local music

BenJammin & Analisa at Old Dog Tavern in Kalamazoo
Madison Bennett, WMUK

Benjamin and Analisa Gauthier weren’t planning on becoming professional musicians, but they say they always wanted to work with children. The duo, known as BenJammin and Analisa, now uses their musical talents to create educational songs for not only children, but all age levels.


Courtesy Strawberry Heritage

On November 28th, Strawberry Heritage -- the project of Grand Rapids songwriter John Hanson -- will perform at Bell's Eccentric Cafe. Hanson like a lot of songwriters, he writes his tunes alone, inside his bedroom most of the time. Yet with harmonies, strings -- even an oboe -- his songs don’t sound quiet. Hanson says each of his albums is like an archive of a certain time and place in his life. The only constant on each record is Hanson, with a rotating cast of West Michigan musicians collaborating and adding their own sounds to each recording.


Jane Finkel in WMUK's Takeda studio
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

If you haven’t heard of the Kalamazoo indie/folk band Less Is More, you might have at least heard of their blended acoustic cover of the songs “Cool Kids” and “Riptide” - a collaboration they did with the band The Queen and King. It’s reached over 22 million plays on Spotify. 


The album cover for The Other Side
courtesy of Kaitlin Rose

Nine years ago, Kaitlin Rose was one of the most prolific singer-songwriters in Kalamazoo. She produced four albums all before the age of 21. And in a few short years, Rose found herself in a committed relationship, she had a few kids, and she stopped writing.


When Spanish rock band Lalo Cura lost the bid for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert contest two months ago, it didn’t look good. But that loss turned into publicity gold for the Goshen, Indiana group when they were picked up by another NPR show, Alt. Latino


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