Holland – Played together since circa fall 2007
- John Sanger (Guitars, vocals) Has played with: Scarlet Roze, Local Anesthetic, John Sanger & Company, Rock Shop, & Frank & The Jet Skis
- Mike Sanger (Upright Bass)
- Bob Tedlock (Drums & Percussion) Has played with: Monitor, Hip Pocket, Rock Shop, Harry Lucas, & Many More
Village Inn, Coral Gables, Sidetracks, Yourbar, Sol, Itty Bitty, Morland Tavern, Jimmy’s Roadhouse, Curragh, New Holland Brewery, Berlin Fair, York’s Tavern, Gun Lake Casino, Gipper’s Kuzzin’s, Juke’s, Topshelf, Spectator’s, Eagles Club (Grand Haven), Kirby, Rosebud, Timber’s, Prairiewood Golf Course, Old Boys, The Barn, Parrot’s, Rocky’s
What We Do:
The Sanger Brothers Band serves up a heartfelt slice of Americana. Americana is roots music influenced by rock, country, jazz, & blues. The Sanger Brothers combine these elements to create their eclectic sound. Although they moonlight as a cover band their original sound is influenced by bands like The Jayhawks, Old 97’s, Uncle Tupelo, John Prine, Bob Dylan, & Tom Petty. Most songs start in acoustic form, and grow from there. John performs acoustically as “The Lone Sanger” as well.
We are a tight 3 piece band with a big sound. We can easily fit in smaller establishments whereas a larger band may be too big for the room. We have fun with the patrons & you might try us out instead of a DJ or Karaoke one night. We are also happy to offer a more competitive price for weeknights or early shows. I also do solo acoustic shows if your establishment is on a budget.
Whether fronting The Sanger Brothers Band or flying solo, the Holland native plays with confident passion. He’s currently at work on a new studio album; get a sneak peek here at Local Spins. (Video, podcast)
‘Living a Vacation’: Grand Rapids guitarist and singer John Sanger.
Singer-songwriter John Sanger didn’t need to look far for his musical inspiration.
With a brother who embraced the rootsy blues of Mississippi John Hurt and Skip James while working as a tugboat captain on the Mississippi River, another brother playing in a rock cover band and a mother who used to take him as a kid to Europe on her importing expeditions for Holland’s Dutch Village, Sanger had plenty of colorful life experiences to spark his musical interests.
And years of playing other artists’ songs as well as his own on almost a nightly basis as a full-time musician across West Michigan – as a solo artist and with The Sanger Brothers Band – has imbued his singing and guitar-playing with a confident passion that makes audiences sit up and take heed.
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“I always wanted to do it for a living, perhaps on a more grandiose level than what in actuality is happening,” says Sanger, who’s in the midst of recording a new Americana-flavored solo album with producer Joel Ferguson at Grand Rapids’ Planet Sunday Studios, as well as working to publish and market his songs for use by other artists and media outlets. “I don’t really get a vacation, but in a sense, I’m living a vacation.”
Sanger brought that attitude to Local Spins Live at News Talk 1340 AM (WJRW) this week, performing a new and compelling original song, “Stop on a Dime,” which was inspired by “a medical scare” involving his wife last summer. He was accompanied on dobro by Nelson Wood, who also performs in The Sanger Brothers Band along with bassist Mike Sanger and drummer Bob Tedlock.
Listen to a podcast of the Local Spins Live show here and watch a video of the duo’s performance below in a Local Spins exclusive audio snapshot of a song that will appear on Sanger’s upcoming new album.
A graduate of West Ottawa High School whose mother sang in the church choir and whose older brother played in a rock band, the Grand Rapids singer cites a dizzying array of musical influences: Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker, The Kinks, Elvis Costello, John Prine, Johnny Cash.
“I wasn’t horribly athletic with my bad eyesight,” the bespectacled musician says. “Getting smacked in the face with enough baseballs from having bad depth perception, you find guitar I guess.”
Nelson Wood and John Sanger in the studio during Local Spins Live.
At performances these days – solo, duo and full band – Sanger is liable to trot out a fair number of surprises, from Britney Spears to Etta James or “whatever we find interesting that hopefully is not what everybody else is doing.”
Sanger performs solo at the Grattan Irish Pub at 8 p.m. Thursday, with full band shows at River City Saloon in Grand Rapids at 9 p.m. Friday and the Holland Moose Lodge at 8 p.m. Saturday. He also plays a solo gig at Coral Gables’ Bootleggers Tiki Bar in Saugatuck on Sunday afternoon.
“We kind of force the square peg into the round hole wherever we go,” Sanger insisted. “We try do as much original material as we can, as much as we can get away with. (But) if it’s a wedding and you just need to play ‘Mustang Sally,’ it’s not like we’re too cool to do that. … We do a lot of silly things, Nancy Sinatra, Blondie, whatever .”
But clearly Sanger, who recently opened for Southern rock’s Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Midland County Fair, is most serious and most intent on taking the next step to showcase insightful, rootsy original songs that reflect “the roller-coaster of life’s trials and tribulations.”
Consequently, he’s working with Ferguson on his latest album, taking “a lot of time to make sure the parts are right” – likely releasing it sometime this fall with hopes of getting “a little bit of groundswell going” for the project.
“I try to do an album worth of material every year or two – really focus on trying to do publishing and trying to get the original material out there and get people to take notice,” he says. “I think it’s starting to happen a little bit.”
JOHN SANGER: THE LOCAL SPINS PHOTO GALLERY (8/28/13)
Email John Sinkevics at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2013, Spins on Music
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