beaver island

Near the northern tip of Lake Michigan, about 30 miles off the coast of Charlevoix, sits Beaver Island -- a little piece of Ireland surrounded by water. Irish immigrants settled here centuries ago, and now the island is full of musicians playing in bars and converted garages. It's a unique tradition documented in WMUK's "Golden Days and Friendly Faces." And today, the traditions are continued with a group in lower Michigan called the Beaver Island Club of Grand Rapids.


Darin Back

Minnesota musician Brian Miller's most recent CD, The Falling of the Pine, is his second album of songs that were sung in the lumber camps across the northern states in the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Music on Beaver Island, Michigan, has always been essential to island life, but it also draws the interest of outsiders such as musicologist Alan Lomax, for its unique color, which draws from a history of Irish American fiddling, songs and ballads of the Great Lakes, and a Grand Ol Opry set list established in the 30s, 40s and 50s.