Thursday, April 7, 2016

Alton Brown Road Eats 2016: Calling All Fans for Recommendations!

If you’ve been following Alton Brown online, than I’m sure you’ve noticed the dozens of doughnuts, hot dogs and hamburgers he’s eaten on the road during his last adventure, The Edible Inevitable Tour. Well he’s about to do it again, this time for his all-new show called Eat Your Science, which will be coming to DeVos Performance Hall on May 4th.

Since fan recommendations were spot on last time, Mr. Brown is asking fans once again: Where should he eat? In each city for his tour, he’s looking for coffee shops, restaurants, late-night snacks and sandwiches available in the area. He prefers to keep it local and simple…nothing fancy.

If you know of a must-visit eatery or coffee shop in a Grand Rapids, Michigan, tell Alton Brown on his Facebook or Twitter. Make sure you use the hashtag #ABRoadEatsGR.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Brit Floyd: Meet the Band

Damian Darlington – Musical Director
Born: Middlesbrough, Teesside in the 1960’s
Member since: 2011
Instruments: Guitar, lap steel, vocals
Previous projects: joined the Australian Pink Floyd Show at the beginning of 1994 and over a period of almost 17 years I went on to play close to 1,300 shows all over the world in theatres, halls and arenas such as The Albert Hall, Wembley & O2 arenas in London, the Bell Centre in Montreal and the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, to name a few. Over the last 10 years I’ve became increasingly interested in the visual production aspects of staging a rock concert and, working with Bryan Kolupski, have helped produce and direct all the video content for TAPFS shows. Working with my brother Gareth Darlington I also directed all the soundscape programming for the Aussie show. I acted as director for both TAPFS DVD releases and in 2007 I had the privilege of directing John Martyn’s Live at the Round House DVD.
Interesting fact: had the amazing experience of performing Comfortably Numb alongside Rick Wright at David Gilmour's 50th birthday party.

Rob Stringer
Born: Worcester, November 1978.
Member since: 2011
Instruments: Keyboards, vocals
Previous projects: Played keyboards on 2 previous Aussie Floyd US/Canadian tours. Have also recently performed in a Beatles theatre show. I was in Liverpool band Edgar Jones and The Joneses, touring Japan twice and performing on Mark Lamarr and Jonathan Ross BBC Radio 2 shows. Have done various live and recording session work over the years, performed on Later with Jools Holland with Candie Payne, we played after Joanna Newsom who played solo harp and before Nick Cave who just shouted down the mic with a load of white noise. I have also worked as a jazz pianist on the North West UK scene, playing in various groups and now have my own group, The Bobby Swing Trio in which I sing (or croon...) and play piano.
Interesting fact: I once performed piano in front of an audience where in the front row, sitting next to each other were Sir Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Sir George Martin, Olivia Harrison and Sir Peter Blake. I didn't know they were there and when I saw them all I nearly fell off the keyboard stool and my hands were shaking. Took a week to recover...

Ian Cattell
Born: July, 1969 in upstate NY.
Member since: 2011
Instruments: Bass guitar, vocals
Previous projects: In late 1994 I joined Crazy Diamond - The Real Reflections of Pink Floyd, and spent the next 2 years touring North America coast to coast, followed by another 2 years with P.U.L.S.E - The Pink Floyd Show (co-founded by Tom Chick and myself). In late 1997 I was a featured vocalist along with Tom Chick in an evening of Symphonic Pink Floyd with the Virginia Symphony. In 2002 I co-founded Childhood's End - a Tribute to Pink Floyd with Steve Schad, Eric Garboushian, and Gregory John. In 2005, I then took the opportunity to tour the world when I was tapped by The Australian Pink Floyd Show. They're still doing shows in New York State and beyond. I usually don't miss a chance to go see them myself. After over 500 shows in over 5 years with TAPFS, I'm excited to be working with Damian, Carl, Bobby, Rob, Arran, Emily, Jacquie, Ola, Gareth, Bryan, our fantastic crew, Chas Cole and all the hard working staff at CMP to bring Brit Floyd to PF fans around the world.
Interesting fact: As a member of the chorus, I performed Beethoven's 9th symphony in Carnegie Hall in New York City. I take my tea without milk... Sorry, my two interesting facts are: Carnegie Hall gig, tea no milk, and an almost fanatical devotion to Pink Flo... My THREE... no... Amongst… I'll come in again.

