Rosie McGeehan first became a fixture in Lansing’s art and music underground when the now-defunct Basement 414 was still actively booking fringe bands from across the map. Since then, she’s moved around the country some, but this year saw her homecoming to Michigan, where she quickly formed a revamped lineup for her band, Kid Shoeshine.
The ethereal gothic-folk outfit comprises plenty of notable names in the Lansing scene: Hattie Mae Danby of The Plurals on guitar and keyboards, Nathan Hallman (Nathan Hallman Show) on guitar and flute and Peter Richards (aka Stargrazer) on bass, vocals and melodica. Along with lead vocals, McGeehan plays the French horn, wooden flute and triangle.
Where did you grow up, and how did you first get into singing?
Rosie McGeehan: I grew up in Henderson, a little farming village between Owosso and Flint. I live in Lansing currently. I guess I started singing as a little girl. I remember watching MTV one night and seeing Madonna on stage in a giant, fancy red dress, and I said, “That’s what I want to do.” Since then, I was always active in school choirs, community choirs and in various rock bands throughout the years.
When was the last time you performed live?
The last time I did a live performance, barring orchestral work and poetry readings in Los Angeles, was probably at Basement 414 back in 2008 with Left of Zero or Dinowhores.
What led you to form this new Lansing lineup of Kid Shoeshine?
This was a perfect storm. Kid Shoeshine was a project I started in Los Angeles, and I have been lucky to have had a steady rotation of musicians to work with. Peter and I have joked about starting a band together over the years, but I had moved so far away that it wasn’t real. I finally moved back to the Lansing area this last year and told Peter we were doing it — he didn’t get a choice in the matter.
How did the new Lansing lineup of Kid Shoeshine get together?
Hattie volunteered, and I had been an internet fan of Nathan’s COVID-era music videos. To our delight, it all worked out. We have a great creative dynamic, and our rehearsals are just so much fun. The full Kid Shoeshine lineup will perform a fun mix of mostly original material and a couple of special renditions of our favorite childhood songs.
Over the years, you’ve been active on and off in Lansing — at Basement 414 and beyond. What keeps you coming back to perform in Lansing?
Lansing’s art scene is a true gem. It’s a small town with a huge, super-talented art scene. We don’t have a lot of official venues, so the community has created its own venues through house shows and DIY music fests.
Lyrically, who or what inspires you?
Marge Piercy, who the late Charlie Nash turned me on to, has greatly influenced me poetically. Patti Smith, Bukowski, all those folks. I try to write honestly about life without too many frills.
If you could pick one dream band or artist to open for, who would it be?
I would personally love to open for Patti Smith because she is one of my all-time favorite artists. I mean, who doesn’t love the Godmother of Punk?
Listen to Kid Shoeshine at kidshoeshine.bandcamp.com.
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