Friday, May 25 @ Tequila Cowboy, 5660 W. Saginaw Hwy., Lansing. 21+, FREE, 8 p.m.
Kari Holmes, a Lansing native but frequent traveler to Nashville, headlines Friday at Tequila Cowboy—the country-western themed venue located the Lansing Mall. Holmes has created some buzz after releasing her 2016 debut modern-country disc, the six-song “Something New” EP. The moody-pop single “More from Me” was released to mainstream country radio and instantly made the top 200 on Music Row. Prior to that, she issued a single track, “Nothing I Can Do” in 2012 — her catalog is available via iTunes. Holmes is a lead vocalist who not only pens her own tunes, but also plays rhythm guitar, banjo and mandolin. Her contemporary sound has been likened to Shania Twain, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. Along with her musical partner and husband, William Shadrick – who released his own full-length “Whirlwind of Emotion” – the pair has racked up over 12,000 radio plays and toured steadily.
Thursday, May 31 @ The Robin Theatre, 1105 S Washington Ave, Lansing. All ages, $15, 7 p.m.
Holt-based Americana artist Brandon Grafius celebrates the release of his second album, “Highways and Backroads,” Thursday at The Robin Theatre. Grafius will be backed by a cast of local musicians, including guitarists Dave Ludington and Monte Pride, bassist Pat Hudson and pianist Tom Ryberg. Felllow local musician Cindy McElroy opens the show. The new “Highways and Backroads” LP was inspired by traveling and destinations like Sleeping Bear Dunes and the Manistee River. According to Grafius, the LP explores not only “the journey of a life,” but also offers “why some places aren’t right for us while others feel like home.” Grafius, a father of two, is known not only for his mellow baritone voice and storytelling lyrics, but also his finger-picked guitar licks that echo old-school Delta blues, country and folk.
Visit Kickstarter.com search “Happy Hour by Wally Pleasant” to donate. Photo Credit: Nicole Rico Lansing indie-rock legend Wally Pleasant hasn’t released an album in 14 years, but that may soon change. The “anti-folk” singer-songwriter is raising funds (and offering prizes) via Kickstarter.com to help fund the production of his upcoming seventh vinyl LP, “Happy Hour.” A portion of the funds will go to producer Jim Diamond, a Lansingarea native best known for his work on the early White Stripes recordings. According to the Kickstarter page (which wraps up this weekend), the new disc “details the dark side of small town life” and will be rooted in ’60s and ’70s country music. Since the ’90s, Pleasant’s signature stripped-down, acoustically-driven tunes earned him fans far beyond his launching pad of East Lansing. From politically-inspired ballads to witty ditties about life as a broke college student, his signature Phil Ochs-meets- Jonathan Richman brand of songwriting has long earned him fans across the country.