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The American Band


Reviews from Traverse City

February 2 & 3 , 2001




Mr. Steve Dahl

Monterey Artists

Nashville, TN

RE: Grand Funk Railroad / Leelanau Sands Showroom / February 2, 2001


After seeing the Grand Funk show a couple of weeks ago I felt compelled to give you my critique. I loved it!

As you know, Meridian buys talent for 40-some events in eight states. Last year we bought, and produced, over one hundred and fifty national shows during the summer season alone. Because the talent buying business is so competitive I have to be very, very careful with the acts that I buy. Now you know the true reason I wanted to see this show…

From the opening salvo to the final cymbal crash the band wove a tapestry of sound that passionately carried the audience from the soaring highs to the tension filled breakdowns that truly identify Grand Funk Railroad. Built from the bottom up with the pendantic lock step of Brewer and Schacher, the rhythm section growled out a groove that had every back-end in the crowd moving. In spite of a reserved seat setting only-- the house actually broke into a spontaneous "danceteria" several times. Layer on an "all world" guitar player in Bruce Kulick who was as effective at coloring the sound with inside chords as he was dominating the sound with power chords. It didn't hurt that the notes from Bruce's leads rained out the size of bowling balls! This is no thin-noted, scratchy sounding, fret man. Add to mix an equally talented keyboardist in Tim Cashion who effortlessly moved from a haunting B3 to a richly textured full orchestra and you have a Grand Funk Railroad that has never sounded this big. Then there is Max Carl…

Steve, if there is a better "blue eyed" soul singer in America, who can also flat out rock, please let me know. Max's presence was commanding and it was refreshing to see a front man really connect with the audience. He absolutely charmed everybody in the house!

As a talent buyer I'm less interested in what I think than I am what the audience thinks. With this in mind I spend most of the evening doing my job…reading the audience. As well as all the butt shaking and dancing that was going on the crowd gave the band several standing O's during their performance and a thunderous demand for an encore that left me with goose bumps. I also interviewed several people after the show and the most common description used was… "Just awesome!"

If your other buyers are looking for a sparse, lean and mean, power trio this band isn't for them. Their sound is huge and it's hit, after hit, after hit. Feel free to use me as a reference for Grand Funk Railroad anytime.

Thought you would like know,

Rick Shimel

Meridian Entertainment Group



PS: Thank you for the confirmed dates and more offers are on the way.



Ralph from Mississippi...

"At WPB Mel said he was afraid to really push his fuzz box, not here! He had it cranked and was trying to blow the house down! MEL RULES!!!! He was all over the stage even getting up on Don's platform."

"...Max is an excellent stage leader, and once again he did a terrific job, both with the band and playing to the crowd."

"Now ILO [Inside Looking Out] - BRUCE RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He TOYED with this song and could have easily dominated it for a good 30 minutes. This absolutely kicked ass!"

"All I can say is run, don't walk to get tickets."

"I have been to may concerts in my life. Some fair, some good and some great, but what I heard Sat night transcended all. If anything, they were louder, had more energy and more fun than any band I've ever seen, PERIOD."


J.R. from Michigan...

"MEL SCHACHER RULES. Period. If you do NOT like a heart-thumping on every note he plays, STAY HOME. He's gonna part your hair."

"DON BREWER SCREAMS... This guy SMOKES, kidz. His vocals are CRISP, clean, RIGHT ON KEY, his attacks are on the mark, he's not a bit winded on ANYTHING, at any time. His KICK drum is hitting you in the face, as Mel is thumping your chest."

"BRUCE KULICK-...Ladies and Gentlemen, this is an I N C R E D I B L E guitarist, and he's not even working hard yet. He's HOLDING BACK. He has a KICK-ASS tone, his notes are just razor sharp, his style of play (when he allowed us all to hear the gentle hint of what he's capable of

AND is yet to come!!) is VERY complementary to the style of Grand Funk tunes we're used to....but kidz,YOU AIN'T SEEN NUTHIN' YET. This cat can P L A Y . I mean REALLY PLAY. KILLER. HOT- ON FREAKIN' FIRE HOT."

