Grizzly Goat performs a show in Waynesville, North Carolina, in May 2019. The band members are, from left to right, Ben Gibson, Nate Waggoner, Scott Monson, Alex Vincent and Doug Patterson.

Grizzly Goat performs a show in Waynesville, North Carolina, in May 2019. The band members are, from left to right, Ben Gibson, Nate Waggoner, Scott Monson, Alex Vincent and Doug Patterson.

Photo provided by Nate Waggoner


Next up: local youth musicians, Grizzly Goat coming to Stars in the Park

By: Jonathan Shead | Farmington Press | Published July 9, 2019

 The School of Rock Farmington House Band performs at the Peace, Love and Parks Block Party for Novi’s 50th anniversary. From left are Connor Ziadeh, Andrew Padfield, Sarah Conway, Ethan Olzak, Nate Walker and Leo Sheehan.

The School of Rock Farmington House Band performs at the Peace, Love and Parks Block Party for Novi’s 50th anniversary. From left are Connor Ziadeh, Andrew Padfield, Sarah Conway, Ethan Olzak, Nate Walker and Leo Sheehan.

Photo provided by School of Rock Farmington

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FARMINGTON HILLS — After a brief recess for the Fourth of July, the Stars in the Park summer concert series returns to the Heritage Park amphitheater stage to feature newcomers Grizzly Goat and a showcase of the area’s student talent during High School Music Night.

Grizzly Goat, a folk-rock-Americana group hailing from Provo, Utah, will perform July 11, followed by select performances from the School of Rock Farmington House Band and individual student performers for the series’ returning High School Music Night.

 

Grizzly Goat
Making their maiden voyage to Michigan, folk-rock-Americana group Grizzly Goat plans to bring an energetic, undomesticated performance.

Started by Nate Waggoner, who sings and plays guitar and banjo for the band, and his friend Ben Gibson, who plays mandolin, guitar and banjo, the two played with numerous folk bands during their teenage years before finally settling in to Grizzly Goat full-time in 2015.

The band also features Alex Vincent singing and playing Dobro (an American-brand resonator guitar), guitar and banjo; Doug Patterson playing accordion and bass; Scott Monson on drums; and fiddle player Grace Dayton, who occasionally plays live with the band when she has time away from her other job. Dayton won’t be at the Stars in the Park performance.

Waggoner said the band is excited to have been chosen, through the submission process, to perform in the series.

“It’s really nice when people listen to your submission and are like, ‘Yeah, we like you enough to have you come play.’ It’s validating,” Waggoner said. “It’s just exciting for us to see new places and meet new people.”

Describing the band’s sound, Waggoner said it’s a blend of a few different genres, but ultimately it’s simply the music they want and are inspired to make.

“If you could draw a triangle between rock ’n’ roll, Appalachian or old-time music, and maybe like swampy blues, anything within that triangle we’ll do.”

For their upcoming performance, Waggoner said attendees can expect to hear a “broad spectrum” of music, including some of their earlier work, songs off their 2018 release “Burning the Prairie,” and even some unreleased songs from their forthcoming yet-to-be-titled album.

“We’re pretty good stage jabbers. I would say we’re better stage jabbers than we are at playing our instruments,” Waggoner said. “We love to tell stories and make fun of each other onstage. A lot of times we’ll take surveys from the stage, so it’ll feel like elementary school for the audience.”

Entangled in a harmonic relationship with the outdoors, many of the stories that concert attendees may hear from the band may be about the relationship they have with nature, like recording their latest two albums in a secluded log cabin in Duck Creek, Utah.

“All the members of the band are really outdoorsy. We always camp. We like to go for hikes (and) go birding while we’re on tour, and it’s really just part of the musical experience for us,” Waggoner said. “We relate to the outdoors, and it inspires us, but we’re not different than other people. I think the outdoors inspires everyone, and helps everyone feel a bit more at peace and relaxed and content in their lives.”

As the band continues to tour across America, they’re attempting to write a song about every state, with Michigan on the list of states still to be written. Waggoner said that “if something weird happens,” he can guarantee a song about Michigan will shortly follow.

“I think the audience should be as nuts as possible, and the chances of getting the song written then will exponentially increase.”

To learn more about Grizzly Goat or preview their music before the show, visit www.grizzlygoat music.com.

 

High School Music Night
With a variety of in-school and after-school music programs, like at the School of Rock Farmington and the Farmington STEAM Academy, the community isn’t at a loss for local student talent, which is why for a third year the Stars in the Park concert series will highlight a number of talented teens excelling in their musical craft.

This year’s High School Music Night performers will include the SOR Farmington House Band: North Farmington High School student and singer/keyboardist Mia Whitener, 16; singers and sisters Sarah and Hannah Reddypogu; electric guitarist Benicio Bassett; and singer and Miss Farmington 2018, Megan Cromwell.

Eric Cojocari, the general manager of SOR Farmington, said he is excited to have his kids and other students come back for another year of performances.

Whitener, who was added to the list of performers within the past week, said she’s excited to perform on the amphitheater stage.

“I’ve been going to that park since I was, like, a baby, and I’ve actually been to two shows there. It was amazing,” she said. “Now that I can be up there onstage and watch other people perform, I think it’s really awesome.”

Whitener, whose main musical influences include Christina Aguilera and Adele, is working on nailing down exactly which songs she plans to perform, but she’s currently thinking about singing renditions of “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” by Lori Lieberman; an Alicia Keys version of  “True Colors,” originally by Cyndi Lauper; and her own version of “Creep,” by Radiohead.

Cojocari said the SOR Farmington House Band has been focusing on celebrating the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, so concert attendees can expect to hear a variety of music from that era.

High School Music Night provides the students involved with the opportunity and ability to boost their confidence, embrace the stage and meet potential future collaborators.

“They’re learning how to express themselves outwardly to the world and show people what they’re capable of,” said Cojocari.

Beyond performing, Whitener said she’s most excited to see her peers perform and, hopefully, to make connections with them.

“I won’t be collaborating with anyone while I perform, but it will give me a chance to see the talent that’s around me and the people I can make connections with and get together with later on,” she said.

Overall, Whitener and Cojocari think High School Music Night is a great opportunity for the community to come out to see and celebrate local youth performers.

“I think it’s an exposure thing for everybody performing, and it’s just an enjoyable and entertaining experience for anyone who wants to attend,” Whitener said. “Music brings people together, so I think it’s going to be a good event all around.”

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