“If history were taught in the form of stories.. it would never be forgotten”
- Rudyard Kipling
July 20 Algonac High School “RESCUE”
August 3rd Port Huron Mich Lighthouse Festival “STORM”
It’s fair to say most of the stories of shipwrecks on the Great Lakes have been lost to the ages. Thousands of ships- from sailing schooners to steel freighters- have vanished on these inland seas. The cause of these accidents varies, from collisions to fire and strandings. But November gales are the most notorious, appearing with little notice during the months when shipping companies are scrambling to get their final loads across the lakes before freeze-up.
Storm remembers these terrifying gales, and the survivals of sailors who were caught in the tempest. Combining actual eyewitness interviews with spellbinding underwater video, Storm fuses contemporary music to create a history lesson that cannot be forgotten.
Ric Mixter hosts Storm, transporting the audience back to the age of sail and steam. Dan Hall provides the melody, with lyrics derived from historical accounts of survivors. Dan’s songs are as powerful as the massive modern freighters he heralds in “Thousand Foot Keel”, and his amazing voice provides requiem for those lost to the lakes.
Ric Mixter has been featured on the History and Discovery channels as an expert on Great Lakes storms. He has produced over 30 programs for PBS and tours the Midwest as one of the most popular shipwreck lecturers. Ric has visited over 100 shipwrecks, from German U-Boats to 150 year old schooners. He’s traveled thousands of miles to record wrecks in the ocean and on the lakes and he’s one of the few to actually visit the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Storm merges the unique on-stage personas of Hall and Mixter, utilizing a giant video screen to share archived imagery during the songs and stories. Over 300 years of exploration and navigation are unveiled to the audience, from French fur trading ships to modern cement boats that currently ply the lakes. Customized to each audience, the show changes as the duo tours around the Great Lakes. The history of shipyards at Bay City may be replaced with the Black Friday Storm when visiting Cleveland.
The sinking of the Cedarville at Mackinaw City is shared with audiences in Northern Michigan, while the tragedy of the carferry Milwaukee is highlighted in Wisconsin. Each concert is unique, allowing for fans to see multiple performances during the year. And with an estimated 5000 shipwrecks on the lakes, Storm will always be a new experience.