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Bio

Meet The Band:

 

One cold and unpleasant Michigan winter day, award-winning singer-songwriter Jen Cass boldly asked Saginaw's "Best Blues Guitarist" Eric Janetsky out to lunch at her favorite Thai Restaurant. She was secretly hoping he'd fall madly in love with her, but was willing to settle for some authentic Pad Thai if that didn't work out. 

One month later, they were playing their first gigs as The Lucky Nows.  

Fourteen months later, they were happily married.  

A Brady Bunch of five kids, and hundreds of gigs later, they still are. 

Yes. It's that kind of story...

Fate and Faith have a way of putting you exactly where you need to be. And The Lucky Nows are no exception. 

Years earlier, Jen had been fortunate enough to cross paths with multi-instrumentalist Jon Potrykus, and he was delighted to bring his Fiddle, Dobro and Cello expertise to the band. 

Eric grew up with mandolin legend Daniel Patrick, and both were connected to guitar guru Michael Robertson. 

Mike brought in harp and harmony master Rosco Selley, and the final piece of The Lucky Nows puzzle clicked in perfectly.

 

The Lucky Nows play dynamic, high-energy Americana folk-rock with echoes of Isbell and Isakov and a bluesy center. Their music draws from every genre, delivering a wide range of lyric-driven originals with intricate arrangements and gorgeous harmonies. If Steve Earle had a love-child with Lucinda Williams, and that child was raised by Kris Delmhorst and Jeffrey Foucault, and frequently visited by Shovels & Rope and the ghost of Townes Van Zandt, their debut CD would sound eerily similar to The Lucky Nows' "Rise". 

 

Trust us. 

 

www.TheLuckyNows.com

 

 

Jen Cass

Born to unusually hip parents in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, singer-songwriter Jen Cass was raised on a healthy mix of folk music, homegrown vegetables, spontaneous dancing, black licorice and Motown. When asked about her childhood Jen muses, "I remember my mom doing pirouettes around the living room with Joan Baez and Simon & Garfunkel blasting in the background. Then dad would pull out his guitar and we'd all sing Tom Paxton songs. “My sister and I weren’t allowed to watch TV, so we sang, danced and read every book we could get our hands on. By the age of five, I was a miniature troubadour in bad seventies clothing, quoting Jack London and belting out Jim Croce tunes. I love my parents for that.”

 

While her fashion sense has evolved over time, Jen has always remained true to her folk roots, writing beautifully crafted songs that draw comparisons to songwriting legends Bob Dylan, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Indigo Girls, and Dar Williams, as well as playwright Eugene O'Neill. In the words of Suzanne Glass of Indie-Music.com, “Cass’ songs are lyrical gems. She weaves fables with her words that would make Aesop jealous.” In November 1996, Jen released her first CD, Brave Enough To Say, and quickly sold over 2000 copies. Jen recorded Brave with the help of the world famous Russian surf-rock band Red Elvises. “We mixed contemporary folk, traditional country, gypsy scales, oatmeal raisin cookies and extreme sleep deprivation to create a totally unique sound,” quips Jen. Rick Nelson of the Tacoma News Tribune agrees, calling Brave Enough To Say an “excellent debut” and Jen a “gifted storyteller with a great voice.” Agenda’s Alan Goldsmith raves, “Jen Cass paints heartbreaking snapshots of lives gone wrong like nobody else.”

 

Since the release of Brave Enough To Say, Jen has played hundreds of gigs throughout the world, impressing fans and critics alikewith her powerful performances. In addition to two trips to Kerrville New Folk (2010 and 2011), an Emerging Artist Showcase at the 2003 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, and an Official Showcase at the 2004 Americana Music Awards, Jen has played The Bluebird Café (Nashville), The Ark (Ann Arbor, MI), IOTA Club & Cafe (Arlington, VA), Uncommon Ground (Chicago), Vic's Music Corner (Rockville, MD), NERFA and Northwest Folklife (Seattle) to name a few. Jen is a regular performer on the Phil Ochs Song Nights, produced by Phil's sister Sonny Ochs. Jen was also a proud member of the first national Indiegrrl tour. Over time, Jen’s live shows have become increasingly popular, causing one critic to lament, “I attempted to pop into the Jen Cass show last month, but by ten o'clock the club was jammed to the roof and even standing room was not an option.”

