U.P. Native, Michael Waite, New Album Release Concert at Bay
U.P. singer/songwriter, Michael Waite, will celebrate the release of his new album “We’ve Always Been at Home” with a concert at the Besse Center at Bay College in Escanaba on Friday, October 7 at 7pm ET.
This new album was recorded in the house Waite built for his family in the Huron Mountains north of Marquette in Michigan’s U.P., two miles back from the electrical grid. The songs feature sage and playful observations about human nature and speak of the natural surroundings of their wilderness home, sometimes allusively and sometimes directly, such as in the Song of the River Thrush, an expression of the personal meaning of the sublime call of the hermit thrush. The sense of place on the album is enhanced by field recordings Michael made from the forest and shore near their home, as a fitting background to songs written within this same soundscape.
The album features collaborations with many of the region’s finest musicians, including string arrangements written by Waite and performed by students in Marquette, Negaunee and Escanaba high schools and their teachers. Michael's own high school orchestra teacher, Janis Peterson, is featured on fiddle on two of the songs.
The October 7 concert will feature Michael’s Band Adam Sawfox and a string quintet including these teachers, among them Negaunee’s Harry South, Marquette’s Eric Marta, and the new director of orchestras for Escanaba Area Public Schools Eli Bender and his wife, cellist Rachel Capon. Completing the group is Escanaba’s rising star Ben Campbell, currently studying violin performance at Lawrence University.
Ticket are on sale now! Visit www.baycollege.tix.com, the Box Office, or call 906-217-4045 for tickets. Tickets are $15/adult and $8/K-Bay. K-Bay students and Bay employees can present their Bay ID in-person at the Box Office for discounted tickets.
“The new CD is an illumination, music that rises out of the woods and lakes and streams of the U.P. Sincere and wry lyrics backed by fine instrumental arrangements, which blend downhome, classical, and quirky. Michael has a unique vocal range (you can't help but think of birds and waterfowl while listening to these tunes), employing inflections and phrasings that remind me of The Band's Richard Manuel. Anyone who thinks there's a unique music to this land on Lake Superior would appreciate Mike's new collection of songs.”— John Smolens
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About Michael Waite and his new album “We’ve Always Been at Home”
A melding of earthy grace and campfire poeticism, singer, songwriter, and guitarist Michael Waite hails from the north shore of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Weaving together a combination of folk, jazz, Americana, blues, and classic singer/songwriter elements, Waite's songs explore the geography and nuances of everyday life while keeping a keen eye on the pursuit of happiness and wholeness. Common themes in his work include the wonders of the natural world, the mysteries of the spiritual, and the joys of kith and kin. He's not afraid to sing about his darkness too, but at the end of the day he knows what he has and is grateful for it.
Raised in Harvey, a small town outside the port city of Marquette, Waite took early influence from his parents’ blues albums and Irish and American folk songs sung by his father, who passed on to Michael his uncommon memory for songs. He studied trombone in college, and picked up the guitar to accompany his singing. Earning a classical voice degree from Northern Michigan University, he began his career as a singer/songwriter, playing his own songs alongside a motley collection of covers. Before long he'd become a staple of the North Country music scene, connecting with audiences in the rare way that only true, deep talent does. While his powerful voice can easily reach the back seats, a quiet humility and gentle warmth marks his demeanor on and off stage. With each performance Waite disappears completely into the song, transporting himself and his listeners with grace, power, and the hard-won finesse earned by years of singing in all kinds of situations.
His repertoire and lifestyle grew out of the same root system. Building a home in the Huron Mountains just northwest of Marquette, he and his wife began raising a family in the rustic Michigan backwoods and their shared experiences inspired much of the material on 2008's Let It Go, Waite's debut album. Recorded in Chicago with a brilliant band of close friends and infused with a lifetime of musical influences, Let It Go beautifully captures the essence of Waite's philosophy; its songs meditate on themes of love, patience, connection, and the concept of home in both the physical and emotional senses. A critical success, the album served to broadcast his music well beyond Northern Michigan's borders and in the years since its release, he's been found touring as far afield as the Pacific Northwest. In 2015 he formed the six-piece acoustic band Adam Sawfox, helping him explore new tonal landscapes and a richer harmonic palette.
Michael’s new album, We’ve Always Been at Home, is coming out in mid 2022, with the full album release set for October 6th.
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