Attendees of the sixth annual Western Michigan Boat, RV & Outdoor Home Show this weekend will have more than a wide selection of recreational vehicles to enjoy during the event.
The show will also feature a host of musical guests to provide live entertainment for shoppers.
The boat show runs from today to Sunday, with several artists scheduled to perform each day in the band’s shell at Rotary Park in Ludington – a change of venue from the show’s previous venue.
Things kick off today with Dean Dostal from 1:30-4:30 p.m., followed by Joe Stickney from 4:30-7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, Third Coast Swing will perform with Ella Jarvis from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by Jimmy Dodson from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Redux from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday’s music begins with Cheryl Wolfram, who will perform from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lynn Callihan will wrap things up with a set from 2-5 p.m.
THIRD SIDE SWING
Third Coast Swing brothers Stephen and Kaedin Plummer last performed at the boat show before the COVID-19 pandemic. Stephen said he liked that the show was “well attended and had a good audience tuned in”.
The group will perform as a trio consisting of Stephen and Kaedin on guitar and Ella Jarvis on vocals.
“We’ll be doing a mix of Ella Fitzgerald and Django Reinhardt, Sinatra – it’s basically jazz songs that you know and love,” he said.
Cadillac’s Callihan has been performing at the boat show for years.
“I’ve been playing it…I think since they started it,” he said. “I appreciate.”
The singer-songwriter and guitarist said he performs original songs and the boat show “gives me the opportunity to try out new tunes and see faces I haven’t seen in a while. “.
Callihan said it might be best if the show moved from its old location near the municipal marina to Rotary Park, noting it might be better suited to musicians.
“People will be able to put chairs down rather than just circling around them,” he said.
Callihan said the event is “always a good time”.
Stickney has been playing music for most of his life. He’s been going out more and more over the past few years, playing guitar at various locations in the area. The 2021 boat show was one such performance.
“This is my second year attending the boat show,” Stickney said. “It’s always a good time. Last year when I was there, there was a nice crowd and good weather.
He performs solo and his set list consists of covers by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger, Chris Stapleton and Waylon Jennings.
He said he was excited about the change from the marina to Rotary Park.
“The new venue will be pretty slick,” Stickney said. “I think it will be good to be in the shell of the Rotary Park group.”
This year marks Dodson’s fourth appearance at the boat show. Dodson is a regular performer at local bars and restaurants, but he said he appreciates that the event gives him the opportunity to mingle with a different crowd – one he might not see at his regular shows.
“I like interacting with people and being outdoors. … It’s just fun interacting with different people that I don’t normally interact with,” Dodson said. “And playing in an outdoor setting is refreshing. People are always nice. It’s a big crowd of people.
He said he accepts requests and encourages people to stop by the band and see if he can play one of their favorites.
“If you’re walking around and think of a song, come see if I can play it for you,” he said.
Lexi and Dave Kosla of Redux are also boat show veterans, returning for their third year.
“We’re happy to be included and provide additional entertainment to an already great event,” Lexi said, adding that she and her husband “always love to play outside in the summer.”
She said the crowd the boat show draws is another bonus.
“Those who attend the boat show always seem to enjoy our music,” she said. “A lot of people stop walking around for a few minutes or sit nearby and listen as we play.
“Having an attentive and grateful audience always makes a concert more fun.”
Redux’s setlist is “ever-changing”, but Lexi said it’s an “eclectic mix of genres and eras”.
“We do music from Etta James to the Black Crowes, and everything from the 1950s to the late 2000s,” she said. “We often get compliments on our mix because we always keep the audience guessing what they might hear next.”
Wolfram, a Manistee-based local favorite who has been playing music since she was in third grade, said she enjoys performing at the boat show because of its laid-back setting. She favors 12-string guitar and, in addition to performing as a solo artist, she also sings and plays guitar for Babe Ruthless.
Wolfram’s appearance at this year’s event will be his fourth. She said her set will include “a few songs that reference boats and water,” like Styx’s “Boat on the River,” Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou,” and Jim Crockett’s “Manistee River Song.”
Wolfram will be bringing its own sound system this year, and she said that means “my sound quality will be much improved.”
“It’s always a fun event to play,” Wolfram said. “One year, they put me on a small pontoon to play – a novelty.
“I love seeing all the vendors and people watching passers-by.”
Dean Dostal is the only rookie scheduled for this year’s event.
His performance signals a return to normal after a “tough fight” with COVID-19 in the fall of 2021.
“It was touch and go there for a while,” he said. “This will be my first local gig since ‘coming back.'”
Dostal said he was “very excited to perform at the boat show this year”, adding, “I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of friends and sharing music with them.”
Dostal favors country and American classics, as well as some of his own songs.