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2 Time Grammy Winner Al Petteway & Amy White


Dear Friends of MFGS

We have several announcements of music events for you.  Our mission has always been to support and promote fingerstyle guitar music but there is also other great guitarists that may not just be fingerstyle performers like our last sold out guest Pat Donohue!  Well this Friday, October 24th, our friends ar Trinity House Theatre are hosting Brooks Williams! You have the opportunity to see a great guitarist/singer songwriter.  His style combines roots, jazz, blues, classical, and folk. Brooks has released CD consisting of folk and some of instrumental guitar.  Here is some information on his show at Trinity House Theatre........

" I've known Brooks for many years. He's a lovely player, a lovely singer, and a great writer.....the real thing...he always puts on a great show and more players should be  familiarwith his work"                                                Martin Simpson


Sunday October 25th,  3pm  Madonna University Presents - Ekachai Jearakul in Concert $20 at the door, Kresge Hall Madonna University - $15 for Students

Guitar Workshop -October 24th in Kresge Hall at Madonna University from 1:00 until 4:00.

Performers fee is $50 and auditors fee is $20.

If you are interested in attending the Master Class please call 313-832-2613.



  MFGS PRESENTS ON SATURDAY NOV. 7TH  2 TIME Grammy Award Winner Al Petteway and Indie Award Winner Amy White will perform at Trinity House Theatre on November 7th.


Doors at 7:30 and Music at 8pm.

Tickets are $20 and $17 for Trinity House Members

Trinity House Theatre - 38840 Six Mile Rd, Livonia - (734) 464-6302

Trinity House no longer takes reservations so tickets can be purchased online @  Last time Al & Amy performed it was a sellout so buying ahead of time guarantees you a seat at the show

We are so fortunate to be able to host Al and Amy again. Multi instrumentalists,great performers and musicians who are a joy to watch.

Al Petteway has been named one of the ‘Top Fifty Guitarists of All Time’ by the readers of Acoustic Guitar Magazine and the CD ‘Caledon Wood’ was included in as one of the ‘Essential Albums of the past Twenty Years’.  Former artists in residence at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage and we could go on and on!  Don’t spend time reading all of their accolades….just go on and buy a ticket before they are all gone! 

Here is a sample of the work on one of six Ken Burns PBS classic documentaries including ‘National Parks, The Next Best Thing’, ‘Mark Twain’, and the ‘Civil War’.  This is the theme song from ‘National Parks’

This show will sell out so get your tickets now!


                         Saturday November 21 stMFGS presents

Billy Mclaughlin & Jeff Arundel

At ‘The Barn’ on Walton Blvd in Rochester Hills.

This is a private house concert for 40 lucky folks and you may bring a beverage of your choice. Tickets are $25 and tickets are on sale now! .  Once you have purchased tickets the address will be sent to you.

Thanks for supporting the artists and the venues that host them!!


Check out our friends at Minor 7th

Purchasing CDs through Minor 7th helps keep them keepin on bringing you The Best In Non-Mainstream Acoustic Guitar Music!


Also our friends at Candyra thave a great selection of artists to choose from check out their latest additions at


Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society is a 501 (3) (c) non-profit organization

promoting Guitar Workshops and performances since 2001


email: or just join up with us on Facebook!

JB Davies - Rick Haden - Mark Hawks - Jeb McIntyre - Ron Stavale


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Thanks For Your Support and Don't Miss This Event!!!


Dear Friends of MFGS

We would like to take a moment to thank you for your support in this our 10th season of presenting Fingerstyle Guitar concerts, workshops and picking parties.  Thanks to Mike Moss @ Callahan's for offering his venue for our concerts and to Pete who does the sound in the house. Can't forget our 'main man'  soundman extroidinare, Rick Ratcliff.

We would like to thank these truly amazing guitarists who came to the  Detroit Area to perform and teach Fingerstyle Guitar.  Preston Reed, Pierre Bensusan, Tony McManus, Stefano Barone, Craig D'Andrea, Antoine Dufour, Gareth Pearson, Ewan Dobson, California Guitar Trio (Bert Lams, Paul Richards & Hideo Moriya)  & International Guitar Night consisting of  Pino Forastiere, Brian Gore, Alexandre Gismonti and Clive Carrol.

