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Music in the Porkies

August 27, 2012
By KURT HAUGLIE - DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

SILVER CITY - Ryan Peterson and Brandon Erickson may seem sort of young to be playing acoustic versions of songs by such musicians as Elvis Costello, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon, but that's what they were doing Sunday on the busking stage at the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival to the delight of a small but enthusiastic audience.

Peterson, who is 21, and Erickson, who is 22, said they weren't influenced so much by hearing their parents play those artists as they were by hearing them on classic rock radio and the Internet, and they liked what they heard.

The duo also played an original composition by Peterson, who said he's been attending the Porkies festival for most of its eight years.

Article Photos

Kurt HauglieDaily Mining Gazette
Ryan Peterson, left, and Brandon Erickson, both of Ontonagon, perform Sunday in the busking barn.

Although Peterson and Erickson were playing acoustic guitar Sunday, Erickson said that doesn't mean they won't some day plug in.

"When we go electric, it's going to be bigger than Bob Dylan," he said.

Peterson said he would like to make music a career. Erickson said he'd like that, too, but he knows it will be difficult.

"It would be cool if it wasn't so unrealistic," he said.

Sherrie McCabe, volunteer coordinator for festival producers Friends of the Porkies, said although she didn't have the final attendance numbers Sunday, the fact they had to use a third parking lot Saturday may indicate those numbers were high.

"We have never had to park people in the third parking lot," she said. "It was pretty exciting we were parking them down there."

McCabe said based on the variety of license plates on vehicles in the parking lots, the festival is appreciated from people all over the country and North America.

"It's amazing where the plates are from," she said. "People are coming from all over."

Besides Michigan, McCabe said she saw license plates from Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and even Yukon Territory in Canada.

Most of the performers at the festival were there for the first time, McCabe said, but a couple of acts have been to all eight festivals.

McCabe said organizers are already thinking about the 2013 festival.

"We're always planning," she said. "We learn every year."

Peter Schindelholz of Land O'Lakes, Wis., said he was attending the festival for the second year, and he enjoys more than the music.

"I like the whole ambience of the thing," he said. "I'm staying until the last band is done."

Allison Saurer of Duluth, Minn., said she was attending her fifth festival.

"I love music," she said. "It's always good weather when I come."

Saurer said she particularly enjoys the Ann Arbor-based Ragbirds.

"I love the Ragbirds," she said. "I bought their T-shirt and everything."

To volunteer for next year's festival, go to



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