Preview: Third annual Watershed Voice Artist Showcase

The third annual Watershed Voice Artist Showcase returns this Saturday, July 15 at 6 p.m. at The Huss Project (1008 8th St.) in Three Rivers. Eleven artists from across the midwest will captivate audiences with live music, poetry, and stand-up comedy. Here is a closer look at the performances and acts set to take the stage Saturday night.

*cino Family Band

The *cino Family Band is a loose collaboration of folks working at the Huss Project at any given moment, 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 insist on referring to their sole performance of the year as a world tour, when, in fact, it wouldn’t even qualify as a residency. Despite this curmudgeonliness, fans have been known to travel from near and far—as far away as Lakes Pleasant, Corey, and Long—to catch a glimpse of musical mediocrity in action. You won’t want to miss it!

Shane Lung

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.

Torrey Brown

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. Torrey is a community leader and organizer, a community activist who is passionate about social justice, an at- large city commissioner, a Constantine school district wood shop teacher and basketball coach, and a poet. 

Sabrina Banks

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.

Debbie Allen

Debbie M. Allen is a Philadelphia native who has been a resident of Three Rivers since 2015.  She is a poet and author who has been writing since her early youth. She is the author of three poetry books inspired by her life experiences. Currently, she is a proud member of Watershed Voice and Main Street Media Board of Directors, as well as a performer at their Watershed Voice Artist Showcase. 

Eddie Leboeuf

Eddie LeBoeuf is a very talented fisherman, and a somewhat talented musician. The former front man from the locally infamous Jam Sandwich band, (as seen on your favorite local bar’s bathroom stall) brings a unique folky twist to many songs you can sing along with. Accompanied by guitarist Josh Miller, you are sure to have a knee slappin’, ham-bonin’ good time. Appropriate for all ages, and guaranteed to upset guys named Jack, Jerry, and Steve.

Rio Riojas

Rio is a pure Michigander. A standup comedian and actor, he was born in Bay City, lives in Lansing now but has lived all over the nation. He has been honing his craft all over the state from Detroit House of Comedy, Mac’s Comedy Night, Tip Top Tuesdays and the Comedy Outlet Project in GR. He has a delivery and presentation that is completely his own. With an anecdotal set he brings experiences and instances that from his point of view could make the most curmudgeonly of men crack a wry smile. Rio’s fun, lighthearted, fresh, and relatable set is sure to bring laughs. 

Courtney Moore

Born Courtney Christina Moore and published as “Courtney Moore,” she is an emerging, soulful, reserved, and powerful vocal artist. The 28-year-old singer has been performing with passion for as long as she can recall, entering her first talent show at the age of 7. Determined to express her light, from karaokes, to lead singer of an adult cover band, still while in her later teen years.

Courtney was born in Kalamazoo and raised in Three Rivers. While attending Three Rivers High School, Courtney was a part of the award-winning choir, The Aristocrats. She participated in state honors choirs and has been awarded time, after time, and again. Courtney’s sound can be described anywhere from soulful & jazzy; to a Hip-Hop R&B, Pop-Esque style. As a youth and until this day, Courtney’s idol has been Alicia Keys. Performing her songs for as long as she can recall.

She is a single mother to Kobe, who inspires her daily and is featured on both her debut and sophomore albums. While performing locally, Courtney was called upon as a supporting vocalist, from this she would go on to create her debut album, “Senful.” Since Senful, Courtney began writing more music and released her sophomore album “25,” along with many singles and features. Courtney finished her summer EP, “Hello Summer” in May and will be releasing it this July. “Hello Summer” includes her latest single “Gone,” written by Courtney herself. Be on the lookout for Courtney’s next album, set to release sometime in 2024, greatly inspired by Adele’s album “30.”

Nicky “No Love” Connely

Born in Elkhart, Nicky moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina when he was eight-years-old. Nicky started writing music for others at age 16, and started rapping soon after meeting Morray and J. Cole when he was 20-years-old. Nicky moved to Michigan to further his music career and network. 

Mikel James Watkins

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 has traveled from state to state working and performing with artists with similar goals, while 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.

Aubrey “Aubs.” Barnes

Aubrey “Aubs.” Barnes, is a native of Rock Island Illinois. He is an educator, author, poet, community arts facilitator, and founder of “Young Lions Roar,” a nonprofit that invites students to find creative expression though the arts of spoken word and poetry for performing purposes and mental health purposes to schools and after school programs.

Aubs. has performed and taught workshops from Chicago, Atlanta, and schools outside the country such as Haiti, and has also self published three books of his poetic work, “Unfinished”, “I’m Not Anti Love, I Swear”, and “It is Good, It is Written”. Being an individual who wears many creative hats, he aims to provoke ears with his lyrical, battle rap influenced penmanship, as well as provoke thought, with content that reflects all that he has journeyed through, or is journeying through.

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 in Three Rivers. General admission is $5 (cash or card will be accepted on the day of the event), and donations are welcomed. There will be limited seating provided but guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.

The third annual showcase will feature performances containing explicit language, so while all ages are welcome, Watershed Voice leaves the decision to the discretion of parents as to whether the concert is appropriate for their children.

Beca Welty is a staff writer and columnist for Watershed Voice.