Two Michigan artists who almost need no introduction — the Zou welcomes Mark Palms and Billy King for an unforgettable night of music. Mark Palms is a Manchester-based musician who chases the heritage of traditional music by studying knee-to-knee with cultural giants from West Virginia to West Africa and sharing what he’s learned at festivals and camps. He performs with the award winning string band The Raisin Pickers and founded the cajun band Creole du Nord. As a member of a group or a solo artist, Mark continues to honor the legacy of traditional masters.
As a seasoned performer, songwriter, and recording artist, Billy King’s presence in the independent music scene brings an original blend of rootsy folk/pop with an occasional touch of country swing. In the early 1990s, Billy led his two-member band, the preteen King Brothers, to local fame in the Ann Arbor area, performing regularly and releasing five albums of mostly original material. Still living and working on the family farm, Billy has continued writing and recording, and, with his brother, started Holler Fest, a three-day music festival featuring Michigan artists. Billy is well-known for his versatility as a multi-genre singer-songwriter and skill on a wide range of instruments from guitar and banjo to keyboards and accordion. Traversing intimate acoustic venues, major festival stages, and popular rural gatherings, he performs with lightness, dynamism, and sincerity. Sometimes catchy folk/rock, sometimes searing blues, but always direct and thoughtful lyrics – this is original music from an original life, fully accomplished yet humble, and most of all real.