Calhoun County is a hot spot for blues, from the wailing of an electric guitar to the twang of bluegrass. Located halfway between Chicago and Detroit, big-name musicians come here to jam. Embrace the winter blues at the Ice, Wine, Beer and Blues, a weekend festival in Marshall. Sip on libations and listen to music at different downtown businesses while ice carvers are busy outside making sculptures on the sidewalk.
That same weekend is the Winter Blues Fest at Marshall’s Franke Center for the Arts (214 E. Mansion St., Marshall). Come early for dinner (barbecue, of course) and a pre-show, then catch the headliner act.
The Franke Center serves as a hub for music lovers. Check out the schedule at www.frankecenterforthearts.com to keep up on who is performing in their annual blues series. The auditorium has also recently found “mando mania” with the Marshall Mandolin Summit, a long weekend of classes and performances.
You’ll also hear mandolins at the annual Marshall Bluegrass Festival. Don’t just sit in the audience and listen -- take your instrument and join informal jams.
Bring your lawn chair in June when Marshall closes down main street for its all-day free music event, the Marshall Blues Festival, and listen to world-class blues acts tear up the stage.
The Bohm Theatre (201 S. Superior St., Albion) boasts Blues at the Bohm, where audiences gather from as far away as Chicago and Detroit on the first Monday of each month. You might recognize such top-quality blues acts as Thornetta Davis and Harper and the Midwest Kind.
Blues at the Bohm is just as likely to have musicians in the audience as on stage. When the headlining band is done with its set, it’s time for everyone to jam. More than a show, it’s a celebration of the blues community.If blues isn’t your jam, then Calhoun County has plenty of other music, festivals, and fun. Check out the following list, or go to events page for details and info.