Ypsi Song Fest

8th annual Ypsilanti Songwriting Festival

Saturday, September 13, 2014


The Ypsi Song Fest returns for its 8th year with singer, songwriter, actor, poet, guitarist, and bass player John Doe as the headliner. The day at YDL-Whittaker Road and evening at Bona Sera Underground are jam-packed with activities designed to inspire and delight the music lover in all of us. Here’s the schedule of events, all of which are free and open to the public.

The 2014 Ypsilanti Songwriting Festival is presented by the Ypsilanti District Library, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Make Your Own Music Day

September 13, 11 am-4 pm, YDL Whittaker


Performances & Workshops

11:00 am Joe Reilly in a Performance for Kids of All Ages
Community Room
Can you hop like a frog or flap your wings like a turkey vulture? Joe loves nature so much that he writes songs about it, and he hopes that you and your family will sing and dance and move along too!

1:00 pm DIY Recording Information Session with Paul Tyson
Computer Lab
Learn the techniques and technology you need to record your music at home.

2:00 pm Teen Songwriting Workshop with John E. Lawrence
LOCATION CHANGED TO: Mix Studio Theatre, 130 W. Michigan Ave

John E. Lawrence leads teens on a creative, songwriting journey. This workshop will be in partnership with Rock The Block, hosted by the Corner Health Center on North Washington Street between Michigan and Pearl. Teens will put together a song and then perform it at Rock the Block!


Make Your Own Music Fair--Drop In Anytime!

12:00 pm Instrument Petting Zoo
Sidewalk outside (or Lobby in case of rain)
See, hear, and touch a variety of musical instruments.

Noon-4:00 pm Make Your Own Music Fair
Sidewalk outside (or Lobby in case of rain)
Silkscreen the YSF logo onto a t-shirt! Make-and-take musical instruments! Meet local music teachers! Snacks provided.

Noon-5:00 pm Local Artists/Open Mic Showcase
Performances by talented performers from around our community:

12:00 pm Ypsilanti Youth Jazz Ensemble
1:15 pm Dan Florida
2:00 pm Craig Johnson
3:00 pm Pale Dave and Jenny Fair
4:00 pm Brian Tucker 


Songwriter Showcase Featuring John Doe

SEPTEMBER 13, 7 - 10 PM, all ages
Bona Sera Underground, 200 W. MIchigan Avenue


7:00 pm Welcome Home, Blake Elliott!
Ypsi born-and-bred chanteuse Blake Elliott returns home as part of YSF’14! Catch this former YDL staffer while you can – her star is rising fast! All ages welcome.

8:00 pm An Evening with John Doe
John Doe, the prolific, genre-spanning artist is co-founder of the seminal punk band X. He has recorded eight solo records w/ numerous renowned singers and players, including Patty Griffin, Dan Auerbach, Aimee Mann, Don Was, Kathleen Edwards, and Greg Liesz. He has appeared in over 50 films and television productions, including Road House, Georgia, Roadside Prophets, Great Balls of Fire, Pure Country and Roswell.  Other musical side projects include work with the Knitters, Jill Sobule, and The Sadies.

Doe will talk about his songwriting process and career with 107one’s Martin Bandyke, followed by a solo, acoustic performance. The evening is hosted by Jeremy Baldwin of 89.1 WEMU’s Roots Music Project. All ages welcome.


Thank you to our sponsors!



About our guest artist, John Doe

John Doe was "born" in 1977 when he arrived in Los Angeles. His previous life in Tennessee, Wisconsin & Baltimore was a great & fertile time but new music and social changes led him to events that created a life in art. He graduated from Antioch College in Baltimore in 1975, worked as a roofer, aluminum siding mechanic, and ran a poetry reading series. Ms. Meyers was his landlord in the rural black community of Simpsonville , MD.

John met Exene Cervenka at the Venice poetry workshop Nov 1976 and he started working with Billy Zoom around the same time. When DJ Bonebrake joined X in mid-1977 the line up was complete. They released six studio records, five or six singles and one live record from 1978-1993. Five of X’s records have been re-issued along with two compilations. The Unheard Music documents their lives and progress as a band from 1980-83. In 2009 the film was included in the Sundance UCLA Archive of greatest films of all time. They appeared several times on American Bandstand, Solid Gold and David Letterman. As one of the last original punk rock bands standing, they continue to tour. The day that X played a free noontime concert in Fullerton, CA, they caused Orange County’s greatest high school truancy rate to date.

In 1988 John started a family and lived in the Tehachapi Mountains, near the “Grapevine” of Highway 5, which separates southern and central California. He has recorded 8 solo records w/ numerous renowned singers and players, more recently including Patty Griffin, Dan Auerbach, Aimee Mann, Don Was, Kathleen Edwards and Greg Liesz. He has appeared in over 50 films and television productions, with some of his most notable roles in Road House, Georgia, Roadside Prophets, Great Balls of Fire, Pure Country and Roswell. He continues to act these days but more sporadically as his touring schedule has become more demanding.

Other musical side projects include work with the Knitters, Jill Sobule and The Sadies. He continues to write poetry and has even taught workshops from time to time. He currently lives north of San Francisco, California.


Just In

Delicious foods : a novelBy Hannaham, James

Hannaham’s book is the engrossing story of a Southern family’s disintegration after the death of husband and father, Nat Hardison. It is narrated by Eddie, the couple’s son, as well as an unusual inanimate character named Scotty, and Eddie’s mother, Darlene, absent both emotionally and physically during much of his childhood, unable to cope with the intense emotional burden, local injustice, and overwhelming grief she experiences when Nat is murdered. Eleven year-old Eddie spends a lot of time with his widowed Aunt Bethella, but at one point he decides to try to find his absent mother. Boldly navigating the seedy underbelly of the streets, Eddie’s path leads him to the horrible prison-like agricultural farming enterprise called Delicious Foods, from which he barely escapes with his life. A bold, harrowing story told with amazing love and respect for its characters.

View in catalog