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Red Tail Ring/Orpheum Theatre

Old time roots, new time sounds

June 30, 2011
By ZACH KUKKONEN - Features Editor/DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

HANCOCK - Traditional folk will get a modern take July 7 as Red Tail Ring, a band comprised of Kalamazoo-based duo Laurel Premo and Michael Beauchamp, will perform at the historic Orpheum Theatre in Hancock.

Bringing a mix of traditional tunes and original songs, the duo will take the stage at 8 p.m. and bring a host of instruments, including fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin, jaw harp and even a stomp board.

"We started playing together two years ago and it's organically become more of an everyday thing," said Beauchamp, who along with Premo toured solo for a time. "It started as a dream of a duo that we could put all our energy into and now we play exclusively as Red Tail Ring.

With Beauchamp describing the duo as "traditional, Appalachian, old-time folk," the band will play a variety of old-time ballads and instrumentals. Beauchamp and Premo recently released a two-CD album, with "I. Middlewest Chant" featuring original songs and "II. Mountain Shout" composed of traditional tunes in the public domain.

"Together they make a complete whole," Beauchamp said of the album. "We go back and forth in the live shows without too much distinction.

"Middlewest Chant is our original album," he continued. "We don't claim to be from the south or Applachia - we're very proud Michiganders - so for us, it made a lot of sense to name it Middlewest Chant."

Although the duo plays a lot of traditional music, they like to put their own stamp on it.

"We appreciate older forms of music and really cherish them but don't feel confined by them at all," Beauchamp said. "We seek to write new songs and morph traditional songs into our own language."

With Premo an Upper Peninsula native - often performing with her family band, White Water - and Beauchamp having family in the Marquette area, Red Tail Ring treasures its trips north.

"Going up to the U.P. is really a homecoming for her and a homecoming of sorts for me," Beauchamp said. "It's really fun, it's a huge part of the reason we come up there.

"We're also really excited to play the Orpheum. We've heard great things about it and are really looking forward to it."

For more information on the band, visit



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