Various Artists | Winter in West Michigan

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Winter in West Michigan

by Various Artists

Nine singer/songwriters from Grand Rapids, Michigan each perform an arrangement of a traditional tune and an original song written for the holiday season.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  song title
artist name
1. The Spirit of Christmas Andy Willey
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3:52 $0.99
2. Baby for a King Drew Nelson
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4:55 $0.99
3. Rise Up Shepherd and Follow inari Dave Molinari
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2:54 $0.99
4. A Winter's Tune J. Oscar Bittinger
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4:14 $0.99
5. The Christmas Song Ken Bierschbach
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2:23 $0.99
6. Away in a Manger Lucy Webster
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3:58 $0.99
7. Light a Candle Ralston Bowles
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3:33 $0.99
8. Wind and Snow Mark DePree
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4:32 $0.99
9. Our Finest Hour Sara Quashnie
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3:52 $0.99
10. Hark, The Herald Angels Sing Drew Nelson
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3:15 $0.99
11. Angels We Have Heard on High J. Oscar Bittinger
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4:28 $0.99
12. Little Drummer Boy Ralston Bowles
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3:51 $0.99
13. Christmas Eve Dave Molinari
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3:23 $0.99
14. What Christmas Means to Me Ken Bierschbach
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4:17 $0.99
15. I'm Gettin' Nuttin' for Christmas Sara Quashnie
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3:01 $0.99
16. Silent Night Mark DePree
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3:13 $0.99
17. O Holy Night Andy Willey
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3:36 $0.99
18. Falling Snow Lucy Webster
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2:59 $0.99
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Album Notes
"Winter in West Michigan" is a collection of seasonal songs from some of Grand Rapids, Michigan's most talented singers and songwriters.

On this CD, each artist performs an original song written for the season, as well as his or her unique arrangement of a traditional holiday tune.

Proceeds from this CD project are going to Heartside Ministry to help them continue to serve the wide ranging needs of the homeless and otherwise marginalized persons living in the near-downtown neighborhood of Grand Rapids known as the Heartside.

The "Winter in West Michigan" CD project developed from discussions that took place a few of years ago regarding the creation of a sampler disc of local songwriters.

Inspired by "A Winter's Tune", the songwriters showcase that J.Oscar Bittinger stages in Grand Rapids each December, the direction of the sampler project took a holiday focus.

In April of 2001, Bittinger and producer Scott Haebich approached nine of the area's top songwriters about contributing material to the project.

Each accepted and the project began moving forward.

Recording sessions took place from June through August at Aartvark Productions in Grand Rapids, with the studio's owner/engineer Mark DePree handling the recording and mixing.

Christmas lights and decorations were hung in the studio to create a "Christmas in July" atmosphere that would inspire the musicians to get into the spirit of the season.

All the songs on the CD have a decidedly acoustic feel.

Some of the songs include nothing but a guitar and voice, while others feature slightly more elaborate arrangements with bass, percussion, harmony vocals or other instruments added to the basic tracks.

Winter in West Michigan features the work of: Ken Bierschbach, J.Oscar Bittinger, Michigan Mark DePree, Dave Molinari, Drew Nelson, Sara Q, Ralston, Lucy Webster and Andy Willey.

Their original songs include stories of love, life and personal reflection, family heritage, and thoughts about the Christmas season.

Recognizable holiday classics (some with a slightly different twist) are featured among the cover tunes offered by each artist.

We appreciate your interest in "Winter in West Michigan" and hope you enjoy the soundbites here enough to download some tracks or the entire CD.


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Once it arrived, this CD almost never left my player! From the first cut (my favorite) to the last (my 2nd favorite), you FEEL the beauty and love of your best winters and Christmases. You can see the snow! Intended or not, there are also echoes of September 11. No bad cuts, but must give special praise to Ralston Bowles LIGHT A CANDLE and Sara Q (both tracks). And for a good cause to boot!


With or without snow - a delight!
A very merry CD regardless of the season- Something for everyone.

Mo Shandy

Warms the Heart But .....
What should anyone say that is bad about a noble effort to benefit those unfortunate among us? Please do not take this to be a kill joy on the season. I would only say first there are some tunes which perhaps need a bit more thinking through before attempting to re-arrange for the sake of new. Which makes me wonder what some of the "new" takes seem to be trying to acheive i.e Christmas Song - Mel Torme; Away in a Manger - It has nothing to do with the vocal abilities or musicianship of any of the artists on the disc, more on arrangement sensibilites and musical fittings. An exception which seemed work in it's favor was dropping the pervasive PA RUM PA PUM PUM every line in Drummer Boy - good call. Actually that made what is a annoying song for me more listenable this year. And How can you miss with Silent Night? Over all the cause is great and well worth the money paid for the original tunes and the fact that it is helping people in a time when the spirit of peace is a much needed declaration. Buy it and burn off the songs you like to another disc. (oops is that OK?)


Great variety of tunes, some very personal and appealing
I just bought the CD, especially to help the Heartside Community, but I'm loving the very personal stories the songwriters share. Listen especially for the sweet harmonica on "Drummer Boy" by Leo.


A Wonderful Suprise for people looking for a new take on the Christmas muzak.
I was quite suprised at the quality. Everything from the packaging to the original songwriting. For a local project it has an over all consistant flow from cut to cut not usually heard on projects of this nature. Cut 13 a song about Christmas noodles: reminiscent of Paul McCartney ballads or a Randy Newman narrative, also cut # 18 which offers a melodic instrumental. I was also impressed by the innovative arangement of cut #12. All in all a wonderful collection of holiday tunes which run the gamut of winter reflections, channuka and traditional Christmas carols. A nice addition to anyones collection with refreshing arrangements.


Season Refreshment
This is an amazing collection of new holiday songs and a refreshing twist on some old favorites. Definitely worth the "price of admission". I find myself playing it year round. Good job folks. Anynore where this came from?

Independent Music Review

Timeless Collection of Refreshing Arrangements and New Holiday Tunes
An impresive array of "local" singer/songwriters have come together to produce a CD for the betterment of those in need( a fund raiser for homeless shelter - "Heartside" ) and the improved holiday listening for the rest of the world as well. Do yourself and others a favor by checking this very creative collection of orginal holiday tunes.