More thanks to those that support our picking parties

Paul Murphy of Bluefish Music in Plymouth  ,

Tracey Ambrozy of Tracey's Cafe in Warren,

Gordy Shelst of  Shelest Music in St. Clair Shores.

Also a huge, huge thanks to Rob Poland of Candyrat Records  for his support of our organization and his efforts in promoting guitar music and singer songwriters all over the world. 

We cannot thank enough our dear friend and a fabulous supporter of Fingerstyle Music Pam Rossi of 'Overeasy'.  Sadly her show was cancelled and we certainly miss her and wish her well.  Music misses her too!

We still have Ann Delisi on WDET 

and her cohort  host of Acoustic Cafe Rob Reinhart and Essential Music on WDET

Enjoy the summer and if your looking for a great guitar fix you cannot miss the Canadian Fingerstyle Festival coming up at the end of July.  It is a bit of a hike to get there but once you look at the lineup you'll think more than twice on whether to go there.   Click on this site and look through the amazing lineup and the location &  Hope to see you there !!!

On our facebook page!/pages/Michigan-Fingerstyle-Guitar-Society/145932971825  you can post if you are driving or looking for rides to the Canadian Festival.  Also VIA Rail leaves from Windsor (and other points in between) and considering the price of gas I think the rail line is pretty competetive. 

The Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society is a 501 (3) (c) non-profit organization    

JB Davies - Rick Haden - Mark Hawks - Jeb McIntyre - Dave Pierson - Ron Stavale



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Guitar Society supplies tranquil sounds for unstable times

By: Jim Dombrowski story updated March 20. 2006 9:11AM
reprinted courtesy of Prime Times, Monroe Publishing Co.

In these times of world turmoil, natural disaster and an uncertain economy, what could be more natural than to seek solace in a church?

On a recent Saturday night at First United Methodist Church in Ferndale, the sound coming from the apse wasn’t the voice of a minister, but someone else filling a spiritual need.

On that most bitter of winter nights, a lone guitarist sat on a stool and wrapped an audience of around 200 in a comforting blanket of sound. The tunes ranged from familiar American anthems to original instrumentals that could be a soundtrack for a nature documentary.

The artist was Stephen Bennett, whose tools of the trade are a wealth of musical knowledge, a weathered 1930 National Steel guitar and his great-grandfather’s harp guitar.

The harp guitar is a vintage piece of wizardy that is the marriage of two instruments that looks like it takes three hands to play and sounds as unique as its appearance.

Mr. Bennett is one of many virtuoso guitarists contributing to this winter’s concert series sponsored by the Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society. Founder Mark Hawks says that the Guitar Society started out in 2001 with a small group of musicians who shared a love for fingerstyle guitar playing and evolved into an organization with a 100 members that produces workshops and concerts promoting the musical genre.

The harp guitar was developed in the 19th century to allow guitarists a way to augment their sound by offering a second set of strings that when plucked create notes that resonate on top of what is being played below on the guitar portion of the instrument.

Guitarist Andy McKee of Kansas, who was on this year’s bill, also included the harp guitar in his show. Not all of the performers employ such unusual instruments, but if you attend a fingerstyle performance, you will be witness some unorthodox playing that will forever change the way you view that instrument. Fingerstyle musicians have occasionally been known to turn their guitars into a member of the percussion family. There’s a style of percussive picking where the musicians use the fingers of both hands to rapidly hammer on the fretboard with occasional forceful pounding on the body that’s electryfing to watch. Anyone who has witnessed a Billy McLaughlin concert can attest to how mind-bending this type of performing can be. It’s a wonder that he hasn’t been charged with assault on an inanimate object.

"I think we’ve gained a really good reputation for booking great performers" said Mr. Hawks. "Our focus is definitely on great acoustic fingerstyle guitar technique but we also want to make sure that the audience is entertained. The shows we present are enjoyable to both the general music fans as well as the folks that like to sit in the front row to watch the artists’ fingers."

This readily recognizable style of guitar playing has been around for a long time and is regularly incorporated into pop and jazz standards, but it’s difficult to point to musicians who have made a career out of this narrowly defined genre. Mr. Hawks usually cites Leo Kotke, Michael Hedges and Alex de Grassi who helped to establish the fingerstyle sound.

Although accomplished, the artists performing in the concert series are hardly household names. The highest profile performer might be Laurence Juber who performed with Paul McCartney and Wings in the ‘70s.

