Although we're sure we're not the only state in the union to value locally made goods for not just the appeal of Made-in-the-USA quality but for their economical stimulation as well. We do know that the treasury of super-domestic goods loved by citizens of this state is certainly something to be above-and-beyond proud of.
So, when a group took a small collection of some of our most favored things to Texas this year and set up, basically, a mini Michigan at SXSW for those around the country – and possibly the world – to sample, we knew it couldn't be the last time such a showcase came together.
Judging by the success of that original showcase, the folks at Grand Circus Media decided it shouldn't be a once-a-year, happens-in-Austin-only kind of thing. So for this first of what is hoped and expected to be a monthly gig, a few of our favorites and a lot of our friends are getting together and celebrating by sampling just a bit of what is the best around town.
Performing this Friday at the inaugural Shelter Sampler at Saint Andrew's Hall are the Ragbirds and lucky for us, the group's frontwoman, Erin Zindle, took some time out of her busy touring schedule to sit down with us to mull over the minor and major details of the newly-minted Michigan meet-up as well as what's happening with our Best Of 2012 Folk Group winners.
"Its an event with good local food and music that we're really looking forward to being involved with," says Zindle. "We're really excited to be helping to kick it off.
"It seems so obvious," she continues. "So much great food, great beer and a chance to sample them all."
Featured at the introductory event will be Shorts Brewing and Small Plates. Both prime examples of what it means to be made in Michigan, the institutions of beer and food, respectively, will be bringing just a small sampling of their wares. But it's sure to be enough to get you excited for more.
Zindle says she and her Ragbirds cohorts are particularly looking forward to sampling some offerings from Shorts Brewing, a Bellaire company that the group is already quite familiar with.
"I've tried them all!" says Zindle of the three brews Shorts will be bringing to the event. "Nicie Spicie is definitely my favorite."
The American Wheat Ale of which Zindle speaks is a zesty amalgam of orange, lemon, coriander and peppercorn. Shorts Brewing will also be featuring their Pandemonium Pale Ale, a hoppy American Pale Ale of a coppery color thanks to two-row malted and hand-selected specialty grains. To round out the selection, they'll also be bringing their Bellaire Brown, a full-flavored ale imbued with sweet caramel and a toasted quality due to the four malts and specialty grains that make up its recipe.
Small Plates, a Detroit-proper and fairly famous tapas-style restaurant, will be bringing their palatable potato sliders that will not only do the trick of soaking up all those suds in your system, but satisfy you're an sort of suspire for starch as well.
So, what about those Ragbirds, right? The Ann Arbor-based folk-rock quintet is currently touring in support of their fourth album, Travelin' Machine, and though Zindle says the summer is when they're touring schedule lightens up; they've still been hitting the road to perform at festivals across the country.
"We're playing a festival on Beaver Island and one in Wyoming and one in Arkansas," says Zindle. And though just days before the Sampler, the group will be performing in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, to come back and celebrate the premier of such an event was never even a question. | RDW
Shelter Sampler · 6/29, 9 p.m. · St. Andrew's Hall · 431 East Congress Street, Detroit · 313. 961.6923 · saintandrewsdetroit.com · $15