July 2, 2021
BENTON HARBOR, MI – After 18 months of performing virtually, Michigan songwriter May Erlewine returns to live venues this September. Her welcome back tour, He We Are, includes a stop at The Mendel Center’s Hanson Theatre on Sunday, September 19, at 7 pm.
The songwriter, known for her cathartic and emotionally rich songs, brings you an evening of community and togetherness. Joined once again by her bandmates, Phil Barry, Eric Kuhn, Joe Hettinga, Max Lockwood, and Michal Shimmin, Erlewine is crafting an intimate set list that honors all we’ve been through and welcomes us into the new now.
Erlewine’s performance is the season opener of The Mendel Center’s 2021-2022 Living Room series. The Living Room Series is a live performance experience with emerging artists, generally held in the intimate setting of the newly-renovated 234-seat Hanson Theatre or on the Mendel Center Mainstage with the artist and audience seated together on stage. The series is designed for maximum viewing and listening pleasure and provides audiences with the opportunity to connect more closely with the performers and the performances.
General admission tickets for May Erlewine are $20; VIP tickets are $50. The VIP package includes admission to the show, 30-minute early seating in first two rows for a special pre-show unplugged mini-performance by May with Q&A session, and tour poster.
Tickets are available at www.TheMendelCenter.com and through The Mendel Center box office at (269) 927-8700, option 1 weekdays from 2 to 6 pm. In-person box office hours are 2 to 6 pm Tuesdays through Thursdays. The box office is located in The Mendel Center Grand Upton Hall lobby at 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, parking lot entrance 3 off Yore Avenue. Published ticket prices do not include applicable fees.
About May Erlewine
One of the Midwest’s most prolific and passionate songwriters, Erlewine’s gift for writing empathetic and engaging songs that feel at once fresh and soulfully familiar has earned her a broad, devoted fan base well beyond her deep-set Michigan roots. Erlewine’s songwriting reveals her innate ability to emotionally engage with her audience through her lyrics. She shows us her heartbreak, but she also shows us her empowered and emboldened spirit. In her quest to find her most authentic self, Erlewine gifts each listener with a powerful, emotional experience that immediate connects us.
Raised in a home full of art and music, Erlewine began writing songs at a very young age. As a teenager, she hitchhiked across the country, honing her skills as a performer and absorbing the kind of stories and landscapes that would inform her music. She came to know the land and the pulse of the people. Her songs show a very real connection and concern with everyday folk, from street corners to festival stages to the live-FM airwaves of A Prairie Home Companion.
Erlewine draws from a wide variety of influences to create her sound. Lyrically, her songs are rooted in hard-wrought wisdom, joy and sorrow, simplicity, and stories from her own everyday experiences. Musically, these messages are wrapped up in traditional folk roots, Americana, old-time country swing, soul, and even rock n’ roll. As a live performer, she is just as magnetic when fronting a seven-piece dance party funk band as she is playing solo acoustic songs in a living room house concert.
With a long list of full-length albums, two EPs, and numerous collaborations, Erlewine’s catalog is proof of her creative power. Her work has been spotlighted by Rolling Stone and NBC’s The Voice. National acts who have covered her songs include Greensky Bluegrass, Railroad Earth, Sawyer Fredericks (Season 8 winner of The Voice), Joshua David (Season 8 finalist of The Voice), Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys, and others.
Erlewine uses her music as a platform for positive change. She considers her job a service-oriented one and carries the torch of the folk singer activist. Her voice on stage encourages connectedness and stresses the importance of environmental advocacy, social justice, creative empowerment, and community building as necessary work in the world. May is an anthem and another incredible example of why we need to start listening to women. We need to hear these stories.
Erlewine’s music has touched people all over the world. Her words have held solace for weary hearts, offered a light in the darkness, and held a lot of space for the pain and joy of being alive in these times. When she starts to sing, there’s no way around it. Welcome to the moment, everyone.
About The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College
The Mendel Center raised the curtain on its first Mainstage season performance in the fall of 1992. Since that time, it has presented Mainstage season performances to more than half a million patrons in the 1,559-seat Mendel Center Mainstage Theatre. Newly renovated Grand Upton Hall, first opened in 1979, is a 13,700-square-foot venue serving the community as the host site for meetings, banquets, trade shows, weddings, and other celebrations. The 234-seat Hanson Theatre is home to the Lake Michigan College Visual & Performing Arts Departments as well as a variety of Mendel Center and community events.
The Mendel Center is 30 minutes from Niles and 40 minutes from the Kalamazoo and South Bend areas. It is located on the Lake Michigan College campus at 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan, one mile east of I-94 (Exit 30) and one mile west of the US 31 Bypass (exit 24). Its GPS mapping address is 1100 Yore Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI.
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Mendel Center 2021-2022 Season Sponsors
Stage Side Sponsors: Honor Credit Union, Kruggel Lawton CPAs, Meijer, Silver Beach Pizza, Silver Harbor Brewing Company, Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council, Sturgis Bank, TCF Bank, TPC Technologies.
Platinum Sponsor: Pier 33, United Federal Credit Union
Media Partners: 98.3 The Coast, News/Talk 94.9 WSJM, Sunny 101.5, SuperHits 103.7, MailMax, and The Herald Palladium,
Preferred Partner Hotels: The Inn at Harbor Shores and The Boulevard Inn & Bistro
Posted July 02, 2021