RALSTON BOWLES + MICHAEL CRITTENDEN
January 21, 2021 | 7:00 PM
FROM THE ROYCE AUDITORIUM STAGE
Two of Grand Rapids’ most beloved folk musicians share the stage for a night of great music making and story telling.
Widely revered as “the ambassador of West Michigan music,” award-winning folk and Americana artist Ralston Bowles is a uniquely compelling troubadour whose influence and songs reach across the United States and the globe. The musician and singer-songwriter has released several critically acclaimed albums – including “Carwreck Conversations” and “Rally at the Texas Hotel” – containing songs that have been covered and reinterpreted by a host of indie-folk artists, from Peter Mulvey to Caroline Aiken. He’s frequently toured the United States and Europe, sharing stages with the likes of Bob Dylan, Shawn Colvin, Arlo Guthrie, Hothouse Flowers and many more.
Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Bowles founded the Tuesday Evening Music Club series more than a decade ago at the world-renowned Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, a series that continues to draw thousands of concertgoers every summer. His compelling and insightful songs have inspired a generation of musicians, evidenced by a recent double-album (“Michigan Music”) compiled as a tribute to Bowles, a project featuring 33 Michigan bands and solo artists.
Award-winning producer, songwriter and performer Michael Crittenden – founder and frontman for folk-rock’s Troll for Trout– has deep roots in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a biding passion for music that’s earned him widespread praise as an in-demand producer, player, studio owner and collaborator.
As one local philanthropist puts it, Michael “is a man of music through and through” – one who has made an impact regionally with his performances, production work and community involvement, from spearheading a songwriting contest as part of the international ArtPrize competition to being a mentor to young musicians and budding engineers through his high school recording academy program.
A graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass., Michael has performed most of his life, sharing stages with the likes of John McVey, Todd Rundgren, Shawn Mullins, Jonatha Brooke, Hootie & the Blowfish, The Doobie Brothers, Peter Frampton and Kenny Wayne Shepard, among others.
Michael’s songs have been heard on radio stations across the country as well as on MTV, ABC and PAXnet television. He was honored as Producer of the Year at WYCE’s Jammie Awards in 2013, after previously winning Jammies for Album of the Year (2002 and 2009) and Song of the Year (2009). He’s also a past recipient of an ASCAP Songwriters Award, two Billboard songwriting awards and an InterActivist Award from Los Angeles Based META Association. Michael also has served on the instructional staff at the prestigious Lamb’s Retreat for Songwriters and Mackinac Island Songwriter’s Workshop.
Beyond writing and performing, Michael, aka, “The Colonel,” is owner of The Mackinaw Harvest Music Group Inc., a Grand Rapids recording studio and publishing company.