Mustard’s Retreat Returns to its Roots for New Album and Tour

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018, 8:27 am
Christopher A. Wardell

For a trio of musicians who first started jamming together at The Ark in Ann Arbor in 1974, the members of Mustard’s Retreat certainly show no signs of letting up anytime soon.

In fact, now that original member Libby Glover has rejoined the fold along with Michael Hough and David Tamulevich, the award-winning folk-group is back to full strength, and recently released a new album entitled “Make Your Own Luck.”

Mustard’s Retreat will perform at the MSU Community Music School Friday, September 28 at 7:30.

“Make Your Own Luck” is the trio’s fourteenth recording, and their first since Glover made her return to the group in 2015.

Glover had performed with the group off and on throughout the band’s career, but for many years, Mustard’s Retreat was just “two guys and two guitars.”

According to Tamulevich, it’s as if Glover had never left.

“It has been a joy,” Tamulevich said. “It’s like finding something from your youth that was so special, and finding that it is still that special and has been enhanced by the years. Special is a word that just does not really cover it. Joyfully profound, perhaps? We are all really enjoying ourselves.”

For their latest album, Mustard’s Retreat brought in a slew of the finest musicians in the mid-Michigan folk-Americana scene, including David Barrett, Jim Bizer, Annie & Rod Capps, Danny Cox, Alan Finkbeiner, Drew Howard, Cindy Klein, Danny Kolton, Jan Krist, Bob Lizik, David Mosher and Jon Pousette-Dart, with Barrett producing many of the songs.

Although Barrett may not be a familiar name to some, he is best known as the writer and performer of the song, “One Shining Moment,” which is always featured in a montage at the conclusion of the championship game of the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

“It was special to have Libby involved,” Tamulevich said. “Though she did record several tracks with us on our first two recordings, this is the first time she was involved from the start. Working with David Barrett as a producer was amazing as he brings such a wealth of experience as a songwriter, musician, performer, engineer, as well as producer. That outside eye on the project and our performances really transformed the project and all of us. Our singing and performances, it was elevating, and something we’ve carried over into our live performances.”

For a band that has endured through four decades, Tamulevich admits maturity has been important to Mustard’s Retreat success. He’s also appreciative of the fans who have stuck with the band through the years and changes.

“Maturity is a great thing,” Tamulevich said. “Having done all this living and performing for all these years makes it all possible to appreciate what we have. And to be present, enjoy it for what it is. Again, it is the joy that we all recognize as a gift. We so appreciate it.”

No two Mustard’s Retreat shows are the same. The music is steeped in the singer-songwriters of the 60s – Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, and early Bob Dylan. The songs were revolutionary, with a message for the need to change – a message that still permeates the music of Mustard’s Retreat.

For context, the name of the current tour is “The Defiantly Joyful Tour,” and they hope the audience at the Ten Pound Fiddle will pick up on that joy.

“We sing about life, and the things that matter,” Tamulevich said. “We sing about the common ground we all share or are trying to find. We hope to surprise people and give them things to remember. Entertain and give them a peek through some doors they may not have thought of, or remembered in quite a while. We really do see ourselves as part of the folk tradition with links in the historical chain – but also links in the community chain connecting the community of folk music across this country and beyond. We are like the old minstrels carrying news and stories between the audiences we play for. This is not a job for us. This is family.”

Tamulevich added he’s excited to help celebrate the Ten Pound Fiddle’s 44th season, and he’s looking forward to seeing old friends, as well as making new ones.

“We are thrilled to be coming back to the Lansing area again,” Tamulevich said. “Lansing has such a vibrant folk community that is recognized around the country as being something very special. We have many friends that we are looking forward to seeing again. It is one of the greatest singing audiences anywhere, and we look forward to singing with them.”

Tickets are $18 for the general public, $15 for Ten Pound Fiddle members, and $5 for students. They are available online or at the box office starting at 6:30 PM.

MSU’s Community Music School is located at 4930 Hagadorn Road

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