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Biography / About:
Gifts or Creatures is the musical pursuit of husband-wife Brandon and Bethany Foote. The couple fuses a blend of midwestern folklore, old world history and cinematic soundscapes to create a trove of antique Americana.
The Michigan duo’s latest release, Fair Mitten (New Songs of the Historic Great Lakes Basin), is a tribute to their Great Lakes home (out 09.22.17). Recorded in Kalamazoo alongside Seth Bernard, Dan Rickabus (The Crane Wives) and Max Lockwood (Big Dudee Roo, May Erlewine), the album offers up a collection of songs that celebrates the rich history and timeless significance of the Great Lakes Basin.
Since 2010, Gifts or Creatures has performed throughout the Midwest and has shared bills with Blitzen Trapper, Breathe Owl Breathe and Frontier Ruckus. They have appeared at the Wheatland Music Festival and recorded with Daytrotter. Brandon & Bethany are also active members of Michigan's Earthwork Music Collective, advocating for original music and environmental awareness throughout the Great Lakes region.
Fair Mitten (New Songs of the Historic Great Lakes Basin) out 09.22.17 from Earthwork Music:
Recorded intermittently over an eighteen-month period, this new collection of songs explores the last four centuries in the Great Lakes Basin. It covers topics such as the demise of the Arctic grayling, trapping and trading throughout the region, downtown Chicago, and Pontiac's Rebellion. The album digs deep into the history of the area; it celebrates it, and at times laments the historical stress within the region.
1. Pontiac's Rebellion
2. Two Hearts (Two Peninsulas)
3. Fort Dearborn Massacre
4. Trout of the Pines
5. Canadian Shield
6. Manitou Passage
7. Grand Rapids Brakeman
8. Green Gold
9. Trapping or Trading
10. Conquest of the Old Northwest (Fair Mitten)
Produced by Brandon John Foote & Seth Bernard
Recorded at La Luna Recording in Kalamazoo, Michigan
Engineered by Ian Gorman
Mixed by Ian Gorman & Brandon John Foote
Mastered by Saff Mastering in Chicago, Illinois
Voice sample and Great Lakes map: Courtesy Archives of Michigan
Brandon John Foote - vocals, electric guitars, samples
Bethany Foote - vocals, Wurlitzer electric piano, string synth
Max Lockwood – bass guitar
Dan Rickabus – drums, percussion
Seth Bernard - acoustic, electric & baritone guitars
Select Past Performances:
Wheatland Music Festival - Remus, Michigan
The Ark - Ann Arbor, Michigan
East Lansing Art Festival - East Lansing, Michigan
Mackinac Arts Council Music in the Park - Mackinac Island, Michigan
Earthwork Harvest Gathering - Lake City, Michigan
Bell's Brewery, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Founders Brewing Co. - Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand River Water Festival - Grand Rapids. Michigan
Shine - Boulder, Colorado
331 Club - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Fitzgerald's - Chicago, Illinois
"Their evocative music blends folk, pop, and Americana elements with a deep historical bent that is at times both hauntingly dark and wistfully poetic. The interplay between Brandon's warm, electric guitar and Bethany's Wurlitzer electric piano is as much a signature sound as are their delicate vocal harmonies."
"Gifts or Creatures' new album Yesteryear Western Darkness is a gorgeous and unique work filled with rich, lush tones and poetic, historically-charged lyrics for the times. The songs are brilliantly crafted. Art and heart at work."
-Seth Bernard, Earthwork Music
"It’s not a bad comparison to say that Yesteryear Western Darkness sounds like a Wilco-ized version of The Civil Wars, although that’s selling their talents short in the service of quick reference...Gifts or Creatures aren't into riffs or attitude-filled ragers, but they sure know how to write a song that cuts to the bone."
"Gifts or Creatures have created an intriguing new sound from the most unlikely combination of instruments - the end result is a thoroughly engaging mix that in uniquely Americana."
-Doug Neal, WDBM Impact 89FM
"The lyrics, on the other hand, are reaching, ambitious and, occasionally, timeless. In his songwriting, Brandon often reckons with fables and historical accounts. Gifts or Creatures’ lyrical characters are aptly developed and inspire repeated listening."
-Andrew Knot, The Rapidian