Mighty Medicine
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Mighty Medicine

Lansing, Michigan, United States | SELF

Lansing, Michigan, United States | SELF
Band Rock Folk

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"What's Mighty About Medicine?"

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
mightymedicine@gmail.com or visit these links:

My Space: http://www.myspace.com/mightymedicine
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Mi.MightyMedicine - The New Citzen's Press


"Soulful Jazz in Lansing's Old Town"

Mighty Medicine blends the best of pop, rock, blues, jazz, folk and gospel into one rockin' duo of guitarist and folk instrumentalist Larry Neuhardt and vocalist and percussionist DeShaun Sparkle Snead. Since 2009, the two have played 300 venues and sold more than 1,000 copies of their independent LP, "Bloom."

More than anything, Mighty Medicine epitomizes gospel-charged soul.

Mighty Medicine plays the Chrome Cat in Old Town today - a venue Neuhardt says is one of the Lansing duo's favorites.

"The Chrome Cat has a very welcoming atmosphere that has allowed us to gain a following there," he said. "There is always a very up-beat feeling that gives us a lot of energy. When we play so many different people come out to see us. There is a wide diversity of people who come to see us there from all age groups and backgrounds. The Chrome Cat gives the environment for this to happen ... I think other bars in town can't really do this."

Next up for Mighty Medicine: a new, self-titled album out May 1, which the duo is recording at Herron Studio in East Lansing. - The Lansing State Journal


"Mighty Medicine's Mighty Healing Powers"

Out at a local pizza shop in Lansing, DeShaun Snead's and Larry Neuhardt's uniquely bluesy version of the Grateful Dead song, "Golden Road" perfectly described the scene as they played it. The two from the band Mighty Medicine, impulsively got up from the table to dance and sing with sun shining in.

The employees turned the house music down, passerbys from outside peered into the window, and before too long a small crowd had gathered and expressed their delight and appreciation by applauding and bobbing along.

"That's why we go by the name Mighty Medicine," Neuhardt said. "We try to uplift everybody by being positive and healing people through our music, just like medicine."

Last summer, Mighty Medicine raised a stir in Lansing with its EP Bloom. Its first full-length album, scheduled to premiere in January, should be a close follow-up, said guitarist Neuhardt, with music that appeals to one's soul.

"The music we play is a lot of melody and we intertwine my guitar with [Snead's] singing and come up with a third element," Neuhardt said.

And that third element is powerful. Only a duo, there is this external, invisible force that carries them and their music, making it so much stronger, louder and powerful that one can hardly believe such strength can come from just two people.

But the differences between the two are immense. Snead, a 27 year-old school-trained musician who attended MSU's Jazz studies program, and Neuhardt a 43-year-old former teacher and self-taught musician, couldn't be more different.

"There aren't a lot of duos like us, so diverse yet so small as diverse as you probably could get with just two people," Snead said. "We want to help people see that you can be friends with everybody."

The two are grateful to have found each other - they met through a mutual friend - and although they make clear that their intent to spread positive messages to their audience, it's clear the duo has in turn treated themselves in the process.

"I think both of our lives and personalities have improved on a deeper level because of the music, big learning experiences and growth," Neuhardt said.

It's all about bringing people together through music, Snead added.

"We want to be their mighty medicine, come get your meds, they have no negative side effects, just positive ones like just dancing and smiles." - The Revue Magazine


Discography

Bloom (2009)
Mighty Medicine (2011)

Photos

Bio

Mighty Medicine consists of guitarist, Larry Neuhardt, and vocalist/percussionist, DeShaun Sparkle Snead. The talented duo’s repertoire includes more than 150 popular songs from many different genres, including pop, rock, blues, gospel, jazz, and folk.

Larry is an expert and adept American rock and folk instrumentalist. He has developed an original fingerstyle technique that excites and draws listeners. Writing and improvising on guitar since he was twelve, Larry has a special stage presence that connects with audiences. He produces soundtracks for an independent movie company, organizes countless concerts, and is featured on television commercials and films. DeShaun is unquestionably an outstanding vocalist with a unique style. In her live performance, she brings a powerful and captivating presence to the stage. Singing since she was four years old and writing music since she was seven, DeShaun is a multi-instrumentalist, performing on piano, guitar and percussion. She has studied jazz vocal performance at Michigan State University with Rodney Whitaker and Sunny Wilkinson. When she is not performing, she is regularly writing new lyrics and melody lines to bring to Mighty Medicine. Her influences include artists like Ella Fitzgerald, the Beatles, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and The Grateful Dead.

Since the summer of 2009, Mighty Medicine has performed almost 500 concerts in such venues as clubs, private and corporate parties, weddings, retirement communities, coffee shops and festivals. Mighty Medicine is greeted with enthusiasm when performing in the Chicago area and have fans across the state of Michigan and beyond. They have also played live on multiple radio and television programs and are featured on movie soundtracks.

Spanning the popular genres, there is a classic quality to Mighty Medicine's songwriting that harkens back to American Standards in the blues, rock, soul, jazz, folk and new age genres. Bloom, their first independent LP, was released in 2009, and has sold successfully. Mighty Medicine has recently released their new CD, Mighty Medicine. This album, recorded and mastered in Okemos, Michigan at Heron Productions, also includes collaborations with some of the finest musicians in the Mid-west, including renowned bassist Rodney Whitaker and Andy Wilson, trumpeter/harmonica player from the band, Steppin’ In It. Mighty Medicine has built a reputation for making great music that is healing and uplifting. They send a positive message, shaping a growing musical community. Now they want to bring their high-energy music to you.