Archives: April 2015

Thousands of Cyclists Will Ride Toward a World Free of MS at Bike MS Events Throughout Michigan in 2015

Southfield, Mich. — Thousands of cyclists are expected to raise more than $900,000 to support cutting-edge research and life-changing programs and services for people living with MS at four major Bike MS events taking place throughout Michigan in 2015. Bike MS, hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, is the premier fundraising cycling series in the U.S. for anyone seeking a personal challenge and a world free of multiple sclerosis. All participants have access to bike mechanics, support vehicles, rest stops, a finish line celebration and much more.

Attracting more than 100,000 participants nationwide, Bike MS is the largest fundraising cycling series in the U.S. Bike MS participants include people living with MS, their friends, families and neighbors, as well as corporate teams and individuals who are driven to help end MS forever.

There will be 100 extraordinary Bike MS rides across the country in 2015. National Bike MS sponsors include Primal Wear, Bicycling Magazine, TRUE Fitness, Genzyme | MS One to One, Kenda Tires, Topeak, and Showers Pass.

In Michigan, four Bike MS events are scheduled:

  • West Michigan Ride – June 6 & 7 / Hope College, Dow Center

The West Michigan Great Lakes Breakaway Bike MS Ride is a figure eight route designed to take you along the shoreline of Lake Michigan with route options of 30, 50, 75 and 100 miles each day. On Saturday riders head south through the town of Saugatuck and then along the scenic Blue Star Highway before heading inland to our rest stop at Fenn Valley Vineyards and Wine Cellar. Two-day riders will spend the night at Hope College and have an opportunity to enjoy the town of Holland. On Sunday, participants will take Lakeshore Dr. north then east, just south of Grand Haven. Hundreds of riders will enjoy breathtaking views on this scenic ride.  To make your ride a safe and memorable one, the Great Lakes West Michigan Breakaway Bike MS Ride is fully supported with SAG vehicles, bike mechanics and rest stops. After the ride, we invite all of our registered cyclists to celebrate and enjoy great food and festivities at the finish line celebration.

  • Mid Michigan Ride – July 11 & 12 / Milford High School (Highland Township, MI)

The Bike MS: Mid Michigan Great Lakes Breakaway is an out and back route designed to take you through the gently rolling hills of Mid Michigan.  Two-day riders may ride 75 or 100 miles each day and will spend the night at Michigan State University and have an opportunity to enjoy the Saturday evening festivities at our President’s reception at the Kellogg Center. On Sunday, two-day participants will head back along the same roads to finish at Milford High School. One day riders (Sunday only) will start and finish at Milford High School and their route will join in with those cyclists returning from East Lansing. All participants are welcomed back to Milford High School on Sunday afternoon with a BBQ celebration in their honor.   The ride is fully supported with catered rest stops, bike mechanics, full meals, and support vehicles. Invite your family and friends to cheer as you cross the finish line and enjoy a wonderful evening celebration. A fantastic finish awaits you with great food, music, and massages.

  • Fall Breakaway Ride – September 12  / Island Lake Recreation Area

The Fall Breakaway Bike MS Ride takes you through Island Lake Recreation Area. The Fall Breakaway offers cyclists a 12 and 24 mile road ride or 5 and 9 mile mountain bike trails for the off road riders. All riders will enjoy breathtaking views on this scenic ride. The spectacular scenery includes everything from open brush land to mature hardwood forest, with some pockets of open meadows mixed in. To make your ride a safe and memorable one, the Fall Breakaway Ride is fully supported with SAG vehicles, bike mechanics and rest stops. After the ride, we invite all of our registered cyclists to celebrate and enjoy great food and festivities at the finish line celebration.

  • Bavarian Breakaway Ride – September 26 & 27 / Frankenmuth, Heritage Park

The Bike MS: Great Lakes Bavarian Breakaway is a figure eight route that starts and finishes in Frankenmuth, Michigan’s Little Bavaria. You will enjoy this fast, flat route while riding through the serene roads and quaint towns such as Vassar, Mayville, Chesaning, and Otter Lake.  This will be a great event for the whole family whether you are cycling or decide to enjoy the city’s attractions and great shopping. A tent camping option will be provided outside the Harvey Kern Pavilion for both Friday and Saturday nights. Riders may also choose to make their own hotel or camping reservations (at their own expense) at a variety of lodging establishments in town.  After the ride, we invite all of our registered cyclists to celebrate and enjoy great food and festivities at the Finish Line Celebration. We have route options for cyclists of every level, ranging from 30-100 miles each day. The ride is fully supported with catered rest stops, bike mechanics, full meals, and support vehicles. Invite your family and friends to cheer as you cross the finish line and enjoy a wonderful evening celebration. A fantastic finish awaits you with great food, music, and massages.

