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Local musician shares thoughts on performing, latest album and playing for Bob Parker series

February 16, 2017

John Merchant has paid his dues as a local musician, earning a reputation of working hard to please all kinds of crowds.

He plays rock ’n’ roll, ’80s hair metal music and country, including some of his own tunes.

Merchant knows the music, rarely reading from an iPad for chords or lyrics. He plays acoustic gigs around town every now and then, performing such a variety that it can be a real surprise to hear what genre he decides.

Merchant is known for his humility and his talent.

Three of his original songs — “Midwest Blues,” “No Graceland,” and “Down So Long” — are featured on his new CD, “Midwest Blues.”

It’s been a recurring gig to hear John Merchant and Ashley Youngstrom perform together and she’s a vocalist on the CD.

Merchant volunteers at Sandcastles Children’s Museum by helping on the Ludrock/Sandcastles Music Stage. He encourages children to perform with him, and when they do, their eyes light up and they laugh and smile, especially when they all get a beat going and play together.

On Sunday, Feb. 19, John Merchant will be performing on the Ludrock/Sandcastles Children’s Museum stage from 4 to 6 p.m. with Angela Corbin, violinist from the band Bettie Paige during the Bob Parker Winter Music Series. All donations go toward the Bob Parker Music Enrichment Fund, which supports local youths in pursuit of their musical aspirations. The fund is established through the Community Foundation for Mason County.

Read the full story in Thursday’s Ludington Daily News print and eEditions.