This unique and intimate series hosted by Earthwork Music artist Nicholas James Thomasma features a small group of songwriters trading songs and stories.
Stories. Songs. Songtellers. It’s simple, really. Singer songwriter and host Nicholas James Thomasma invites 2 other songwriters on stage to take turns telling stories and singing their songs. The performers get the opportunity to share the deeper meanings behind the songs with an actively listening audience. The audience is treated to an intimate look into the songwriting process in a pristine listening environment. It’s a unique and memorable experience every time. The shows take place on the last Sunday of the month Nov-April at the new Listening Room in Grand Rapids, MI.
November 24- Episode 1
Although based in Missouri, Bombara has spent much of her adulthood on the road, carving out her own award-winning mix of vintage folk and electric roots-rock. She’s been a solo artist, a bandleader, and an occasional side musician for other artists. With Evergreen, her most recent album, Bombara resumes her role as the leader of an amplified Americana band.
Dan Rickabus is a professional drummer, educator, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer, sound engineer and community organizer living in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
December 29- Episode 2
Jim Spalink provides "Celtish" tunes on a variety of instruments including guitar, harp and even the hurdy gurdy. A member of the popular West MI Celtic band An Dro, Jim often performs solo Celtic harp and guitar with an eclectic blend of traditional Celtic and original music and a few contemporary twists.
Red Rio is a solo blues/americana project based in Grand Rapids, MI.
January 26- Episode 3
Stovepipe (aka Justin Stover) is a one man band, singer-songwriter, amateur fortune teller, and soapmaker. He writes and performs his own oddball blend of punk, folk, gospel, novelty tunes. His songs are almost always about horror or love which he refers to as “Haunted Americana.” Stover got his start playing in Maine, where he grew up, and then in downstate Michigan before he began making his way up to Traverse City and then eventually back to Grand Rapids where he currently resides.
Sam Cooper is a music teacher, a songwriter and a facilitator. Sam is currently finishing an album made possible with support from the Kalamazoo Arts Council; keep an eye out for her pre-order campaign. She recently released Lullaby Bangers with Hearth & Hymn - marking her second duo album with Elisabeth Pixley-Fink.
February 23- Episode 4
Aspen Jacobsen's musical journey is rooted in folk, blues and pop. Aspen aspires to emotionally touch people through her lyrics and soulful voice. She’s deeply passionate and whole-heartedly believes that music can heal the world. Aspen released her debut EP in October 2018 and is currently working on her second EP.
Jake Stilson is the leader of the West MI based, tongue-in-cheek outlaw country outfit the Bootstrap Boys. Stilson is a long-standing edifice in West Michigan's fertile music scene. Brutish but approachable, Jake is equal parts grizzly and teddy bear. His greyish eyes portray a distant kindness, yet the wrinkles under them indicate wisdom, a lifetime of hard work, of grit, of the long road behind and the long road ahead. The scars on his hands tell tales far beyond the pen, the piano or the guitar - they ring of life, love and loss.
March 29- Episode 5
Michigan-born Navy veteran Drew Nelson is a storytelling songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. A fly fisherman and world traveler, he writes as a witness to the lives and journeys of those he has met along the way, mixing Americana and roots-rock with traditional folk styles.
i.am.james grew up singing, writing and dancing, on the freshwater shoreline of Lake Michigan. After attending Interlochen Arts Academy, i.am.james. was accepted and attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and overseas at Berklee's much smaller campus in Valencia, Spain. While studying at Berklee Valencia, i.am.james. fell in love with Western European electro-pop music and the culture surrounding it. It was between weekend trips to neighboring countries that i.am.james. began to hone in her skills in recording and production. In 2017, i.am.james. relocated to Nashville, TN and spent the next year developing a dreamy "honey dipped and glitter-coated" brand.
April 26- Episode 6
From humble beginnings, Dede has paved her way on her own experimental, alternative, off the grid musical journey. Dede started playing percussion in 5th grade band. She started her own percussion business while still in High School at the age of 18, called Rhythmic Adventures; Drum Circle Facilitation. At the age of 20, Dede started accompanying her singing and songwriting on vibraphone, and remains a very rare performer to combine singing and mallet percussion together. Her vocal style mixes sweetness with deep soul, a unique combo that you can only experience for yourself.
Nathan Kalish is a touring singer-songwriter and band leader from the American Midwest, currently calling Nashville home after having spent most of the last decade on the road. His latest album 'I Want to Believe' was produced by David Beeman (notably of Pokey LaFarge’s most recent) and is an independently released country-Americana record with a tip of the hat to psychedelic, folk and rock ‘n roll.