The Finer Things is an Ann Arbor based band whose songs (and even their name) are hugely influenced by celebrating the simple pleasures that are quintessential to living in Michigan. Formed nearly two years ago, The Finer Things features Dave Hawkins playing keyboard and singing lead vocals, Joel Cieslak playing drums, and Joey Shaheen on guitar.
Though they didn’t come together as a band until recently, all three are born and bred Michiganders (Dave and Joel have known each other since third grade!). Dave says, “We are certainly proud of our Michigan roots. We’re all born and raised right here in the mitten. We’re pretty active guys, Joe and I ride our bikes all over town. All three of us like spending time outdoors, on the lakes, climbing sand dunes, or lost in the woods up north.”
Their love for the mitten state is evident in much of their music. Their debut album, All i See is Blue, released on May 28th and comprised of ten original songs, is brimming with lyrics touting the joys of the mitten state. Songs like “Rockit” draw directly on images from their home state, while “Today” and “Alliseeis Blue” reflect on life’s simple daily pleasures.
Their music, indeed, can be added to the list of awesome things to come from our great state. Their songs are at the most basic level upbeat rock, but The Finer Things also draws inspiration from jazz, blues, folk and even classical music. The result is an eclectic sound that is exciting, engaging, and just plain fun.
This fun energetic aspect is what the band focuses on bringing to all of their live performances. “We like to keep a lot of variety in our shows and do our best to keep the audience involved. We’ve done a few shows with live horn sections, we’ll arrange covers of all sorts of tunes, (from Skee Lo, to Gaga, Mario, Nickelodeon, the Hard Lessons and Von Bondies)”, Dave explains. Safe to say there are no boring moments during a performance by The Finer Things.
With a focus on enjoying life, their music and playing for their fans, The Finer Thing is sure to be a rising star on the Michigan music scene. As Dave says, “If we can play a show and have people leave feeling a little more optimistic or feeling good about the state of Michigan then that’s a success for us.”
The Finer Things will be at Thursday, PJs Lager House in Detroit on Friday, January 20th and at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor on Friday, February 24th, so be sure to check out one of their awesome live shows in the new year! Be sure to like them on Facebook, too!
And if you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit, be sure to check out The Finer Things’ awesome cover of Harry Connick Jr’s (It Must’ve Been Ol’) Santa Claus! ~Hayley Serr, Feature Writer