Craic on the Grand strives to create conversations around crazy, deranged fools, passionate people and craftsmen and women. What a treat when Michael Van Houten shipped me his “labor of a love”. A CD five years in the making featuring friends from high school, who went their separate ways only to be connected again over their love for making music- and with a little help from technology.
The back story on the CD can be read on East Grand Rapids own Theo Bremer-Bennetts website.
The music however needs to heard.
On Theo’s website, he credits fairly diverse musical influences. When I first listened, several tracks, especially #2 Trees in Israel, immediately reminded me of The Jayhawks. Not quite entirely country, pop, rock or folk, but a blend of all four genres. Track #4, Little Girl Crying, had a Motown feel to it… Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Track#8 Hidden Light Safety took me across the lake (and through time) to Strawberry Alarm Clock!
I think what held my attention and connected me with the entire CD was the craftsmanship. Not just the technical production, but the appreciation and authentic feel of a work of art created by talented artists. There is a lot to be said for impromptu and spontaneous jam sessions among musicians who are “just passing through”, but nothing beats the music created by life-long friends working on a labor of love. Check it out- A Pigeon in the Wilderness by Theo Bremer-Bennett.
The artist that figures predominantly in this story – music , production and inspiration- is Grand Rapids own Michael Van Houten, currently of the band Creolization.
Michael was kind enough to send me an advanced a copy of this CD. He has been a friend of Theo Bremer-Bennett from his high school and college days, when both of them played in a variety of local and regional bands.
Music- another reason to give thanks and enjoy all our blessings!