By MARTA HEPLER DRAHOS
TRAVERSE CITY — They're known for making beautiful music together. Now Mary Anne Rivers and daughter Elizabeth Rivers are branching out into beautiful wearable art.
"We took a class from (Dennos Museum Center staffer) Terry Tarnow in dyeing scarves, so now we're making scarves," Mary Ann Rivers said of the new mother-and-daughter business called Fit to be Dyed. "We have big ambitions."
The duo will debut their hand-dyed silk creations at the annual Holiday Art Fair in East Jordan the same week they perform with their band, Family Reunion, at AmVets Post 114 in Elk Rapids. That show, at 4 p.m. Nov. 4, is part of the Connemara Concerts-AmVets Americana Concert Series that began last summer.
"It celebrates the music of America for those who give their lives to the country," said Connemara's Seamus Shinners, who earlier brought The RFD Boys, Josh White Jr. and George Cole to the series. "To me it's a good tie-in."
"Music for an Autumn Afternoon" will feature folk, bluegrass and jazz by the Riverses and old friends Pat Niemisto on guitar, mandolin and bass, and Norm Wheeler on trumpet and flugelhorn. Wheeler, a founder of the Glen Arbor beach bonfire storytelling, poetry and music circle known as the Beach Bards, will complement the music with his spoken word.
Niemisto is best known for his "Leelanau County" sounds with the power folk trio New Third Coast, while Wheeler is synonymous with the "little" big band Jazz North. The two also perform as Luunappi, a children's and family music and stories duo.
Together the four friends have performed in many incarnations, most recently as a sort of "new" Family Reunion. Once a popular female folk trio that performed in the area for many years, the group was revived last year by original member Mary Anne Rivers — a singer-songwriter, storyteller and multi-instrumentalist — and daughter Elizabeth, an occasional vocalist with the group since she was old enough to sing.
Shinners partially credits the "genetic harmonies" of mother and daughter for the success of recent shows at venues like Sleder's and Northport's Music in the Park.
"It was wall-to-wall people at Sleder's," he said.
Tickets for the Elk Rapids show are $20 at the door or $15 in advance at the AmVets Post, the Corner Druggist and Chef Charles in Elk Rapids, and at Oryana Food Cooperative in Traverse City. AmVets Post 114 is located on Bridge Street a few blocks south of the Elk Rapids Village Hall.