Acoustic songsmith and performer Doug Mains, is, in his eyes, a proud member of a vibrant, yet often overlooked, local music community in Lansing, Mich.
“In Michigan in general, there’s a great music scene, especially for the folk genre,” he said. “It’s something I’ve come to appreciate over the last couple years. Maybe because it’s surrounded by water and somewhat excluded, and a lot of times people skip it on tours, but there is a real cool scene there and I’m fortunate to be a part of it.”
Making their way out of the Great Lake State for an Oct. 13 show at Valparaiso’s Cornucopia Coffee Company, singer-guitarist Mains has been performing with his City Folk partner in crime, violinist/vocalist Kelly Pond, for nearly five years. For the last two years, the current City Folk lineup has been rounded out by Kim Wren on upright bass, Josh Michaels and cello and according and percussionist Rob Germeroth.
For Mains, who is a self-taught songsmith and musician, working with his band mates, all of whom are trained and educated in their respective musical crafts, has made for a winning ensemble despite their varied upbringings.
“I definitely feel incredibly fortunate to have these people on board, because they’re great,” Mains said. “We have this collaboration of free-flowing (songwriting) with formally-trained (musicianship), kind of this classical undertone to a very singer-songwriter, raw (style).”
In February, Mains and Co., released their full-length debut, “The Mountain’s King” and last month, followed it up with a six song E.P., “Live @ GBS Detroit.” Recorded at Detroit’s Groove Box Studios, “GBS” is free of any studio trickery, with each of the songs recorded on their first try.
“As a songwriter, I’ve always said that the last 10 percent of the song is written on stage, and we like to approach it that way,” he said. “We’re really proud of those GBS recordings because they capture that live energy and that live feel … the folk genre has a raw, rootsy, feel and capturing that live feel is a genuine way to record.”
Opening for Mains and the City Folk at Front Porch Oct. 13 is Indiana-based songsmith John Davey.