The remainder of this season’s concert series consists of Minnesota finger-picker, Pat Donohue (who can be heard each week as a member of "The Guys All-Star Shoe Band" on National Public Radio’s "A Prairie Home Companion) on March 11, Al Petteway & Amy White on April 1 and Ed Gerhard on May 6.

Sound samples can be heard on the Guitar Society’s Web site.

All performances are at the First United Methodist Church in Ferndale located at 2231 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the concert starts at 7:30 p.m. The admission is $15 for the general public and $10 for students and seniors. There’s even homemade pie at a reasonable price served in the basement by the church’s ladies club during intermission.

"Over the last few years we seem to have developed a reputation with many of the artists as being one of the best venues in the country for fingerstyle guitar. We’re all really proud of that distinction" said Mr. Hawks.

Visit for more information or call (248) 646-4030.

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CD Release - Bits & Pieces - Merv Collins


Hi everyone,

Well the CD is FINALLY ready and available!  Bits & Pieces.. Merv Collins Fingerstyle Acoustic Guitar

Please email me at merv2@hotmail if you might be interested in getting a copy. 

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Upcoming Guitar Show


HI again folks.. if any of you happen to be in the Chicago area next week, try and come to the Lamplighter Inn on Tuesday at 8pm for a night of fingerstyle guitar music.  Here's the flyer for the show.




Merv Collins

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Dec. 3rd Benefit Concert!

We had a great time playing for The Royal Oak Church of the Holy City on December 3, 2005!  Speaking for all the performers, the audience was great and the night went very smoothly.  On behalf of the performers, a big Thank You to Rev. Renee Machiniak, her husband Joe, and Cheri Miller for making sure the event came off without a hitch!  Four MFGS members performed - Dave Pierson (me), Dan House, Merv Collins, and Nathan Montgomery.  A special thanks to Jeb McIntyre for allowing us to use his PA system.  It was a great night at a great venue with a variety of styles and lots of energy!   
This is from Rev. Renee:
The Royal Oak Church of the Holy City is most grateful to the volunteer fingerstyle guitarists who performed at our December 3rd, 2005, benefit concert. We would like to thank David Pierson, Dan House, Mervyn Collins and Nathan Montgomery for magical performances on guitar, vocal selections, and the mountain dulcimer! Stories of life and song added depth to the music presented. By the end of the evening, we felt the spirit of the holidays and an appreciation for their love of music and for the sharing of their talent. We we were all very glad we had gathered on this snowy and cozy evening amidst the Christmas lights surrounding the stage - to share the gift of music at the Royal Oak Women's Club. Thank you, once again, Dave, Dan, Merv and Nathan!
Nathan Montgomery contributed 50% of all his cd sales to the church!  Overall $350 was raised for the church. 
This was a function of the MFGS Community Outreach effort.  I think this is a great way for MFGS members to get involved.  Check out the other outreach opportunities we have! 

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Rochester Folk Workshop Store to Close


It is with saddness that we report our friends Vince and Karen Sadovsky have decided to close the retail portion of their business, but fortunately Vince will continue to offer lessons. For those who don't know him, Vince is one of the few true "Master Class" guitar teachers in the area. He's played professionally for decades, and has forgotten more than most of us will ever know. He's very busy, so get on the waiting list now. You won't regret any time spent learning from Vince.

As part of the closing, they are offering huge discounts on all their retail merchandise, including strings, books (they have a lot of excellent fingersyle guitar books), cases, stands, straps, etc. This is your chance to pick up that hard to find item as rock bottom prices.

They intend to be closed by November 18th, so get over there soon. Tell them Jeb sent you!

You can get all the location information from their website:

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Farewell Show


Fingerstyle Guitarist and member Merv Collins will be performing his Farewell Show this coming Wednesday Night September 7th at the Coffee Beanery in Ferndale

I've really enjoyed my run at the Coffee Beanery keeping the stage warm while JB and Mark were off enjoying their summer.  I'm moving to the Chicago area next week and will miss being part of the MFGS, although I will be back often to attend the great concerts that are scheduled

I hope all of you will be able to stop in for my last show, and thanks again for making my membership in the Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society so enriching and enjoyable.