 

After years of tireless touring, Jen caught the attention of producer John Jennings, who has co-produced eight albums and four #1 singles by Mary Chapin Carpenter, as well as discs by John Gorka, Janis Ian, Beausoleil, and many others. The result of their first collaboration, Jen’s sophomore release Skies Burning Red, received glowing reviews from critics worldwide including Rich Warren of Sing Out! and Pam Winters of Dirty Linen, was nominated for 2 Detroit Music Awards and 6 Review Music Awards, was #12 on WHFR's Best of 2003 list (between John Mayer and Evanescence), was a Midnight Special Pick Hit of the Week, and received radio play all over the world. The songs from Skies Burning Red won awards in nearly every major songwriting contest, including the 2003 John Lennon Songwriting Contest, the 2003 USA Songwriting Competition, the 2003 International Songwriting Competition, the 2004 Great American Song Contest, and the 2004 Billboard Worldsong Contest.

 

Jen's latest release, "Accidental Pilgrimage" was also produced by Jennings, and features the work of Jon Carroll and Dave Mattacks. "Accidental Pilgrimage" was one of the most added CDs of the summer of 2006 for folk and Americana radio, spawning five Top 25 hits including "Dear Mr. President" which finished the year at #26 on the 2006 Folk Chart, and is still receiving airplay worldwide. "Accidental Pilgrimage" was a Midnight Special Pick Hit and CD of The Week in June 2006, was featured in Dirty Linen and Sing Out!, and won the 2007 Detroit Music Award for Outstanding Acoustic/Folk Recording.

 

Jen is currently recording, performing and touring with her sweet husband Eric, and their Americana Folk-Rock band The Lucky Nows (www.TheLuckyNows.com). Their debut CD is due out in April 2018!

 

 

Jon Potrykus

1966 Jon asked Santa Claus for a bicycle, but, received a guitar instead. Actually his parents saw he expressed an interest in guitar so, they got him one out of the Sears catalog so he could "get it out of his system". Some 35 years later, Jon's father stated, "Boy, did THAT backfire!"

 

Life experience, in those early years, introduced Jon to folk music (the folk music revival in Detroit), rock and roll (the British invasion) and Jimi Hendrix. Those early life experiences also introduced him to teenage, puppy dog heartbreak and the blues.

 

1971 and karma offered a trip to New Mexico where he was introduced to Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, Asleep at the Wheel and more blues, with a side of country, buegrass and rockabilly. In the thirty years he lived in New Mexico he added pedal steel guitar, Dobro, fiddle and mandolin to his family of instruments. He played with various bands of musicians such as the Last Mile Ramblers out of Santa Fe and shared the same stage, at the same time, with the likes of Charlie Daniels, David Grisman, Roger Miller, Billy Cobham and Junior Brown.

 

2001 and karma said it was time to move back to Michigan where he joined a maritime band called Hoolie then, played in the Lash, a Celtic rock band out of Lansing.

 

2013 Jon asked Santa again for a bicycle, but, instead received a cello. A few years later Jon heard the lovely voice of Jen Cass and said, "Ya know, a cello would sound pretty good with some of those songs". Apparently Jen thought so also.

 

Jon is also an acupuncturist and energy healer.

 

The future...to be determined

 

 

 

Michael Robertson

From the first notes of Michael Robertson’s debut CD, it’s clear that the singer / guitarist is a skilled storyteller. The Michigan native has a knack for recognizing irony when exploring the nuances of unremarkable ­– yet universal – life experience. Robertson crafts songs that blend modern Americana with country and rock flavors, and his vocals go down smooth, with a tinge of world-weariness that fits the lyrics. While he’s a fiercely talented musician, his instincts favor measured restraint over brazen flash.

 

You’ve likely seen Robertson onstage over the years. He spent a dozen years with Maybe August and currently heads a side project, Robertson Bros. Band (with brother Scott) as well as handling guitar duties for The Lucky Nows, and Honesty and the Liars. (Singer Honesty Elliott returns the favor here, contributing lilting harmonies throughout the record.) Given Robertson’s skill on the fretboard, there is the inevitable flow of additional side projects.