There is a registration fee and $250 fundraising minimum per participant for Bike MS.  First time riders can register for FREE by using the discount code MIGT2R15.

For all the details and to sign up to ride, visit



Anjali Ray

Please enable images to see artist photo“with some of the best singing this side of Billy Holiday” Cory Frye of Indie Music Reviews

“I would dare to say Anjali comes as some kind of music messiah at a vital time, a much needed answer to the western world’s lack of mainstream honesty” Cyrus Rhodes of Indiemunity

“This is about as good as it gets for female jazz style pop singers, because there simply aren’t enough around anymore” Larry Toering of Music Existence

“Anjali comes at a vital time, a much needed answer to the western world’s lack of mainstream honesty” Erman Baradi of Skope Entertainment

“This album is perfect for rainy nights it’s a fabulous collection by a rare talent”. RJ Frometa of Vents Magazine

“Anjali Ray’s album Indigo offers something more than listening pleasure. It’s a spiritual experience”. Colin Smith at Gashouse Radio

“When I first heard the music of Anjali Ray I had to listen again and then again. Her vocals drew me in with a warmth that I could feel. Truly an album you can listen to over and over again and never grow tired of.” Stephen Wrench nominating and voting member of the Grammy’s

“Not one word but two”: “She’s fantastic!” By Graham Sclater CEO Tabitha Music Publishing England
Anjali, raised in New Delhi till the age of 10, draws on her extensive training in classical piano, Indian Hindustani classical vocal training, and occasional moonlighting as a jazz pianist to create emotional and haunting melodies. Learning piano through the British school of music since the age of 4, Anjali’s early musical foundation was later strengthened by the contrast of her Indian vocal training, enabling her to begin writing her own songs and communicating in a way words alone never can.

After performing in venues throughout Chicago and Los Angeles, Anjali began a career as an engineer, which enabled her to embrace her greatest gift to date – motherhood. She recently seized the opportunity to create a full length album of songs inspired by her experiences as a wife and mother. Her songs are sonically captivating, blending rhythms and music from east and west. Her lyrics mirror the challenges, struggles and joys we all face in our lifetime, and combine with her powerful, angelic voice to yield a soulful and honest product.

Flynnville Train

Flynnville Train

Flynnville Train

FLYNNVILLE TRAIN Toby Keith: “When I saw them live, they were more than I could have expected and I signed them on the spot.” Such was his description of Flynnville Train, who signed to his management team as well as his Show Dog label. The deal resulted in two charted singles on the Billboard chart and a number 22 spot on the Heatseeker Billboard Charts. Having amicably parted ways with Show Dog, the band continues to electrify audiences with their live stage show and is taking their music to the world. “We love performing for international audiences – they really get what we are about and the love and appreciation that comes back to us from them is amazing.”

Formed by brothers Brian and Brent Flynn, the band comprises Brian Flynn on lead vocals, Brent Flynn on lead guitar and harmony vocals (a natural blend unique to brothers.) Tommy Bales is on drums, now with the band for over thirteen years and voted Number One most up-and-coming drummer in Modern Drummer magazine in 2009 and Joseph Shreve on bass, who met the brothers through a mutual friend and whose influences are drawn from Rush and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Together, they form a band of brothers in music, with each bringing something unique to the sound that comprises Flynnville Train.

Flynnville Train is an irresistible, powerful, hard driving combination of Rock, Southern rock and country, with heart-stopping guitar riffs and nostalgic vocals as gritty as a long dirt road. From start to finish, their unique sound captivates the listener, whether live or on CD and their sound and style has no boundaries. Labeled by their fans as “Americas’ band,” Flynnville Train’s music spans multiple genres and their electrifying live show hooks fans of all ages. They are as comfortable sharing the stage with superstars like Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, as they are with acts such as Iron Butterfly, Molly Hatchett and the Marshall Tucker Band. It is seldom that such a unique and powerful live sound can be captured in the studio from three musicians and a lead singer, but with a band as awesome and talented as this, they proved it was possible. In the studio, they record most songs “live” like the 60’s and early 70’s, hence the “real” sound that they create.

The Flynn brothers, Brian and Brent, were raised by hard working parents in a Christian family of farmers and factory workers in Indiana, so can totally relate to the working class of America and the world. Their father played in a band in his spare time – Grandma played the fiddle. Both brothers inherited their natural gift of music – Brian (lead vocals) is also an accomplished drummer. His brother, Brent (who has perfect pitch), is able to play any stringed instrument but electric guitar became his prime instrument. Brent was five years old when he got his first guitar. His breath-taking guitar riffs and fills are delivered in an iconic fashion invoking the spirit of the likes of Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and other guitar heroes. The brothers also write together. Brian pens most of the lyrics and Brent the melodies.

