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Songwriter showcase in The Bootlegger featuring Jeff German, Dave Toennies, and Mike Ward. FREE SHOW!
Jeff German was born in Lincoln Park, Michigan, south of Detroit-but just barely. He grew up listening to his older brother’s records; Bowie, Mott the Hoople, Stones, Faces. His entire musical framework was tied to his brother’s record collection. His first solo album, “12 Rounds”, released March 2013, adhered to the gospel of six strings and storytelling. His songwriting and clever arrangements caught the attention of Slothtrop Records label President, Eric Hester who signed Jeff In December of 2013 to a three record deal. Slothtrop Records re-released “12 Rounds” on their label in March of 2014 and subsequently released the video to the single “Sit and Think” in April of 2014. In September of 2015, Slothtrop Records released “12 Packs, 8 Tracks and B&W TV”, German’s sophomore release, earning high praise from notable press including No Depression Magazine. Soon after, Slothtrop released the music video “Hang-On”, a poignant song about rushing to say goodbye to a dying loved one. Since then, a pair of EP’s, “12 Fret Nights” and the acoustic counterpart “12 Day Weeks”, were released in late 2018 to critical acclaim. Both EP’s containing the same core songs, but with completely difference interpretations; songs that led critics to draw comparisons to John Moreland and Robert Earl Keen. Like all of Jeff’s songs the protagonist seems ever so familiar and the redemptive underlying premise haunts you to the core. Jeff and his band “The Blankety Blanks”, tour regularly. http://www.jgblanketyblanks.com
Dave Toennies is a singer-songwriter. Also a member of the international band Border Patrol, a lyrically driven folk-rock group from Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario. Blending elements of traditional bluegrass and folk with punk and indie expression, they feature vocal harmonies and surprisingly upbeat melodies about our impending doom and the monotonies of every day life and love in this modern age. Dave plays as a solo act throughout Detroit and across Michigan and hosts one of the most successful Open Mic nights at Ghostlight in Hamtramck. His songwriting influences include Robbie Faulks, Jason Isbell and anyone who writes about anxiety and what we humans are doing to his world. He is also co-host on the podcast “Detroit Songwriter Dispatch”.
Mike Ward: Lyric-driven, simple folk songs are what singer-songwriter Mike Ward produces. Currently living in Detroit, Mike grew up listening to the Irish music of the Clancy Brothers and singing in church choirs. His influences are the likes of Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and John Prine. Having spent years singing along with all those influences it is no surprise (though humbling) when people tell him they can hear bits of Springsteen, and these days Jason Isbell, in his performances The songs that Mike writes are a combination of stories and life lessons which are still being learned. His second album was released in 2018, “We Wonder” which is a collaboration with several extremely talented musicians and engineers from Chicago, Lansing and Detroit. In 2019, Mike has continued to receive recognition from peers as a Phase 2 nominee in four categories of the Detroit Music Awards.