Traverse City Record-Eagle


August 14, 2010

Kids' concert promises fun for grownups

TRAVERSE CITY — For most people, a room filled with screaming children goes into the category of nightmare. But for the guys in Go Fish, it sounds like music to their ears — a dream come true.

Jamie Statema, Jason Folkmann and Andy Selness — Go Fish — will play at the West Side Community Church, 4975 E. Traverse Highway (M-72), Friday, Aug. 20, at 6:30 p.m.

The trio makes music — and funky sounds, using just their voices and percussion.

For many children, it may be their first "concert experience," complete with lights, backdrops and fog machines. It's a rock 'n' roll show, but made for kids.

"There's a misconception out there of what children's music has to be," said Selness. "Quite honestly, it doesn't have to be simple. You don't have to dumb down music for kids. Because of that, parents really enjoy this music as well."

"The most common remark we hear from parents is, 'You guys are the one CD that our entire family can agree to listen to in the car. Please don't stop what you're doing!'" said Statema. "That sums up why we do what we do — to have the opportunity to make music that brings entire families together."

Tickets are $12, available at the church on Sunday mornings, by calling 935-1965 or by going to

The group unapologetically offers "no gimmicks — a relief to parents who are up to their ears in big red cars, purple dinosaurs and backpacks," said Statema. Most of the songs are written by him, and they "creatively communicate biblical values," he said.

From the start, Statema knew he wanted to be involved in something unique but he struggled between his musical aspirations and youth ministry.

He was inspired by a Canadian a cappella group, the Nylons. He took the pop production he saw in that concert and used the same elements for Christian music. He formed Go Fish in 1993; Folkmann and Selness joined in 1998.

The trio quickly developed a strong following throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and North and South Dakota. Wanting to break out into other areas of the country, they sought the help of the Nashville-based inpop label, recording two albums and making headway at radio stations with a more pop-oriented sound.

"We were an a cappella group until that point," Statema said. "Then after signing with inpop, we added instruments and went a different direction. In the process, we learned that we already had a good grasp of what we were doing and who we were called to be both musically and spiritually."

After parting ways with inpop, the trio formed their own label, gfk records.

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