Edo Scordo
Born: Milan, in 1984
Member since: 2015
Instruments: Guitar, vocals
Previous projects: I was previously singer and guitarist for Brit Floyd's sister show, The Classic Rock Show. Before that I was with the Italian Pink Floyd tribute band “Euphonia”, and I work with Federico Cammarata and the "Pianeta Zero” band as well. I started to work as session musician at the age of 25, with Serena Antonelli, for who I recorded all the lead guitars in her album RESET, and played live for the Relative Italian tour. I have been lead singer and guitarist for another Pink Floyd tribute project, "Division Bell”. Another very interesting project which I was involved in was the “Quattroetreotto” band, one of the funniest band I’ve ever had; a great project leaded by an amazing crooner, Paolo Bianca (Notre Dame De Paris, "La Divina Commedia”: L’opera, Domenica In ). Actually I’m the director of the Lizard Music School of Pisa.
Interesting fact: One day … I’ll be a Doctor!!

Arran Ahmun
Born: Cardiff Docks, 1956
Member since: 2011
Instruments: Drums
Previous projects: I also performed regularly on the Jools Holland 'Happening' series. In ‘87 I recorded with Clannad and did two world tours with the band. Around this time I joined Julia Fordham, recording and touring her album Porcelain. During the late 80's I toured with Andy Summers in the USA followed by a spell touring and recording with Gerry Rafferty. In ‘86 I began a long and continuing association with John Martyn, joining his band for the 'Piece by Piece' tour. I’ve played on almost everything John has recorded since then. Throughout the 90's I continued extensive touring and recording with artists such as Alison Moyet, Linda Lewis, The Proclaimers (including two No. 1 hits), Robbie Robertson and the Jools Holland Big Band. I’ve also worked with Rhian Benson and Angie Stone. I continued to work with John Martyn until his death in January 2009.

Backing Vocals

This amazing group of talented woman consists of Ola Bienkowska, Angela Cervantes, Roberta Freeman, Emily Jollands, and Jacquie Williams. Bienkowska, Jollands, and Willams are the three oldest members and have been with the group since 2011, while Cervantes joined in 2013 and Freeman in 2014. Pink Floyd has been a large impact for many of these professional lives. Freeman has performed with the band, and even caused for the launch of her international career. Singers Cervantes and Jollands have also both performed in other Pink Floyd tribute bands in the past besides Brit Floyd.

Plan a trip to DeVos Performance Hall for a performance you don't want to miss. Tickets can be purchased here.

Friday, January 15, 2016

5 Reasons you’ll fall in love with Tommy Emmanuel


1.) He’s a family man. Emmanuel’s love of music started at the age of four, on his birthday, when his mother bought him a guitar to learn how to play after noticing him playing with the strings on hers. Then by the age of six, he started working to be a professional musician with his brother and father. Their father sold the house and they began going on tour in a family band.

2.) He has a few tricks up his sleeve. During the Summer Olympics of 2000, Emmanuel and his brother, Phil, performed for the closing ceremony. During a few songs in this performance, the brothers shared a guitar that each played with one hand at the same time.

3.) He can be spontaneous. At the age of 16, Emmanuel once tried to sell his electric guitar and land a job working on cars in a garage. This only lasted a month, though, until a show came to town and Emmanuel found himself playing with the band that night and joining them on the road the next morning.

4.) He has compassion. Back in 2010, Emmanuel auctioned off his guitars for UNICEF, to help raise funds for the children of Haiti after the devastating earthquakes struck.

5.) He’s a timeless character. During an episode in season 10 of “American Dad,” Emmanuel’s rendition of “Classical Gas” by Mason Williams was played by Roger Smith in a coffee shop battle.

Plan a trip to DeVos Performance Hall this Valentine’s Day and fall in love with Tommy Emmanuel! Tickets can be purchased here.