|What's Mighty About Medicine?
Thursday, November 12, 2009
LANSING, MI -- Most people agree that music has the power to influence body and soul. Scientific research shows it can even alter the heart and respiration rate as well as brain and general well being. Music has the singular ability to touch human beings across all boundaries of time, culture and genre. Indeed, even the healing power of music has been documented for centuries. Celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma puts it simply:
"Healing? I think that is what music is all about. Don't you?"
Lansing based music duo Mighty Medicine not only believes all that, but strives to manifest it in their performances and recordings. Vocalist DeShaun Snead and guitarist Larry Neuhardt met in 2007 through friends and immediately started discussing their interest in music, both as listeners and musicians.
Neuhardt, 43, has been involved in the music business as performer and teacher for most of his adult life. 27 year old Michigan State University jazz studies student Snead is mentored there under well-known teachers and performers such as Sunny Wilkinson and Rodney Whitaker. Although she grew up in a family of singers, she didn't get serious about it until she sang at a fund raiser and got such a good response it was suggested she attend MSU to study. In addition to Mighty Medicine, she sings with other campus groups.
For awhile, the duo was known simply as DeShaun and Larry, but in the spring of 2009, the group began to take off under their current name. They now have many original songs, all written by Snead and Neuhardt. Several tracks on their first album, “Bloom,” include the title piece, “American Freestyle” and “Dawn of Aviation” and are examples of the “freestyle form” that best describes their sound and style. With lyrics like, “Sister call on grace to guide you, you're a flower just waiting to bloom. Must be an angel beside you, take a look around this very room…” there’s a blend of the ageless topics of love, hope and dreams, all set against the background of strong acoustic playing.
“We’ll just jam and there it is,” DeShaun explains about their collaboration.
The other sounds of Mighty Medicine are eclectic, often covering songs from the Beatles, Amy Winehouse, Stevie Wonder and even Led Zeppelin at their live performances. They describe their favorite genres as a mixture of jazz, rock and soul, yet have very strong views on what they present to an audience.
“We just want to stay positive,” Snead said. The duo tries to energize the audience and rejects lyrics which they feel are negative or hopeless.
“People seem really enthralled by our energy,” Neuhardt added. “The number one comment we get is, ‘You guys really look like you're having fun up there.’”
According to Snead, they really are enjoying themselves and doing what they love.
“This is what we really want to be doing,” she said. “We believe that music truly is a powerful force for good, for uplifting us all. Naming ourselves “Mighty Medicine” was very intentional and based on our deep personal believes about what music can do for people.”
Guitarist and vocalist Elden Kelly recently joined his friends on stage in Lansing. Inviting other talented artists to play with them is not uncommon at their shows.
“Mighty Medicine has great energy,” Kelly said. “They are definitely a duo to watch out for.”
For booking information or to learn and hear more, email
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My Space: http://www.myspace.com/mightymedicine