Audiences throughout Michigan are familiar with John D. Lamb as the front man of his rock band or as a solo acoustic act. Others know him as the director of Lamb’s Retreat for Songwriters where he gives other musicians a chance in the spotlight. In addition to bringing in some of acoustic music’s top songwriters as faculty members, Lamb has given out over 1000 individual songwriting assignments to musicians throughout the country. He was a journalism major at Central Michigan University. In 1980, while living in Mt. Pleasant, he formed his first band, Johnny D. and the Stains. He later toured the rock club circuit throughout the Midwest. In 1990 he and his band recorded the regionally acclaimed CD Live at Legs (recorded at Legs Inn, Cross Village). Lamb infuses his music with strong attention to detail that gives the songs the dexterity to work as rock tunes or as acoustic storytelling. Lyrically, he insists on finding the exact word or phrase to shade a line with a particular meaning. John D. Lamb’s CD, Feel That is the winner of the 2007 Detroit Music Award for Outstanding Acoustic/Folk Recording.
Jill Jack’s magical connection to her audience is the result of her generous artistry. By combining her gifts as a conceptual visionary with a warm gathering of musical influences, Jill touches that secret heart of ours with her melodies and lyrics. In her hometown of Detroit, Jill needs no further explanation. She’s been lauded in equal measure to her talents: Since 1997 she’s won 38 Detroit Music Awards(see full list) in every conceivable category that applies to a singer-songwriter. Much of this provincial success is due to her charming stage presence and emotive songwriting. It’s simply called connecting, and it’s the bounty of a true songwriter open to all of life: her own defeats, victories, hopes dashed, dreams fulfilled, her muse, her loneliness, her misplaced love and her romantic successes.Jim Bizer has been gigging since age 14 and a career musician all of his adult life, Jim’s been around the musical block. He’s got a comfortable, deep groove and a restless imagination. His songs are a unique blend of humor, catchy melodies, and his own personal view of the essential craziness of being human – served up with some monster guitar playing and vocals. Growing up in Detroit, Jim was exposed to (and fascinated by) a widely varied spectrum of music. Educated on French horn, self-taught on guitar and piano, he became a music theory major at the University of Michigan before embarking on an equally varied music career “cover” musician, session player, composer for radio spots and a weekly television series. Though a songwriter since his early teens, only recently has Jim made this his primary focus. In addition to his performing career, he leads songwriting and guitar workshops and hosts MAMA’s Coffeehouse, a monthly acoustic music concert series in suburban Detroit.;