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Sunday, Feb. 10 @ The Robin Theatre, 1105 S. Washington Ave., Lansing.
All ages, $18, $15 members, $5 students, 7 p.m.
The Ten Pound Fiddle not only hosts local and international folk legends, the concert series also showcases up-and-coming folkies — performers genuinely carrying on the traditions of the rootsy genre. Sunday, Newfoundland-based musician Matthew Byrne performs an intimate set at The Robin Theatre in REO Town. Byrne is an emerging singer-songwriter, guitarist and storyteller. His mellow yet powerful vocal delivery is accented by his polished acoustic-guitar skills. Back in 2005, Byrne co-founded The Dardanelles, an award winning Canadian-based folk group.
By 2010, Byrne released “Ballads,” his debut solo LP. Other soothing-folk solo records followed, including 2014’s “Hearts & Heroes” and 2017’s “Horizon Lines” LP. His love of music dates back to his childhood, when his music loving parents shared obscure traditional songs with him. It sparked an interest in him that never waned.
“I’m not a folklorist or ethnomusicologist, at least not officially,” Byrne says. “And I’m not a purist. I’ve pored over the nuances of the pub standards as much as the obscure murder balladry. What attracts me to a traditional song is the right combination of melody and language, both of which have always fascinated me.”
With a catalog of albums under his belt, Byrne has earned praise from critics across his home turf of Canada. He also nabbed the 2018 “Traditional Recording of the Year” award at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. Meanwhile, Tom Power of CBC Music said: “His reverence and respect for his material, along with his unabashed exploration of new songs and his staggeringly beautiful voice, makes for the rarest and most vital type of folk performer.”
Advance tickets for this Sunday “Fiddle” show are available at tenpoundfiddle.org.
Saturday, Feb. 9 @ The Green Door Bar & Grill, 2005 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. 21 plus, 9: 30 p.m.
The Green Door remains one of Lansing’s busiest music venues, offering up live music six nights a week. The stage is host to a variety of danceable genres, most often high-energy blues, R&B, funk and classic rock bands — plus a nice assortment of local ‘80s cover bands. This month, the full-service bar and grill features Starfarm, the Scratch Pilots, Avon Bomb, and the Rotations, just to name a few.
Another upbeat Green Door show, happening Saturday, is Frog & the Beeftones.
Since its formation in 1985, the bluesy-rock outfit has played countless shows at venues across the region — often playing over 100 shows each year. Headed by bandleader S. J. Forgey, a Lansing-based guitar virtuoso and seasoned vocalist, the band has not only frequented area clubs, but has also warmed up stages for the likes of Molly Hatchet, Mitch Ryder, Edgar Winter, and Blue Oyster, to only name a few.
In February 2011, the band was featured on WKAR’s “Backstage Pass” television program, which showcased the band in top form on sizzling tracks likes “Satisfy My Soul,” “Tell Mama,” and the classic “Unchain My Heart.”
Forgey’s local guitar-hero status in the Michigan music scene has earned him comparisons to six-string icons like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Moore and Steve Vai. For those who appreciate precise, yet soulful, blues-rock, Frog & the Beeftones deliver the goods.