Just six months ago, Ann Arbor native Laith Al-Saadi was one of four top finalists on NBC’s reality TV show The Voice. But he didn’t get there by singing top 40 pop songs, he got there belting out blues and rock n’ roll. Al-Saadi will play Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo on November 19th at 9 p.m. and the Franke Center for the Arts in Marshall on December 30 at 8 p.m.
Hear Laith Al-Saadi on WMUK's Arts & More. Scroll down for a longer interview.
When blues guitarist Josh White Jr. started performing onstage with his father at the age of four, he had no idea it would charter a course for the rest of his life. His father, the late Josh White Sr., was a folk musician who worked with everyone from Woody Guthrie to President Franklin Roosevelt. He grew up performing alongside him, and has since developed a solid career as a singer/songwriter. In anticipation of his June 29th concert at Foundry Hall in South Haven, he shared his thoughts shunning the labels of the music world, and paying homage to his father's roots while developing his own cross-cultural sound.
Here is an excerpt: On honoring his father's legacy onstage: "You know...before he died I remember him talking with our manager, and my dad was afraid that his guitar style would be lost because he didn't know if I was going to maintain it. Wherever I go I always make sure I have within my set two or three songs in a row that my old man did the way he did it and speak on him. Again it was something I was born into - I started doing it when I was three and a half. That which has happened has been a progression of. There was nothing else that was really pulling me that I wanted to do, and people started enjoying me doing my own stuff, and that's hard to beat."
When an employee finds themselves with idle hands and time to fill while at work, they might read a book, break out a crossword puzzle, or fall prey to Facebook scrolling. But Reverend Robert Jones found a different way to kill time.