They have written with partners such as Richard Young from the Kentucky Headhunters and recorded songs from legendary writer Craig Wiseman. The music is timeless, gets into your soul and moves your spirit. Brian and Brent Flynn state: “Now we are able to carve our own destiny, which we never could before. We have built a team of strong in-house people who believe in us and will be part of our extended family. We are all good and honest people who are prepared to work hard. Our goal is to take our music to the world and no matter where we perform; the key is that we give everyone a great time. We want to be remembered wherever we play.

” Flynnville Train rollin’ into Europe. Flynnville Train stole the show at the 24th Craponne Festival in France in 2011, whipping a crowd of 12,000 into an all-out frenzy. The same happened at the 28th Mragowo Festival in Poland in 2012. The band returned to France in August 2013 to perform at the 13th French Riviera Country Music Festival and were the sensation of the event. Additionally they played the most prestigious event in Europe, covered by National Swiss Television and Radio – the 25th Country Night, Gstaad, Switzerland in September 2013. They performed along with Gretchen Wilson, LeAnn Rimes and Vince Gill and The Time Jumpers. The band remarked “It was such an honor for us to share the stage with these amazing artists that we admire and respect. It’s a real dream come true”. Through the band’s US Label, AMP Entertianment, Flynnville Train signed a licensing deal wtih AGR Television Records for the their new cd “Back On Track.” The Eurpean cd was released during their visit to Switzerland in September 2013. The US release of “Back On Track” took place on April 18, 2014 in the band’s home state to a packed house at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino in Anderson, Indiana. Flynnville Train will once again return to Europe in2015.

Stephen Wrench

Stephen Wrench

Stephen Wrench

Stephen Wrench has worked with many greats over the years as a musician, producer, management. To name a few Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hank Williams Jr, Tommy Tutone, Vince Gill, Travis Tritt. Besides producing and working with many great acts Stephen has penned thousands of songs over the years and has performed all over the world. Stephen is also a nominating and voting member of the Grammys.

Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference coming to Grand Rapids April 10-11th

In response to the growing demand for Michigan grown ingredients for the craft beer industry, educators from Michigan State University Extension with support from Michigan State University AgBioResearch, the Michigan Brewers Guild and ISLAND are hosting the Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference April 10-11, 2015. The Conference will be held at the Eberhard Center on the Grand Valley State University Campus in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich.

Three conference tracks will be offered, including beginning hop management, advanced hop management, and malting barley production and malthouse opportunities. Friday’s program will offer a wide-range of presentations from speakers across the country focusing on growing and strengthening the vibrant craft ingredient industry in the state. Featured speakers include Lester Jones, Chief Economist for the National Beer Wholesalers Association, and Dr. Bart Watson, Chief Economist from the Brewers Association. Other noteworthy speakers include Derek Prell (Malteurop), Dr. David Gent (USDA-ARS), Sara Del Moro (John I. Haas, Inc.) and Zac German (Yakima Chief-Hop Union). Experts from Michigan State University will also be on hand to discuss best management practices for hop and malting barley production.

Friday’s program will conclude with a “Brewers Cut Analysis Demo and Meet the Buyer” event hosted by the Michigan Brewers Guild at the Fifth Third Ballpark on the opening weekend of the Grand Rapids Whitecaps. This will be an excellent opportunity for current hop and malting barley growers and processors to meet brewers and find out what they are looking for. This event requires preregistration and is limited to growers with acreage in production (or going into production in 2015) and active brewers. Come and enjoy the game, great beer, networking and food!

On Saturday, the malting barley track will tour Pilot Malt House, Michigan’s largest craft malthouse, and learn more about the science of malting and the quality analysis that goes into ensuring a quality product. The program will end at noon with lunch. The two hop tracks will come together to learn about post-harvest quality control and hear from a panel of brewers on how the hop industry in Michigan can meet the current demand. An optional hop yard tour and lunch at the Hopyards of Kent is available Saturday afternoon. Pre-registration is required for that event.

