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/// LOCAL MUSIC In the Studio:



by Kevin VanAntwerpen |

ES PITE HI S PREVIOUS Solo album, Can’t Be Saved, Jake Simmons has never enjoyed play- ing music alone.

“I’ve been in bands for the last seven

or eight years,” he said. “I’m actually very bored whenever I play by myself.” It was that desire for cooperative

artistic creation that led to the forming of folk-rock outfit Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts. The members of the band

will enter Deep Pink Studios in Lansing during the late half of March. Even Simmons’s solo efforts were

never intended to remain his own, he said. “Before I started working with the

band, I had an idea of what I wanted to do. So I recorded all the songs myself to give to them, and then it ended up sound- ing pretty good, so I had John Krohn [of Deep Pink Studios] mix it for me and put it on CD.” The untitled upcoming album,

Simmons said, will make a slight left-hand turn from the direction Can’t Be Saved had taken. While the previous album had elements of country and folk, Simmons explained that the new material received a syringe full of soul-punk. “Some days you feel like listening to

The Misfits, some days you feel like listen- ing to The Four Tops,” Simmons said. “The big point of it being ‘Jake Simmons and the’ sort of thing was so I could do whatev- er I wanted to do. There’s definitely going to be the folk rock and country-esque sort of thing on the record; it’s just not going to be as prominent as the first recording.” Before entering the studios, Jake

Simmons and the Little Ghosts will em- bark on a Midwest/East Coast tour, starting Kalamazoo and ending in New York. n

JAKE SIMMONS AND THE LITTLE GHOSTS: Ian Cooper, Matt Blasco, Ben Bojanich, Jake Simmons

The Vincent Hayes Project: Joining the who’s-who of blues

latory call on his cell phone – The Vincent Hayes Project had been nominated for Best New Artist Debut. “I literally fell on the floor laughing my ass off, because I couldn’t


contain it,” Hayes said. “We didn’t have anyone telling us we were going to be nominated, but I just followed my gut.” Being nominated for a Blues Music Award puts The Vincent

Hayes Project on the map with the who’s-who of blues. Nominees in other categories include blues legends such as Buddy Guy and the Steve Miller band. While the award is the most notable of the band’s credentials, it’s

certainly not the only one. Ever since the release of 2010’s Reclemation, things have been sunny in Bluesville. The Vincent Hayes Project also received four Jammie nominations for the categories of Best New

Group, Album of the Year, Blues Album of the Year, and Song of the Year for the track “Hit Me High, Hit Me Low.” “I keep waiting for the good things to stop happening,” said

Keyboardist Christian VanAntwerpen. “I always expect to have to go back to fighting for shows, but the good things just don’t stop coming.” The Blues Music Award winners will be announced in Memphis,

Tenn. on May 5. n REVUEWM.COM | MARCH 2011 | 37

URING THE NOMINATION announcements for the 32nd annual Blues Music Awards, Vincent Hayes and his bandmates were waiting around the radio at Firehouse Music in Muskegon, Mich. That’s when Hayes received a congratu-


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