Purcell Photography

Wow! Check these guys out. Dennis has a great eye for taking fine pictures. and they do much more than Weddings


Shaun Williams is a genius, no doubt. He owns a small production company in Ann Arbor, and produces documentaries, DVD’s, and anything else that lands on his plate. Check out his curriculum vitae under the Bio on his home page. In addition to all he’s accomplished at a young age, he’s an excellent accordion player, and is fast mastering Appalachian style banjo. He filmed and produced my instructional videos for flatpicked guitar and fiddle.

The source for concerts and  contra dances in the Grand Rapids, MI. area. The folks here consistently put together excellent shows, from Bluegrass to acoustic Blues, and all points in between.

Original Michigan Fiddlers Association 25 years old and going strong!

I was 28 yrs old when I first came into contact with this traveling jam session, and came away with both a repertoire of tunes and a style of bowing I would go on to develop, (Mich. style.)  The group basically consists of grandparent aged folks who carry our oral tradition of music history in their heads.  As I got older I realized how important this is, renewed my membership, and returned to the school of Sat. night Grange Hall tunes.

Nick Kroes      

Nick has a great site with cool tunes for downloading, and lots of history on this old time music we love to play.  Check out the great artwork by Ken Kroes and Tony Kroes, Nick’s dad and brother, respectively.

Lucy Webster

Local singer/songwriter gal with some cool C.D.’s released.  She writes great songs, sings wonderfully, and makes delicious cookies.

Carol Johnson

Veteran singer/songwriter with 6 C.D.’s and 3 song books released, Carol has been entertaining all over the U.S. for many years, bringing to the people her “music with a message.”  Peace and acceptance based stories and songs offer hope in a chaotic world.  Just up and published, Carol’s new web-site looks and smells just like that new Caddy that your Uncle bought every year!  Stop and visit, and leave her a message.

J. Oscar Bittinger

Who is this Grand Rapids based enigmatic character who’s often seen, but whose genius is seldom understood?  The front man for the Oxter Mahone celtic band, and Folk Bros. has this real cool web-site, and you have got to catch a live performance.  The resume says it all.  Look for J. Oscar’s new C.D. due out soon.

Blue Water Ramblers

A new name for some long-time band mates. Personnel changes, new material, and fresh faces make this group a hot item.

Wheatland Music Co-op

Michigan’s largest acoustic folk/blues/Appalachian/Cajun music festival, held the second week of September.  Camping on pristine rolling hills and deep woods, a must for festival goers.  Extensive kids activities, great food, juried arts and crafts, and all night jam sessions with friendly people-the only kind you find in Michigan.

The Appalachian String Band Festival(otherwise known as Clifftop)

This is it folks, the old time heaven that fiddlers go to when they pass on.  5 solid days of traditional music, and a phenomenal location in West Virginia to boot.  The order of the day is contests- fiddle, banjo, string band, and clogging. Very few paid acts, the entertainment is in the contests featuring musicians from around the world.  Located at Camp George Washington Carver, it shares a mountaintop with Babcock State Park, whitewater rafting on the New River right down the road, loads of mountain hiking and exploring opportunities.  Bring the kids, they’ll love it.

Hiawatha Music Festival

Marquette is a long drive, but worth it!  Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is like another world, and there is nothing on earth like Lake Superior.  The festival is located next to a river backwater with sandy bottom swimming, and nearby access to the “Big Lake.”  The music is traditional acoustic , with great evening dances and jam sessions.  Located near the top of Michigan.

Elderly Instruments in Lansing, MI.

One of the “Big 3 ,” for quality used instruments, recorded music, accessories, and what not, (The other 2 being Gruhn’s in Nashville and Mandolin Bros. in Staten Island.)  I’ve bought 2 mandolins from Elderly’s, and am still using them in performances. 

Gruhn’s Music in Nashville, TN.

A candy store for musicians.      

Mandolin Bros. on Staten Island, N.Y.

Subscribe to their used instrument newsletter.  It’s wonderfully creative and funny, and the instruments are to drool for.

Old Town Saginaw Music Association

A new roots music organization, Horray! These folks are working hard to bring music and dance to their community, and it looks like they’re succeeding. A very nice and informative site.

Dang, this guy is great! Mike Pelz has been creating all sorts of art for years, check his site out.

The Grand River Folk Art Society


Mark Swanson

Mark builds great guitars and octave mandolins here in Grand Rapids, MI. When he isn’t in his shop, he’s out performing with Ken Bierschbach as an acoustic duo. 

Riversong Music Society

Southwestern Michigan’s connection for great Saturday night concerts and other events. Performances are generally held at the Box Factory for the Arts, in St. Joseph, Mi., an excellent venue for performing (we’ve played there) and listening.