"TIM CASHION-...This guy is a ONE MAN ORCHESTRA and is everything this band needs in

KEYBOARDS,... That's what Tim does....add DIMENSION. That, and a whole lot of DEPTH and enhancement..."

"MAX CARL- WHERE THE HELL HAS THIS GUY BEEN???? People, this guy delivered a show the night before that has drawn RAVES- and the very next nite came out and DID IT UP like I've NEVER seen before. This man is AWESOME!!!!!!!!...THIS MAN IS THE "MUSICIAN EMERITUS" of FUNKDOM."

"POWER. FORCE. FINESSE. STYLE. MUSICIANSHIP NOT SEEN BEFORE by Grand Funk Railroad. Searing Guitar leads. AWESOME, HEART-STOPPING BASS, the way we haven't had

it- for what, TWENTY+ YEARS? Vocal POWER and STYLE, with ALL the backups as they're supposed to be, some in THREE PARTS in places."

"This band kicks MAJOR ASS."


Jerry from Ohio...

"Don & Mel have surrounded themselves with some incredibly talented people. Max

Carl is a fantastic singer and musician. BBBBRRRRUUUUUCCCCCE is awesome !!!!!! Everything that has been said here about him is true and then some. Tim is a another fine musician, who, IMO, feel really adds great depth to the band. And of course we all know how fantastic Don & Mel are!"

"The thing that impressed me the most is how tight they are, and how really good the music sounds ! It's incredible, you would think that they have playing together for years, instead of months."

"The Show was Fantastic. Max is A really good front man. He has alot of energy and is all over the stage. You can tell He is really enjoying himself."

"...Mel has definitely cut loose and was lettin' it all hang out."

"Don Brewer Is the greatest !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He just comes on stage and Blows The audience away From beginning to end !!!"


Craig from Michigan...

"Right from the start, these guys WERE ON! You would swear they've always been together and were all best of friends. THEY ARE TIGHT!"

"You should see these guys! From the boyish good looks of Tim on keyboards and the rugged,

silky-smooth vocals of Max to the screaming licks of Bruce, together with Don and Mel...this band is the full package!"

"One More River - This is one of those where Max just lets it all hang out. What a voice he has! You can tell his heart is in this project. Another great vocal performance is during his Second Chance cut from 38 Special. With him and Don on vocals, there's some sweet sound coming through those mic's!"

"BRUCE cuts loose on guitar and you wonder how he makes it looks so effortless. THIS MAN CAN JAM! I think Bruce helps give GFR the "edge" they've been looking for."

"...Mel was all over the place all night long. This is the 3rd time I've been fortunate enough to see this BAND live and I can easily say this is the first time I've seen Mel "alive" on stage."

"Tim, introduced as their one-man orchestra really knows his way around the keyboards. He nails CTH/IYC. This was one of the best renditions of this song I've heard EVER, both in concert and on CD. Like I said, this band is TIGHT!"

"DON - The backbone is still strong here. Don looks to be having the time of his life. I was close enough to see him appreciate his fellow band members during their solos and performances. I could tell he's happy with this lineup (hey, who wouldn't be?!)."

"If they come even remotely close to your town, do what you can to see them. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."


John from Michigan...

"Let it be known throughout the land, . . . the men we honor here today, . . . have turned the Sands of Leelanau, . . . in the dead of a bitter, cold winter, . . . INTO GLASS! One could not express adequately in words, the feeling of spirit that transcended the wooded acres of Upper Michigan on an early weekend in February. You sat in your chair holding on for dear life! Your hair blown back by the radiant energy, billowing from the stage. It was all you could do just to catch your breath! GRAND FUNK RAILROAD is back, and they are riding the tracks to your station!"

Joe from Michigan...

Really something. These guys sounded incredible. I've never seen Mel that animated. He's obviously very happy. Don was a master guiding the band through every song -- I don't get how his arms don't just fall off. The newcomers act as if they've been there all along. You need to go see these guys.


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