Stellar local musicians joining together at The Ark for 10th - and last - Concert for Peace
AnnArbor.com file photo
The good news is that organizer Chris Buhalis is promising a stellar lineup of local musicians, many of whom were present at the initial Concert for Peace in 2001.
However, he has also announced that this will be the last year for the event.
“I’m looking to do other things,” he said. “I’m certainly not quitting the peace movement—I’m in that for life. Right now I just want to refocus my energies.”
The concert grew out of a 2001 peace-themed CD called “Tell It, Think It, Speak It, Breathe It,” Buhalis explained.
“I had written a song called ‘The Talking, Sounds Just Like Joe McCarthy Blues,’ and I went to (local recording studio) Big Sky to record it,” he recalled. “(Studio owner) Geoff Michael suggested we should make a CD of political-type songs. So Brian Lillie, Geoff and I put together this CD with a whole lot of folks. The first peace show was a celebration of the release of that CD. It was just so fun, the next year we decided to do it again and it became an annual thing.”
The lineup for Sunday’s show reads like a Who’s Who of local musical talent.
“For this year I got almost all of the original people that were on the CD, and then some,” Buhalis said. “This year we’ve got myself, Dave Boutette, Mr. B., Annie & Rod Capps, Corndaddy, Delta 88 (getting back together for this show), Fubar, Brian Lillie, Misty Lyn, Kevin Meisel, Dave Keeney & Sophia Hanifi, Jim Roll, the Royal Garden Trio, Jo Serrapere, Dick Siegel, San & Emily Slomovits, Jay Stielstra and storyteller LaRon Williams. And we’ll have probably a couple of special guests—I have my shoehorn set up to squeeze people in.“It’s a stellar lineup every year,” Buhalis said, “and it’s always amazing to me. I put the first call out to 18 people and everybody said yes except one person who already had a gig out of state. It just blows me away. It shows me how much the topic touches all our lives but also how musicians and artists need an outlet for stuff like this.”
Past shows have benefited Michigan Peaceworks; proceeds from this year’s concert will benefit The Ark, which has hosted the event all of the past 10 years.
“(The Ark) has been super gracious on many levels—not just this show but to the local community in general. We certainly wouldn’t be able to put the show on to such a degree (without them),” said Buhalis. “It’s a selling point for getting this caliber of artist that goes beyond their willingness to sing for peace.”
Looking back on the 10 years of the Concert for Peace, Buhalis said he remains impressed by the caliber of local talent and their willingness to participate in an event that attempts to make the season meaningful beyond the whirl of shopping and the hoisting of holiday symbols.
“I’m always amazed—every year the level of artistry just blows me away. I just find it an amazing gathering of community. It makes me feel real glad that I live here,” he observed. “There’s another 20-30 acts that could and should be on the bill—we just can’t do a 14-hour show.”