TRAVERSE CITY —When Traverse City singer-songwriter Joshua Davis stepped onto the stage at Grand Rapids’ million-dollar, much-buzzed about downtown Listening Room earlier this month, concertgoers literally could have heard a pin drop.
Playing the second official concert in the opening week for the glitzy, 200-seat concert venue, Davis clearly reveled in the experience: His voice and guitar resonated beautifully in all corners of the intimate, acoustically pleasing space and his colorful stories resonated with the appreciative audience.
Afterward, he raved about the venue which is part of the $180 million Studio Park development south of Van Andel Arena — a project that also features a nine-screen movie theater, apartments, retail outlets, parking ramp, hotel, restaurant and office space.
“It’s such a great spot,” said Davis, who made a splash on “The Voice” in 2015 and released a new live album, “Live at the Robin,” earlier this year. “It’s exactly what Grand Rapids needs.”
Davis isn’t the only Traverse City act slated to make a big impact at the world-class concert venue that cost more than $1 million to create and will feature performances by national touring acts such as David Bazan, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Kris Allen, We Banjo 3, The Bad Plus and The Verve Pipe.
Savannah Buist and Katie Larson of Traverse City’s The Accidentals will kick off the new Michigan Mondays series at Listening Room on Nov. 25 as a part of a singer-songwriter showcase that also will feature Detroit’s Stephie James and California’s Megan Slankard.
That “Time Out” songwriters showcase and the series will be hosted by the Grand Rapids-based Local Spins music website.
“We literally cannot wait to say we played the Listening Room in Grand Rapids,” Buist said.
“We’ve been looking forward to this opening for a while now. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate it than to kick off Local Spins’ Monday nights with a ‘Time Out’ show and two of our favorite songwriters in the round, in a sonically gorgeous room, surrounded by Michigan music lovers.”
Tickets for the opening Michigan Mondays show are $20, with $50 VIP meet-and-greet options that also include merchandise. Tickets are on sale online at listeningroomgr.com.
The monthly Monday night series will focus on Michigan artists from outside the Grand Rapids area – from Detroit to Kalamazoo to Traverse City to Ann Arbor – and is designed to give these acts a chance to share their music with a new audience. The shows will include a brief, mid-concert interview with the performers, providing the audience insights into the artists and their music.
“I’m excited to team up with Local Spins for a new monthly series here at Listening Room, especially including all of Michigan as ‘local’ and bringing in talent from all over the state to perform here in downtown Grand Rapids,” said operations manager Quinn Mathews, who so far has earned high marks for the sound quality of the unique, new room.
Detroit-area roots rock band The Gasoline Gypsies will play the Michigan Mondays series in December, with Kalamazoo hip hop cellist Jordan Hamilton booked for January.
The Nov. 25 kick-off evening with Buist and Larson of The Accidentals will also feature sales of a one-of-a-kind, limited-edition benefit CD featuring tracks from a host of Michigan artists, with all proceeds donated to the family of Grand Rapids folk/Americana icon Ralston Bowles, whose wife, Cindy, has been battling cancer.
The album includes tracks from more than a dozen Michigan artists, including The Accidentals, Hannah Rose Graves, Nicholas James Thomasma, Seth Bernard, Political Lizard, The Crane Wives, May Erlewine, Erin Zindle & The Ragbirds, Olivia Mainville, The Honeytones and many more. Fans can find more details online at LocalSpins.com or theaccidentalsmusic.com.