PHOTO STORY: Schlitz Creek rages at Music in the Park – Leader Publications


DOWAGIAC — From the mountains of Kalamazoo, Schlitz Creek descended on Dowagiac last Thursday for an evening of hot pickin’ bluegrass on a full lawn at the Dowagiac Library Events Pavilion.

Schlitz Creek is made up of John Speeter on mandolin, Dave Dekema on acoustic guitar, Nick Griffith on double bass and Nick Deaton on banjo. Gathered around a mic stand, the band played classic bluegrass from artists like The Dillards, plus selections from Elton John, Pure Prairie and more.

“We’re known as the best bluegrass band in our price range,” Dekema said, to the delight of the crowd. The group, which has been together for 20 years, interspersed jokes between most of the songs.

As a favorite with local residents, Music in the Park organizer Zena Burns said booking Schlitz Creek was a no-brainer after hearing their rendition of Elton John’s “Honky Cat.”

Remaining shows

  • June 16 – Skeletons | R&B, Motown
  • June 23 – Jordan Hamilton | Cello-based hip-hop, soul
  • June 30 – Cabildo | latin rock
  • July 7 – Ada LeAnn | Pop, featured in NBC’s American Song Contest
  • July 14 – Someone’s Friends | Rock covers from the 80s, 90s and more
  • July 21 – Hodie Snitch | outlaw country
  • July 28: Texas Touch | classic country
  • August 4: Luminos | modern a cappella


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