Baker Brooks Band’s legendary live show to the intimate Franke Center for an evening of great Blues! Make your plans now to BE THERE on February 1, 2020.
Visit The Fat Animal Band Website: https://thefatanimals.wordpress.comTICKETS
Saturday, February 22, 2020
Get ready for a fun night of music in the intimate Downstage Club as Ypsilanti, Michigan’s talented band Fangs and Twang take to the stage! Featuring a repertoire that covers anything from Country Rock to Heavy Metal, this creative and talented trio is sure to entertain!
Metal bands sing about Viking lore while goth bands dabble in witchcraft… why can’t you get a country band singing about vampires? Horror hoedowns, if you will? The Fangs and Twang trio includes Billy LaLonde (drums, vocals), Andy Benes (guitar, vocals), and Joe Bertoletti (bass), who together whip up a stripped down roots-rock blend of indie-kicks and swinging bluegrass with theatrical, croony lyrics that are half Monster-Mash and half B-movie horror tropes. As fun as that formula is, it should be underlined that these three, who cut their teeth in the formidable (and comparably genre-mutating) Black Jake & The Carnies, take their musicality seriously. Fangs and Twang celebrated the release of their fourth album, “Spirits and Chasers”, in April 2019.
For more information visit: fangsandtwang.com
V 10/15/19 – JGTICKETS
Joe Louis Walker, a Blues Hall of Fame inductee and four-time Blues Music Award winner, celebrates a career that exceeds a half a century. Within the Blues world, he is described as a “living legend” and has performed at many of the world’s most renowned music festivals.
“A legendary boundary-pushing icon of modern Blues” (NPR Music)
A true powerhouse guitar virtuoso, unique singer and prolific songwriter, he has toured extensively throughout his career, performed at the world’s most renowned music festivals, and earned a legion of dedicated fans. Walker’s 1986 debut album Cold Is the Night on HighTone announced his arrival in stunning fashion, and his subsequent output has only served to further establish Walker as one of the leading bluesmen on the scene.
Born on December 25, 1949, in San Francisco, at age 14, he took up the guitar. Just two years later, he was a known quantity on the Bay Area music scene, playing blues with an occasional foray into psychedelic rock. For a while, he roomed with Mike Bloomfield, who introduced him to Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead. Walker even made a brief pilgrimage to Chicago to check out the blues scene there. In 1975, burned out on blues, Walker turned to God, singing for the next decade with a gospel group, the Spiritual Corinthians. When the Corinthians played the 1985 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Walker was inspired to embrace his blues roots again. He assembled the Boss Talkers, and throughout the 1990s merged many of his gospel, jazz, soul, funk and rock influences with his trademark blues. Through the years Walker has collaborated with a diverse group of first-rate artists including Branford Marsalis, James Cotton, Tower of Power, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Ike Turner, and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. He has released twenty-five albums since 1986, including his most recent effort “Journeys to the Heart of the Blues” in 2018.
Looking back on his rich history, Walker shares, “I’d like to be known for the credibility of a lifetime of being true to my music and the blues. Sometimes I feel I’ve learned more from my failures, than from my success. But that’s made me stronger and more adventurous. And helped me create my own style. I’d like to think that when someone puts on one of my records they would know from the first notes, ‘That’s Joe Louis Walker.’”
Make your plans now to be at The Franke for an evening of great Blues with this legendary performer!
visit Joe Lousi Walker’s website: https://www.joelouiswalker.comTICKETS
Enjoy an evening of music and singing celebrating the life and work of folk icon Pete Seeger, one of America’s most beloved Singer/Songwriters. He was an important figure in the revival of American Folk Music, and a strong champion for civil rights, peace and equality. In addition, he was also known a songwriter of classic songs such as “If I Had A Hammer”, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” and “Turn, Turn, Turn”.
The show will feature Marshall’s own band “3LB Cut”, which includes Kjell Croce, Adrian Bagale, Derek Smith, and Alvin Lautzenheiser. Joining them through the evening will be several guest artists to perform the music of Seeger, from his early days with Woody Guthrie, The Almanac Singers, and The Weavers on through his solo career.
Join us in the Downstage Club at The Franke Center for what promises to be a special night to sing along, remember and honor Pete Seeger!