Andy Irvine photo
Courtesy photo / Ten Pound Fiddle

The 42nd season of Ten Pound Fiddle concerts kicks off this weekend. We talk with Sally Potter about this year's lineup.

Banjo camp photo
Courtesy photo / Stan Werbin

This weekend, people will explore dueling Banjo styles in Olivet. We learn about Bluegrass and Old-Time playing at the 12th Annual Midwest Banjo Camp with co-director, Stan Werbin.

Marlowe photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Lovers of the ukulele will gather again in Lansing this weekend for Mighty Uke Day. It’s really three days of music in Lansing’s Old Town. We talk with organizer Ben Hassenger and rising ukulele star Marlowe.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Mighty Uke Day 5 is Friday through Sunday in Old Town Lansing. It’s promoted as a celebration of the “diminutive yet dynamic” instrument and its ties to Michigan culture. There will be performances by professionals, and opportunities for beginners to try their hand at playing the ukulele.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Cris Williamson has enjoyed a remarkable career in music. Back in 1975, she recorded an album called “The Changer and The Changed”, and released it on her own label, Olivia Records. Olivia was the first woman-owned, woman-focused record company. To this day, “The Changer and The Changed” remains one of the best-selling independent records of all time.

LIVE MUSIC: Lansing's Heartland Klezmorim

Aug 1, 2014

The Great Lakes Folk Festival kicks off next weekend in East Lansing. One of the musical attractions is the traditional Klezmer group Heartland Klezmorim from the Lansing Area. They join us today as part of our Live Music Fridays series.

Feminist musician Near reflects on activism, career

Mar 20, 2014
Flickr - majunznk

March is Women’s History Month, and a pioneer of the women’s movement will be here on Friday. Holly Near has been combining music and activism since the 1960s.

LIVE MUSIC: Lansing's The Bard Owls

Feb 28, 2014
WKAR/Anthony Cepak

For today's live music, Current State was joined by the Bard Owls, an old-time folk group based in Lansing. The ensemble discussed their musical inspirations, the Bard Owls group dynamic, and more.

Courtesy of Abigail Chapin

Folk singer Tom Chapin will be in East Lansing for a couple of performances this weekend. Chapin is the featured artist at this week’s Ten Pound Fiddle concert at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Grove Street in East Lansing. The concert is at 8 p.m. Friday. Chapin will also perform at the city of East Lansing’s Children’s Concert Series on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Hannah Community Center on Abbot Road.

Musicians pay tribute to 'Fathers of Black Folk'

Feb 12, 2014
Courtesy of

Legendary African American folk-singer Josh White’s entrance into the world of music happened at age 7, when he took a job leading blind musicians across the states. Eventually Josh became an accomplished musician himself. He is credited with bringing gospel, blues and black folk music to the masses. In 1941, he was even the first African American musician to give a performance at the White House.

Courtesy of Ysaye Barnwell

Friday is the first night of the The Ten Pound Fiddle’s Mid-Winter Singing Festival. Dr. Ysaye Barnwell will lead the first “group sing” at the Hannah Community Center in East Lansing. She is a founding member of Sweet Honey in the Rock, as well as a composer, educator, and public health expert. Current State’s Melissa Benmark speaks with Dr. Barnwell about her multi-faceted career and her song choices for the festival.  

Musician Jon Brooks tests boundaries of 'folk' genre

Sep 27, 2013

Canadian musician Jon Brooks will perform as part of the Pump House concert series in East Lansing on Saturday September 28th.


East Lansing has long been a hotbed for folk music. The city is home to the Great Lakes Folk Festival every year, and for 39 years, Ten Pound Fiddle has brought great music to town.

Sally Potter books concerts for Ten Pound Fiddle. The season starts tonight with Claudia Schmidt and Dean McGraw at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Grove Street, starting at 8 p.m.

Current State's Scott Pohl talked with her about the plans for this year.

The Bard Owls talk new album and folk music

Jul 22, 2013
Emanuele Berry

The loss of folk music in the face of popular music is happening worldwide, yet there are still young musicians who find their way into the genre. The East Lansing based band The Bard Owls is composed mostly of college students and recent graduates. They play old time folk music, as well as original songs. We sat down with the group to discuss their upcoming album “No Tracks.”



Current State #70 | April 19, 2013

Apr 19, 2013

Today on Current State: Lansing police chief retires; folk legend Tom Paxton; Michigan tourism; world renowned trumpeter Alison Balsom; and the Lansing Marathon.