The Watershed Voice Artist Showcase will return this Saturday, July 30 with nearly twice as many acts as last year, with 11 scheduled to perform. The second annual showcase will include poetry, rap, hip-hop, gospel and folk/Americana music, with some comedy thrown in for good measure.
The concert, hosted by Watershed Voice Executive Editor Alek Haak-Frost and his Keep Your Voice Down co-host Doug Sears, Jr., will begin at 6 p.m. at The Huss Project (1008 8th Street) in Three Rivers. General admission is $5 (cash or card will be accepted on the day of the event), and donations are welcomed. 50/50 raffle tickets will also be available for $1 per ticket or six tickets for $5. The winner of the raffle must be present at the time of the announcement, which will take place toward the end of the show.
Five acts from last year’s showcase are returning Saturday including Debbie Allen, Torrey Brown, Sabrina Banks, Sherridan Harris and Courtney Moore. Joining those showcase stalwarts are the *cino family band, Shane Lung, Doug Sears, Jr., Mitchell Moore, Aubrey Barnes and Mikel James Watkins.
The event’s music and poetry will contain explicit language. So while all ages are welcome, we leave it up to the discretion of parents as to whether the concert is appropriate for their children. There will also be limited seating provided but guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.
Without further ado, here is a little background information on Saturday’s primetime players.
*cino family band (Three Rivers)
The *cino family band is a loose collaboration of folks working at the Huss Project who occasionally exchange shovels, hammers, and other assorted garden and construction tools for musical instruments, and play a few songs together for special occasions. They performed at almost every Future Festival—most recently in 2019—and have been called into service once again to share a few tunes to help raise money for Watershed Voice, our favorite community-based news organization in Three Rivers. As someone more famous than us once said: “We’re putting the band back together. We’re on a mission from God.”
Sherridan Harris (Kalamazoo)
Sherridan Harris a.k.a. Sherdizzil has a plethora of credits as a writer, featured artist, background vocalist, beatmaker, & executive producer with acts such as Last Gasp Collective & Courtney Moore. Sherdizzil recently released his follow up to “Day In The Life” titled “The Vine Album,” with features from Jessica Ivey, Destine Price, Mitchie Moore, Proxy Ichi, Don Bolter, Aikeem Abdul, & more.
Torrey Brown (Three Rivers)
Torrey Brown was born and raised on the south side of Chicago until the age of 13. His family relocated to Three Rivers in 1990 where he attended Three Rivers High School. There he was a standout athlete and is now a Hall of Fame inductee. He then attended Saginaw Valley State University on a football scholarship. Torrey now resides in Three Rivers with his wife and 2 children. He is a city commissioner in Three Rivers, and a high school teacher in Constantine. He considers himself a poetic activist speaking on injustices through rhyme.
Shane Lung (Three Rivers, formerly Burr Oak)
Born and raised in Burr Oak, Shane is currently living in Three Rivers. He came into the music game shortly after high school, and considers himself a folk/Americana artist. It’s always been about the story in the song for Shane, who tries to be as honest as possible with his music. So what you hear, is what you see, is what you get.
Sabrina Banks (Three Rivers)
Sabrina Banks is a 49-year-old mother of four and grandmother of 19, who loves to cook and spend time with her family and friends. Sabrina’s greatest dream as a child was to become a professional singer. One of her biggest accomplishments was performing at a convention with thousands of people. In addition to bringing her through some difficult times, music has also brought her joy. Musicians like Lauren Hill, Monica, and Jasmine Sullivan are among some of her favorite singers. It’s impossible to travel back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. The more you fight for your dreams, the more your dreams will fight for you.
Doug Sears, Jr. (Westland, Michigan)
Doug Sears, Jr. is the co-host of Keep Your Voice Down on Watershed Voice‘s podcast network. He has dabbled in stand up comedy but does not currently have any published performances or recordings. (He certainly would never claim to have opened for Kevin Hart once but the rumor persists.)
Debbie M. Allen (Three Rivers)
Debbie M. Allen is a Philadelphia native who has been a resident of Three Rivers since 2015. She is a poet and author of three poetry books. She is also a proud member of Watershed Voice and the Main Street Media Board of Directors. This is Debbie’s second appearance at the Watershed Voice Artist Showcase as she continues to be more active in her community.
Mitchie Moore (Three Rivers)
Mitchie Moore is a recording artist, producer, and a DJ. His albums, singles, and features are available on all major music platforms! His most recent publishing is a feature on “The Vine Album” by Sherdizzil.
Courtney Moore (Three Rivers)
Courtney Moore is a 27-year-old single mother from Three Rivers. She’s been singing for as long as she can remember, but professionally since her debut album Senful, released in 2019. Since then she’s released a second album (25), three music videos and a host of singles, including her most resent single “Too Many Lessons.” Courtney’s music can be found on all streaming platforms! Lookout for new music to be released in the upcoming months. She plans to continue to pursue music and perform across the country one day.
Aubrey “Aubs.” Barnes (Rock Island, Illinois)
Rock Island Illinois native Aubrey Barnes, also known as “Aubs.”, is one who calls himself a Creative. He is a poet, spoken word artist, author, battle rap artist, emcee, educator, podcast host of Black Thoughts Podcast. Aubs. has performed and taught workshops all over; from Chicago, Atlanta, and outside the country such as Haiti. Aubs. has also published three poetry books, “Unfinished,” “I’m Not Anti Love, I Swear,” and recently published “It is Good, It is Written.”
Mikel James Watkins (Kimmell, Indiana, formerly White Pigeon)
Mikel James Watkins, born 06-10-1999, is a Father of One, a Singer-Songwriter, Published Writer, Poet, Engineer, and Human. Mikel attended the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences, and since returning from college he has traveled from state to state working and performing with artists with similar goals, building scenes and connections along his way. When he isn’t creating he’s working a day job, and spending time with his family and friends.
Alek Haak-Frost is executive editor and publisher of Watershed Voice.