In an attempt to get work done but still enjoy the sun, something every Michigander knows not to take for granted in February, I made my way to the Red Cedar where it took me all but 10 seconds to find the perfect spot along the river. Right behind Bessey Hall on the wood deck that overlooks the water was a group of six guys groovin’ under a clear blue sky. Creating a fusion of funk and rock, their energy was contagious, their sound smooth. These guys were cool as hell.
As I sat on a nearby hill to listen, more and more people stopped to enjoy the music; runners, cyclists, walkers. A couple started dancing, gleefully swinging each other around on the walking path. A group of students playing disc-golf took a break from their game to locate the source of the music they heard from their field.
Bill Pittman, Lewis Johnson, Mike Kaim, Chris Murphy, Caleb King and Hew Hamilton don’t have a name for their band — yet. For now, their gig venues are co-op parties; and of course their basement and backyard host a majority of their sessions. They mostly play covers, and on days like today, the guys just jam. Creating their own music, however, is on the horizon.
They surely don’t limit themselves to who and what they play, drawing influences from a variety of artists, musicians and even the people who stop by to listen to them.
“Music and rhythm is in everybody. Even when we’re playing — and we just started here — it was just us. And then these wonderful people started dancing,” said Johnson, a junior environmental studies major who plays drums. “Everybody’s an inspiration.”
As we head into May, which will hopefully bring the warmth and sunshine we had on February 18, 2017, I can only hope to find the yet-to-be-named funk-rock band doing their thing on the banks of the Red Cedar. In case you don’t get the chance to see them, check out some of this footage:
Emily Reyst is a senior majoring in professional writing. Outside of writing for ing, she interns for the Broad College of Business Marketing team and the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing. She was once hit by an airborne pizza box while driving her moped. Follow her on social media for updates in real time. Twitter: @accio_avocado Instagram: emilyreyst