The Awesome Mitten - The Wallace Collective

Day 309: The Wallace Collective

What do get when you put a pilot, a lawyer, a student, a wine rep, and a writer together in the same room? Don’t worry, it’s not the punch-line to a bad joke. Instead, you get a soothing blend of blues and folk music. Although this is not necessarily the cast of characters you would expect such tunes to come from, these are the members of The Wallace Collective, the Grand Rapids based group that is currently a rising star on the Michigan music scene.

Needless to say, their list of influences is diverse. According to the band’s founder, Brandon Muske,

The Awesome Mitten - The Wallace Collective
Photo courtesy of The Wallace Collective

“We approach music from a folk aspect, but inevitably allow influences of Motown soul, 50’s rock, blues, and minimalist sounds that we as individuals are influenced by,” says the band’s founder, Brandon Muske.

Muske writes the music for the group with band mates Olivia Johnson and Kevin Fein, and he says it is the combination of all of their voices that “create the ‘Wallace’ sound.”

The Wallace Collective never intended to be a band. The concept behind their formation was to have a no-strings-attached group of musicians who loved performing, but did not want to be tied down. After a few years of this rotating style, which included over forty members over the course of several years, the group decided to solidify a lineup that consists of the bands five current members, all of whom are from Michigan.

Being from this awesome state has made a distinct impact on the group. More than the fact that they love performing at venues like Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, the band loves the state itself.

“Michigan is full of beauty, creativity, diversity, and most of all, good people,” says Muske. “We are lucky to be living among so many amazing people creating art, and we feel our music and lives need to live up to that standard.”

Specific moments in the state have also influenced the group, as people. One of the band’s most memorable moments did not occur onstage, but on one of Michigan’s beautiful beaches: The band was playing in Holland and got to town early. Rather than kill time at the venue, the band decided to take advantage of the opportunity and see the lake.

The Awesome Mitten - The Wallace Collective
Photo courtesy of The Wallace Collective

“The water was calm as glass and we just felt really peaceful. Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face,” Muske says.

The band has an active performance schedule, so keep an eye out to see if they are ever performing in your area. They are currently recording an album at Stone House Recording Studio in Grand Rapids, with an expected release in the fall. If you want to know more about The Wallace Collective, check out their website, Facebook page, and Twitter.

– Jessie Elliott, Music Director

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