Album roll out

Music, video, to premiere at Ore Dock Friday

Ethan Bott, a graduate of Northern Michigan University, and director Nels Lindquist are debuting a music video and Bott’s four-song “Saddle Up!” album on Friday and Saturday in Marquette. The events, set for the Ore Dock Brewing Company and Superior Culture, respectively, are free. (Photo courtesy of Ethan Bott)

MARQUETTE — The career of a Northern Michigan University student who majored in English writing has taken a few turns along the way.

Local singer-songwriter and NMU alumnus Ethan Bott will hold his “Saddle Up!” extended-play release show and music video premiere, “I Like Being A Redneck,” at 8 p.m. Friday at the Ore Dock Brewing Company, 114 Spring St., Marquette, and at 9 p.m. Saturday at Superior Culture, 717 N. Third St., Marquette.

Nels Lindquist, a graduate of Columbia University, will direct the free events.

Bott graduated in May 2019 with that English writing major, but in his spare time, was involved in many musicals with NMU’s Department of Theatre and Dance, he said.

“After graduation I moved down to Austin, Texas, and that is where my interest in country music was re-kindled,” Bott said in an email. “As a boy, I could play you every Johnny Cash song by heart and was writing my own material by eighth grade.”

However, he said that as he got into high school and college, his passion for songwriting and country music fell by the wayside as he began focusing more on theater and writing.

“Now I’ve come full circle, and what was a unique detour into theater and writing has turned out to be a unique element to the way my music is shaped now,” Bott said. “I moved back to Michigan to be with family after the pandemic hit, and it was during lockdown that I really began to take being a singer-songwriter seriously.”

Bott said he spent hours every day working on learning cover songs and crafting his own solo material. By the time summer came and performance venues began to open, he had built a three-hour set of his repertoire.

Things have been taking off since then. This past summer, Bott performed a Willie Nelson Tribute concert at Tourist Park for the Saturday concert of the city of Marquette’s Art Week with a four-piece band, which he said turned out to be a success with an estimated 300 people in attendance.

History has a place in Bott’s work.

“A big theme in my songwriting are historical pieces, fictional and non-fictional, of various protagonists who live by the old school hand of horses and guns,” Bott said.

A friend introduced him to Fred Rydholm’s book, “Superior Heartland: A Backwoods History,” which contains a chapter titled “The Killing of Chief Ford,” that is about a police chief gunned down by a local robber and the ensuing chase that left four casualties.

“I thought this akin to a ‘western cowboy’ story, only set in the Upper Peninsula, so I like to call my song based off it a ‘northern,’ which broadens to what I like to call my genre as a whole,” Bott said. “People always ask me what kind of music I play and I like to tell them, ‘It ain’t country, it’s north country.'”

In a few days, Bott said he and Lindquist are debuting a music video they filmed together, set to Bott’s original song, “I Like Being A Redneck.” He also will release the four-song EP album titled “Saddle Up!” during the event that will feature a live concert by Bott.

Lindquist, who along with Bott lives in Marquette, said in an email that he studied film and philosophy at Columbia. He also has directed music videos for artists, such as “Call My Dad” by the trio AJR.

“I’m really looking forward to releasing the music video I directed for Ethan,” Lindquist said. “We had a lot of fun making it, and he’s, for my money, the most talented young songwriter in the U.P.”

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.


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