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7th Annual Motor City Boogie Woogie & Blues Festival October 14th and 15th


Our friends at AMRF (American Music Research Foundation) have a new site up. More important, they've announced this years concert information, and tickets are available now. This may not be fingerstyle, but it is great music. Highly recommended! Tell them the Fingerstyle Guitar Society sent you.

 Daimler Chrysler presents the
7th Annual Motor City Boogie Woogie & Blues Festival

Friday, October 14th   &   Saturday, October 15th 2005
at the Royal Oak Music Theatre

Friday, Oct. 14th - Boogie Woogie Revue
Bob Seeley (USA)
Philippe Lejeune (France)
Michael Kaeshammer (Canada)
Silvan Zing (Switzerland)

Saturday, Oct. 15th - "Gen 2 Blues"
Phantom Blues Band
Bernard Allison (son of Luther Allison)
Kenny Neal (son of Raful Neal)
Tasha Taylor (daughter of "The Wailer" Johnnie Taylor)

Produced by the American Music Research Foundation.

Tickets are on sale now!
 $35 general admission tickets for the 7th Annual Motor City Boogie Woogie & Blues Festival (Presented by Daimler Chrysler) will be going on sale at 10am Friday, August 5th.   They will be available at, the Royal Oak Music Theatre box office, or by calling 800-919-6272.

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American Music Research Foundation

If you arn't already familiar with them, the folks at American Music Research Foundation (AMRF) are doing some remarkable things to present and document our precious musical history. Founded by Ron and Shelly Harwood (our friends, and long-standing members of the Society), AMRF is responsible for the Annual Boogie Woogie Blues Festival, presented each year in the fall.

If your tastes in music are broader than just Fingerstyle Guitar, you won't want to miss their festival.

Also be sure and check out Ron's company, Illuminating Concepts. Ron is a world renowned and much honored lighting designer, with over a dozen patents to his credit. There is no one on earh that does lighting design better.

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MFGS Alumni win Grammy

The "Pink Guitar" Album won a Grammy this year for best Pop Instramental Album. If you don't have it, we urge you to get it. We are particularly excited because some of the very best tracks are from some of our alumni performers. List of tracks is provided below, and our alumni are highlighted. Of particular, Ed Gerhard, on of the performers, is our 2005 kick-off artist, performing March 12th, and Laurence Juber will be with us in October. Al Petteway should be joining us again in early 2006. Also, Pat Donohue will be performing at MAMA's coffee house on March 19th. Check our calandar for more information.

In addition, Will Ackerman, who should be joining us in early 2006, won for best New Age Album for his album "Returning".

Both of these awards are simply great news for Fingerstyle Guitar. By the way, our friends and supporters at Solid Air Records producted "Pink Guitar".
A great place to buy both albums is

Acoustic Music Resourses . They offer great selection and service, and are long-standing friends and supporters of the Society.

There's also an excellent book for the Pink Guitar

Henry Mancini

Pink Guitar - Book / Lesson CD
Pink Panther Theme - Laurence Juber
Moon River - Ed Gerhard (from the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's")
Days of Wine and Roses - David Cullen
It's Easy to Say - Doug Smith (from the movie "10")
Peter Gunn - Pat Donohue
The Thornbirds Theme - Al Petteway
The Sweetheart Tree - Mark Hanson (from the movie "The Great Race")
What's Happening - Mike Dowling
Charade - Aaron Stang
Dear Heart - Wayne Johnson
Baby Elephant Walk - William Coulter (from the movie "Hatari")
Two for the Road - Amrit Sond

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Community Building


Community Building is really what this site is all about. If any of you have further interest, take a look at some of the links below. Tor Hough from suggested these links as a good introduction to the web-based community building concepts.

Community Building on the Web


David Wineberger

Doc Searls

Christopher Locke, Gonzo Marketing

Derek M. Powazek, Design for Community: The Art of Connecting Real People in Virtual Places

Web Log Resources

Why is the blog more important than the web page? It is a log, a journal, it changes more often than a static piece of content.

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Pam Rossi - Over Easy


No one has done more to support the Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society than Pam Rossi, host of the popular  WCSX  radio show Over Easy . Pam has done a simply phenomenal job of keeping alternative acoustic music alive and well in S.E. Michigan, and her interviews with our artists have contributed significantly to the sucess of our concert series.

Her delightful interviews with our guest artists have won her the respect and admiration of all of us.

Thank you Pam. You're a true jewel!

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