Councilperson Shares Love for Local Bands with “Ferndale Playlist”

Councilperson Shares Love for Local Bands with “Ferndale Playlist”

(Crystal A. Proxmire, April 17, 2020)

Ferndale, MI – What this town needs… is a playlist.

Music plays an undeniable role in our lives – whether one casually listens to the radio or gets catchy soundtracks in their head or whether they’re a musician themselves or an avid fan that supports the work of local artists.

Ferndale is a hot spot for musical creativity, so much so that City Councilperson Kat Bruner James has been growing a Spotify list to honor that spirit.

“I started this sometime in 2018, pretty much just because I love making themed playlists and I was probably procrastinating one day,” Bruner James said. “Within my house, my block, and my social sphere, I know a ton of local musicians, but I also knew when I made the list that there are a lot more artists out there that I wasn’t yet familiar with. I posted on Ferndale Forum to get suggestions, and I’ve added a bit since then as other artists have come across my radar.”

Among the 60+  songs on the Ferndale Playlist are “Rats, Rats, Rats” by The High Strung, “Get to Know Mine” by Songs from the Moon, “Lucky So and So” from the Luddites, “On With the Show” by The Muggs, and “All the Pretty Ponies” by Jill Jack.

“It’s a Shame” by The Spinners nods back to the days of Mowtown, as some band members called the suburb just north of Detroit home.  Another of the more famous artists is jazz musician Ron Carter.  “I read somewhere that he started playing cello in Ferndale, but he’s better known for playing bass,” Bruner James said.

The High Strung has also made it big with their song “The Luck You Got” serving as the theme song for the Showtime series “Shameless.”

Bruner James spends her days (and some nights) as a civil rights attorney. Discovering new music helps keep her soul happy on days when she tackles injustice in the world.  “I love some of the music that I had never heard before making this playlist,” she said.  “Diving Loon by Remnose, for example, gets stuck in my head a lot. I also really love the horns on Terminal by Virginia Violet and the Rays

“Of course, some of  my favorite songs on the list are written and performed by my favorite local artist, Joshua James of the Theatre Bizarre Orchestra and the Aston Neighborhood Pleasure Club, to whom I happen to be married.” Those with her hubby’s saxophone include “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and “Cannonball.”

“I was pretty liberal with my interpretation of who could be included, so I added some of my own local favorites, like Blanche, who might not technically have a member who lived in Ferndale, but has deep local connections in Ferndale,” she said. Blanche member Dave Feeny runs Tempermill Studios, which is located in Ferndale.  Their song “What This Town Needs” is included in the playlist.

Do you know other bands and artists that should be included?  Join in the conversation on Facebook.

Check out the Ferndale Playlist on Spotify.


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