James and the Drifters had quite the week. Monday we were allowed into Ernest C Brooks State Correctional Facility in Muskegon, MI. to play for the inmates. 4 hours north west, through South Bend and up. We anxiously arrived at the facility loaded all of our equipment into tubs. There was 10 of us all together; including Steph Morin (a reporter for H.U), Jack Heller (English Prof. and supporter of Shakespeare Behind Bars), Perry Childs (sound guy), and Kyle Miller (Mr. Chamberlin’s personal guitar tech).
It took about 30minutes to get checked in and allowed into the yard. We set up by the basketball hoops. The weather was cool and several trees provided us with some shelter. We set up the instruments, ran the wires, and turned up loud.
After an hour of setting up and sound checking the inmates began pouring out from every building like ants from the mounds. Some came over to listen to the music, some to play ball, and some to just check on the situation. There were about 160 inmates that settled in for the entire hour long set. Some danced, some clapped, some just smiled as Brent described the frustrating situation that brought about the song “Train”.
After the set was over the band received a warm applause from the audience. We had some time to greet the inmates after the set and talk about life and music. It was a beautiful glimpse of grace and hope within the prison walls.
We are currently working through all the material that makes up our next two album:
Before the Dawn: Otter Lake Sessions
There are lots of upcoming August and September shows as well!