Ukes and Steel Join Forces at Ten Pound Fiddle

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Thursday, February 8, 2018, 8:23 am
Christopher A. Wardell

What happens when you combine ukuleles, steel-based musical instruments, and some of Mid-Michigan’s most talented musicians?

Why, Ukes and Steel, of course.

Ukes and Steel, a band comprised of husband and wife Andy and Julianna Wilson, Joe Wilson, Drew Howard, and Kevin Gills, will take the stage as part of the Ten Pound Fiddle Concert Series Friday night at MSU's Community Music School.

None of the musicians are strangers to the folk-indie, jamband, and rock circuits of Michigan. Brothers Andy and Joe Wilson were a part of Steppin’ In It. Andy and Julianna are a part of The Springtails. Drew Howard is a renowned session musician who has played with various ensembles including Creole Du Nord, Drew Nelson, and the Schrok Brothers. Gills currently plays the stand-up bass with mandolinist Don Julian.

“The show combines top notch musicians from around the state.” Howard said. “Expect a combination of ukulele and steel guitar wizards plus some light-hearted singing. Within the group are parts of three ensembles - The Springtails, True Falsettos, and Steels Heal the World.”

Howard said to expect the unexpected, and to be ready to go on a voyage through various styles of music.

“A large variety of music will be performed.” Howard said. “You will hear Jazz, standards, Western swing, country, and originals, all performed on ukuleles, bass, dobros, vintage steel guitars, and pedal steel guitars.”

After a conversation at Elderly Instruments, Ten Pound Fiddle’s Booking Manager Sally Potter brainstormed the idea with Andy Wilson, who realized between all the musicians, there were four to five bands that could combine for an incredible night of music.

Potter is proud of the idea, and she’s more than ready to see how the musicians will play off of each other when they take the stage Friday night.

“I am really excited as this is a group of incredibly talented musicians.” she said. “Between all of these acts, they share a lot of talent. Every year we try to work Andy and Julianna, along with Drew Howard, into a show. I asked Andy to put together two sets of music. This will be a perfect show to kick back and watch some amazing musicians.”

There will be a pre-concert uke strum for ticket holders in the rehearsal hall, led by Ben Hassenger. Doors for the Ukes and Steel show open at 6:30, with show time at 7:30. For more information, you can visit the Ten Pound Fiddle’s website.

The Community Music School is located at 4930 S. Hagadorn Rd.


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