Get out and enjoy some Northern Michigan music! The Crane Wives, a “home grown indie-folk outfit from Grand Rapids” are performing in Traverse City and Glen Arbor. They will be playing in Traverse City on Friday, July 24 and on Sunday, July 26 in Glen Arbor. Read on to learn more about this four-person indie group!


The Crane Wives

How they got their start

The band developed from a duo of Emilee Petersmark (guitar/vocals) and Kate Pillsbury (guitar/vocals) who worked together in a restaurant in Grandville. Guitarist Tom Gunnels and drummer Dan Rickabus had been playing together since high school, including in a rock and blues band with Pillsbury. The four joined forces in 2010, with Gunnels switching to banjo for a folkier feel. Occasional soundman Ben Zito was added as the band’s bass player, completing the original lineup.


Folk rock

Influences and Inspirations

Various indie, rock and folk antecedents

Additional Background

The band tours across Michigan, the surrounding states, and elsewhere across the country. Named for a song by the Decemberists, the Crane Wives tried to get an opening slot for that band’s performance at Calvin College but were turned down. Decemberists lead singer Colin Meloy saw their album Safe Ship, Harbored and had his photo taken with it; in response, numerous friends and fans took their own photos with the same pose and posted them to Facebook, creating a buzz for the band. The group released its second album, The Fool in Her Wedding Gown, in September 2012. Gunnels left the group late this past winter, making the Crane Wives a four-piece. The group’s third album and its first as a quartet, Coyote Stories, is scheduled for release next month, with another soon to follow.


“The Crane Wives are becoming a staple in the conversation about Michigan —Detroit Metro Times 

“The Crane Wives have released two acclaimed albums in the folk-rock, folk-pop and Americana vein. The band’s popularity has soared during that time period with West Michigan shows often selling out.” —


Inside Out Gallery in Traverse City & Lake Street Studios in Glen Arbor

Date & Time

July 24, 9 pm (Traverse City), July 26, 8 pm (Glen Arbor)

Ticket information

Tickets are $10 for TC, $13 for Glen Arbor ($15 for non-members of Glen Arbor Art Association)

For more

Find more Northern Michigan Events here!