The Crane Wives gets Kentwood’s Summer Concert Series off to a rockin’ start

The Crane Wives opens the Kentwood Summer Concert Series tonight.

By Joanne Bailey-Boorsma


The wait is over. The Kentwood Summer Concert Series kicks off tonight with a bang as the local favorite The Crane Wives take the stage at 7 p.m.


“Kentwood’s concert series offers something for the whole family,” said Kentwood Parks and Recreation Director Val Romeo. “It’s a great opportunity to kick back, relax with your favorite snack or local craft beer and enjoy the show.”


The annual concert series is every Thursday from 7 – 8:30 p.m. on the lawn located behind the Kentwood City Hall, 4900 Breton Rd. SE. Concert-goers can bring their own food and drinks or sample from food trucks, such as Patty Matters, Moochies Dream Cream, Doughrunts, and B.D.’s BBQ.


“We have a few different food trucks this year,” said Laura Barbrick, the marketing and events coordinator for the Kentwood Parks and Recreation Department. The series also is part of the Kentwood’s 50th Anniversary celebration, which kicked off in February and continues throughout the year. In fact, the week after the Summer Concert Series ends, the city will host the Kentwood 50th Anniversary community celebration Aug. 11 and 12.


This year’s Summer Outdoor Concert Series has an impressive line up with female-fronted, harmony-driven folk-rock/pop group The Crane Wives starting the series off. From murky origins in Chinese restaurants, high school ska bands, and dorm room jam sessions, the band came together in 2010. Since then, the group has won seven “Jammie” awards from WYCE; Best Folk/Country song winner from ArtPrize 2012; and the group’s song “High Horse” was selected as one of the “Entries We Love” from NPR Tiny Desk Contest in 2017.


The group has released four albums including the dual set “Coyote Stories” (2015) and “Foxlore” (2016), plus a series of new singles in 2017.


The Crane Wives includes founders Kate Pillsbury, guitars and vocals, and Emilee Petersmark, guitars, banjo, and vocals, along with Dan Rickabus, drums and harmony vocals, and Ben Zito, bass.


The rest of the Summer Concert Series includes June 22 Tom Cutts & Friends; July 13 The Mainstays; July 20 Look Out Lincoln; July 27 The Tomas Esparza Blues Band; and Aug. 3 May Erlewine.


For more information on the concert series, visit