12 local artists to watch in 2015

With the holidays upon us, you will most likely hear “The Twelve Days Of Christmas” being played roughly a jillion times. While 11 pipers piping and eight maids-a-milking are all pretty bad ass, we decided to bring some real musicians into the mix.

In honor of the holidays, here are 12 local bands that you need to watch out for as 2015 approaches.


1. RED LEGS: Two band names came up a lot during 2014 thanks to their active show schedules and general crowd-pleasing abilities. The first was Grand Rapids-based Red Legs, which unofficially calls Mulligan’s home, but still gets around. These straight-laced, no-nonsense rockers were a favorite in 2014 and looks to build on the momentum heading into 2015.


2. HEATERS: The other is Grand Rapids’ psyche rock outfit Heaters. This was their year, man. They put out three friggen albums — two of them EPs and the latest was an eight-track album released on the brand new dizzybird records. The band is starting to hit its stride.

3. 6 PRONG PAW: Already hardened veterans of the local metal scene, 6 Prong Paw isn’t about to slow down. The Hastings rockers will drop their new album, Mapping The Void, in January to set up a potentially great year.

4. MOXIEVILLE: Forming in March of this year, if duos can be considered a super group, then this is one. Moxieville is comprised of Kalamazoo singer-songwriters Megan Dooley and Chuck Whiting. This band is just getting started.

5. THE ROCKIT KING: This Grand Rapids mainstay’s third studio album The Truth Will Set You Free is poised to reinvigorate this band of rock veterans. In fact, when Recoil talked to front man Jessie Beveridge, he spoke about more recordings already in the works in addition to some serious show booking. This coming year is shaping up to be yet another great one for The Rockit King.

The Rockit King

The Rockit King

6. LADY ACE BOOGIE: One of the craftiest hip-hop artists in the local scene is about to drop her latest LP in January of 2015. Lady Ace is an artist that likes to get plenty of mileage out of her recorded work, so fans have been waiting for this one for a while. It should set the table for a busy year for her.

7. FINE FINE TITANS: Speaking of new albums, Grand Rapids post-hardcore band Fine Fine Titans will be working diligently in early 2015 to record their first LP. They’ll be working with Randy Roswell, producer and songwriter for Brighter Than A Thousand Suns. This album is going to be intense.

8. JAKE SIMMONS AND THE LITTLE GHOSTS: There are so many great albums on the way, and another comes from Kalamazoo indie rockers Jake Simmons and The Little Ghosts. They recently finished up recording at Russian Recording in Bloomington. These guys are easily a favorite in Kalamazoo and beyond.

9. WAYLAND: It’s a stretch to call these guys local, because they’re barely ever home. But, with each month, these guys get bigger. They literally pick up fans one-by-one with good old-fashioned hard work. They’ll be back in town briefly for the holidays, and then get back out there to make 2015 a special year.

10. I’M WILLIAM CUTTING: These dudes have become one of the most formidable bands in a thin, but still relatively strong, hardcore scene in West Michigan. Based in South Haven, I’m William Cutting makes regular rounds to Grand Rapids and the Kalamazoo area. Plus, they just recently dropped their latest album, called III, which starts off the new year on the right foot.

11. THE MAINSTAYS: With former members of Funktion in the mix, The Mainstays of Kalamazoo are scooping up gig after gig, featuring their unique funk/R&B/soul sound that you just can’t find elsewhere. You can catch them literally almost every weekend, from Kalamazoo up to Traverse City.

12. JARED KNOX: What’s wrong with a little country? Jared Knox hails from South Haven, where he is a hot commodity. It’s only a matter of time before the rest of West Michigan embraces the golden baritone voice of this Kenny Chesney-esque performer. In 2015, he’s enlisting the help of a full band to crank it up.

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