To learn more about the conference and to register, visit: Sponsorship opportunities are also available and can be accessed at the registration site. Any questions can be directed to the conference planning committee:

Betsy Braid,, 517-884-7081 (ANR Event Services)

Ashley McFarland,, 906-439-5176 (Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center)

Erin Lizotte,, 231-946-1510 (Wexford County)

Rob Sirrine,, 231-256-9888 (Leelanau County)

Scott Graham,, 989-732-0569 (Michigan Brewers Guild)

Ensemble Transforms Scrap Waste into Music at Debut Show in Taos, New Mexico on April 9th

TAOS, NM – The Taos Center for the Arts (TCA) presents the internationally renowned percussion ensemble, Scrap Arts Music, for one night only on April 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Taos Community Auditorium in Taos, New Mexico.

Scrap Arts Music is music that starts out as scrap, turns into art and then transforms into unforgettable sound. Hear intricate rhythms, experience raw energy and athletic choreography, and see the most inventive reuse of materials on stage today.
Instruments can be fashioned from industrial scrap and offbeat materials ranging from accordion parts to artillery shells, which are as visually striking as they are sonically riveting.

Scrap Arts Music offers a highly physical, wildly theatrical performance that includes humorous moments. They have entertained audiences from four continents and 14 different countries who reportedly were enthralled by an intoxicating mix of music and movement.
Gregory Kozak and Justine Murdy, the artistic directors, invented and created all musical instruments used in the show. These objects are not “played” like instruments, but are completely new, tunable inventions made from a welded, bent, and transformed scraps into entirely new sculptural percussion instruments. All instrument designs are based in a knowledge of the physics of sound, which is the base and inspiration for the composition of original music for over 145 unique instruments. The scores are then choreographed to incorporate high-energy movement to express the power of music.

Members of the group are among Canada’s most impressive musical talents. They are five extraordinary, virtuosic and innovative drummers. As professionally trained musicians and highly skilled athletes they hit the stage in costume performing in a dance of light among instruments of art giving a performance unlike any ever seen.
Scrap Arts Music’s “green” eco-message is: “before you throw away something,  whether an idea, a relationship or an object, think about its usefulness from a bunch of different angles. You will likely discover a whole new world of possibilities.”

Scrap Arts Music is a performance that appeals to a wide variety of ages and interests.

This performance is only for one night at the Taos Community Auditorium, located at 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte in Taos. Tickets are $20 for general admission; TCA Members are $17; those 18 and under are $10. The show is expected to sell out. For more information or to reserve tickets call 575-758-2052 or visit

The Listing to Premiere at 2015 Stanley Film Festival

Novi, Michigan – April 7th – 18-year-old Michigan native director, Luke Jaden, is set to premiere his first film foray into the horror genre early next month with The Listing, starring Erin Cummings (The Iceman, Cold Comes the Night) and Rob Zabrecky (Lost River). Written by up-and-coming Detroit author and screenwriter, Josh Malerman (“Birdbox”), The Listing tells the tale of what happens in a haunted house before the unsuspecting family arrives.

Jaden youthful, energetic approach to filmmaking is clearly palpable even in his description of the film. According to Jaden, “it’s got a more psychological vibe to it that’s atmospheric and moody. It feels like you’re the magician’s audience at a magic show set in an urban, gothic and decrepit theater.”

Michael Angelo Zervos (Papou), the producer of Jaden’s last two films, admits “there are very few better film festivals I can think of to premiere our film. The intimacy, success, and solid lineup of past Stanley festivals gives us encouragement that the audiences will appreciate our twist on the horror genre.”

Despite the recent success, Jaden isn’t resting on his laurels. With one film just starting to make it into film festival lineups, he’s currently completing post production on another short film and starting pre-production on another. In his mind, his hard won lessons from The Listing have made an impact on his development as as a busy filmmaker. “I’ve learned that if you don’t have a team that really believes in you or a cast that just really connects with their performances, you’re better off not even making the film.”

The Listing will be playing Sunday, May 3rd at the Stanley Film Festival in Estes Park, Colorado. For all other information on the film, visit or

The Listing to Premiere at 2015 Stanley Film Festival

The Listing to Premiere at 2015 Stanley Film Festival

Matt Cook

Matt Cook

Matt Cook

A singer songwriter from Wales. Matt has gotten the attention of some US producers and a US based TV show “Do I Have A Hit Song”. Matt almost won the pilot episode. But Matt did win the producers and host of the show Drew Copeland (Sister Hazel) were blown away by Matt and his performance and signed Matt to Do I Have A Hit Song Records. We hope the world is as blown away with him as we are.

“Matt Cook has a unique vocal quality that draws you in. Matt has that unique ability to make the hair stand up on your arms”

Stephen Wrench nominating and voting member of the Grammy’s

“Matt Cook voice is crazy, filled with emotion and depth”

Terry Nails formerly of Ozzy Osbourne