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Mixtape: From folk to psychedelic rock, the newest tunes out of West Michigan

Time to kick off this New Year with our first Local Spins of 2019 as we check out the West Michigan music scene with John Sinkevics, editor and publisher of localspins.com.

Here are this month's picks:

"Lysander" by Heaters

Psychedelic. Mesmerizing. Dreamy. And now, music with some melodic, pop hooks. The Grand Rapids-based rock band Heaters has long been a regional fave – not to mention getting lots of love nationally and overseas for its psychedelic rock, something they describe as “heavy cream.” 


“Tearin’ It Up” by May Erlewine & The Motivations

This EP literally came out of nowhere in December. We’ve featured May Erlewine before but not with this super-group band The Motivations, which plays a more soulful, dance-oriented style of music than Erlewine’s usual folk and Americana. Erlewine plays a solo show Friday night Jan. 11 at the Howell Opera House in Howell and at Rare Bird Brewpub in Traverse City on Jan. 14, before heading overseas for a U.K. tour that runs from Jan. 18-Jan. 26. She also plays Trinity House Theatre in Livonia on Feb. 2.


“Smoked Trout” by Justin Wierenga

Justin Wierenga may be the ultimate sideman. This incredibly talented guitarist who grew up in New Era and now calls Grand Rapids home, has for years been an in-demand musician for artists such as Hannah Rose & The GravesTones, Justin Avdek’s Underground Circus, Cosmic Knot and Muruga Booker, always providing amazing textures and guitar enhancements to a wide variety and styles of rock and blues and more. Well, now, he’s finally released his first solo album “Walking Like He Knows Something” which is chock full of instrumental gems that span rock, folk, bluegrass, funk, country and avant garde music.  


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