 

For such a formidable talent, there can be only one pressing question: Why did it take Michael Robertson 30 years to release his debut solo CD? 

 

The nine selections on “All My Stories,” released in June 2016, detail Robertson’s musical journey with vivid precision. From the breezy pace that propels the opening title track, Robertson is firmly in the driver’s seat, crafting sunny melodies that are accentuated by his ability to decelerate and allow the moment to linger.

 

Case in point is the lusciously languid “It’s Not What You Think,” which has Robertson milking the notes from his slide guitar with unhurried precision. The message of the song is driven home by the cliché-shattering refrain, “It is what it is, but it’s not what you think.” There’s even a stripped-down treatment of the Maybe August gem “Sale on Salvation,” a welcome inclusion alongside the album’s newer songs. 

 

It’s often said that a good song can be done in any style and still effortlessly communicate its message. Robertson has succeeded here as well. The album’s closing bookend is a precious acoustic take of “All My Stories,” which bears scant resemblance to its predecessor.

 

Summing up his musical journey, Robertson says, “I’ve had the great fortune to belong to a community of friends and musicians who have helped me move in the direction I was supposed to go rather than the direction I thought I was going.”

 

If you ever needed an excuse to hop in the car and take off on the open road with no particular place to go, “All My Stories” will get you there, offering a display of roadside attractions of the human condition for you to absorb along the way.

 

Robertson is set to release his second solo CD, "Moon Over Michigan", on April 14, 2018. Robertson is currently booking gigs in support of the new record, and you may see him solo, with a duo, or accompanied by a full band, depending on the venue. 

 

 

 

 

Rosco Selley

Rosco Selley was 32 years old before he played his first note in public. Rosco's dad was a harmonica player, and he messed around with his dad's harps when he was a kid, but never took it seriously.  When Rosco was 31, he heard Robert Barkley's radio show "Juke Joint" on CMU Public Radio out of Mt. Pleasant. Robert just happened to be featuring blues harp players in that little show - Little Walter, Big Walter, Junior Wells - the usual suspects. Rosco had never heard anything like it, and decided on the spot that he had to learn to play like the masters. Rosco became obsessed with practicing and learning about harmonica. He didn't stop with the Classic Blues sound, branching out into other genres, and eventually playing at Jam Sessions until he landed in the first of many bands he'd play with.

 

Before he was a sought after player, Rosco was a music lover, spending hours listening to James Taylor, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne and Joni - all the iconic Singer-Songwriters. "One thing about starting later in life", says Rosco, "is you have a lot of material to draw on". Rosco's songs examine and explain the things he cares most about, "There is a lot of heartache, joy, wonder, disgust, revelation, and humility in life that isn’t apparent when you are a kid." Rosco's latest release, 2018's "F.O.R. Collective" explores those depths, drawing rave reviews, including this one from Review's Matt deHeus:

 

Though he is known in many circles for a somewhat otherworldly ability as a soloist in both traditional and modern styles on his chosen instrument, this is not a harmonica record.  This album features Selley creating textures, sheen and ambience, along with the occasional screaming solo.  It’s certainly the most complete recorded example of his techniques and talents to date. The second point would be his obvious growth as a songwriter since his earlier recorded works.  He attributes this largely to working with so many great songwriters in the last several years, name-checking Jen Cass, Donny Brown, Robertson, and J Dean, among others.

 

“I got way smarter about the way songs work", says Rosco. "There is no formula, but I am more conscious of the role of the chorus, verse, bridge, pre-chorus, solo and their role in the song.  I have also had to get a bit better at guitar, substituting tastier chords … theory.”  

 

Rosco played with Michael Robertson in Maybe August and continues to play with Michael Robertson and the Broken-Hearted Saviors. He helped form the beautiful Bluegrass trio Sky Blue Sky with Robertson and Daniel Patrick. Rosco joined The Lucky Nows in December 2016, just as the band was preparing to play Ann Arbor's iconic venue The Ark and head into the studio to record their debut CD.

 

 

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