If you’re an Americana/Alt-Country fan this may be the best week for music this summer.
Starting TONIGHT (Wednesday July 7) the eclectic Chad Borgen & the Collective take the special outdoor stage at Jackson’s Pit in Negaunee at 8 pm. Since breaking away “solo” Borgen has taken the outlaw country approach he became known for and has combined it with a lot of rock & psychedelics. Sure most of his sets are, a wide variety, of covers, but he and the crew like to make them their own. Heck, on 4/20/19 I saw them play an old-time rockabilly set (I heard later on very little practice). Borgen & crew are the least traditional of the bands I’m going to mention, but they may very well be the most accessible to the widest variety of fans of the bands I’m going to mention.
Friday Night, again at the Pit, brings local Country/Bluegrass Stalwart, and the most popular Country DJ in the U.P. since Elmer, Adam Carpenter & the Upper Hand to the stage. Full disclosure, I’ve done a bit of promo work with Mr. Carpenter and crew and hope to do more in the future because the original material I’ve heard is easily East West Records ready. Expect a solid mix of country classics, outlaw favorites and some of the best original country you’re going to hear ANYWHERE let alone in Marquette County. If you love country and radio country just isn’t doing it for you (except maybe the personal selections of killer tunes that Adam gets to make during the Outdoor Show) I have a feeling Adam Carpenter & the Upper Hand may start to get you on that path of realizing how much great Americana & Country is still coming out today. I can’t wait until this album FINALLY drops, because I saw a crowd, basically in the middle of the U.P. woods, absolutely intrigued by a set of nearly ALL original music. That is a rarity in Marquette proper, let alone the even more isolated regions. Sure Chasin’ Steel is going to be a regional legend, Adam Carpenter and the Upper Hand could be the next major U.P. group making waves on an international stage.
Finally on Saturday night I suggest traveling down to South Marquette to see the return of Eli Gardiner to the area. The former weekend regular is now located in Minneapolis, and this will be his first local performance post pandemic. His most recent full length, The Fire and the Medicine, dropped Independently towards the middle of last year, and he’s finishing up a new album entitled “Home” to be dropped later this month. Eli is going to appeal to fans of the more broad side of Americana think Jason Isbell, Cody Canada, Son Volt, etc. Check out “Tattered and Torn” from “The Fire and the Medicine.”
We’re particularly blessed with the talent in this region, and everyone is chomping at the bit to put on the best shows they have since ’19, because THERE HAVEN’T BEEN ANY!!! Here’s your chance to see the BEST locals, before it makes more sense for them to be limiting their local performances (not to mention some could really blow up). If you are a fan of REAL country music don’t do yourself a disservice and miss these bands. If you dig radio country, well, get out and experience some of the real stuff instead of the southern rock light and twangy R&B that Nashville wants to sell you today.