The 70th Annual Manchester Community Fair, “The biggest little fair in Michigan”,  will be held June 17-21, 2014. Gate Admission will be $5.00 All Day on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday and Thursday and Friday until 4pm. After 4pm on Thursday and Friday, Gate Admission will be $8.00. Children 8 years and under get free admission all week. Adult Season Passes cost $20.00, while Senior Season Passes are $16.00. Each day, a Ride Pass costs $16.00. This year, the fair will offer a five-day “MEGA PASS” for $50 which will include a wristband each day of the fair and permit all-day unlimited rides (which is $30 less than the cost of buying 5 days worth of wristbands).  Mega passes will be available for purchase at Manchester Market and United Bank & Trust around June 1st and at the fair office starting June 14. As a special feature of the fair for the whole week, There Will Be White Tigers! Check out our previous article for details. Our fair was incorporated in the summer of 1944. There hadn’t been a fair for the whole war, and with hostilities receding, Manchester felt it could finally allow itself some summer fun. There had been fairs and carnivals in the years before the war, but this fair would be the first officially incorporated in the village, and it is the fair that we hold every year. Now, 70 years on, it’s much the same as the founders planned: we’ve got rides and animals and food and fun.   Check out the Fair website for the full calendar of events, but here are just a few of the highlights for the week: TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014 The fair, as always, kicks off with the parade. The kids call it the “candy” parade because as all the fire trucks and police cars and marching bands and local business floats, and everything else, march through town, the participants toss out candy to the kids. The parade will run along Main Street starting at 6:30 p.m. The theme for the parade this year is “Manchester, Where Summer Begins” and honored as Parade Marshals will be Evelyn & Webb D. Seegert. The Seegerts have labored for the fair, and for our community, for years. The parade ends with the Crowning of the Fair Queen. (Learn about Queen contestants here.) WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18, 2014 The first full day at the fair will have, among other things, a lot of farm iron pulling a lot of weight. The classic tractor pull starts at 10:30 a.m. At 4:00 p.m. The Antique Tractors will do their pulling. After that, kids and adults will test their own mettle in the Pedal Pull (registration at 5pm, the pull itself starts at 6pm). And to finish off the evening, the Sarah Swanson Band plays at 8:00 p.m. (While a lovely singer, it is worth noting that she is not related to either me or my wife.) THURSDAY, JUNE 19, 2014 Thursday is Senior Citizen Day: 62 & over free until 5:00 p.m. The Senior Citizens Program will run at 1:30 p.m. At 7pm we will have a clogging show put on by A Different Beat (Cloggers). And then at 7:30pm, the first of TWO nights of the RODEO! The evening will wind down with local favorite and country music pro T.J. Thomas at 9pm. FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 2014 More cloggers, the Kreyola Cloggers will entertain us at 5:30 & 8:00 p.m on Friday night. And in between, starting at 7:30pm, our second night of the RODEO. The evening will be rounded out at 9pm with the band Split Decision. SATURDAY, JUNE 21, 2014 Saturday is Ladies Day, with special activities running from 10:00 a.m.-12 Noon. And as all Ladies will appreciate, the Large Tractor Pull will run throughout the day, from 10:30 a.m. thru evening. As noted elsewhere in this fine paper, the kids will have the chance to Touch an Emergency Vehicle (w/ demonstrations) (check out our article for more details) from 2-5:00 p.m. Then MORE CLOGGERS,  Pure Energy Cloggers will perform from 2 & 5:00 p.m. All of the little ladies of Manchester will have a chance to enjoy a Tea Party w/ Cinderella at 2:30 p.m. There will also be a Cinderella Stage Show at 4:00 p.m, followed by Colors the Clown from 4:30-6:30 p.m, the Flying Aces (a frisbee exhibition team) at 5:30 p.m, a Taylor Swift impersonator at 6:00 p.m. and large tractors pulling and pulling all the while. At 7:30pm, the evening will conclude with the bluegrass sweetness of the Saline Fiddlers. Stay connected with the Fair on Facebook. And find the full schedule and all the information at their website. Curious about why the fair is so much earlier?Check out our reporting for the details. And just to whet your appetite even further, Rebecca Harvey of the Fair Committee has generously shared several photos from recent fairs to remind you off all the fun planned.”

The Manchester Mirror

The new CD (This Side of Madness) is really captivating, and you have redefined the message of the tormented ballad. I know you love the slow jams, and you guys do it well. Excellent lyrics, by the way, that put a new twist on melancholy and lament. They make you think instead of being up front obvious messages. Patrick (Thomas) plays stellar guitar and the fresh musical ideas the guys deliver along with different, but convincing chord changes lend to mystique and interest making you want to hear more. Keep on blastin’ out those strong vocals, baby. Oh, and by the way, how does someone so little have a voice so big? ~CHARLIE HUHN, FOGHAT Lead Singer/Guitarist/Songwriter (formerly of Humble Pie and Ted Nugent)” - Charlie Huhn

— Charlie Huhn (Foghat)

A palatable music partnership posted today on Sarah Swanson's latest album, "This Side of Madness" is now available for purchase: physical CD or HQ download. Her partner in kind, Patrick Thomas on guitar, plays along side the songwriting siren who flashes phrasing of Smith and Nicks while Patrick punches rock and roll guitar tones in the rhythmic face. Brilliant.” - Don Kimenker

  5 STARS: When I think about the CD’s that take a ride from their cases to my player most often, they are by artists who reveal the most about themselves, and the world around them. Artists like Sarah Swanson, who is not afraid to let us into her world, both during the best of times and the worst. Sarah Swanson writes and sings with true passion, which can be heard in every song on This Side of Madness. I come away with a new favorite song after each listen. This disk has a lot to give. Savor. Enjoy.     5 STARS: The Best CD I've Heard All Year! From front to back, Sarah Swanson's "This Side of Madness" captures innate feelings in us all. The arrangements are immaculate; The lyrics are powerful and poignant; Sarah's vocals are beautiful and touched a part of me I'd not felt in a while. If you buy any CDs this year, invest in "This Side of Madness", you will NOT be disappointed! Amazing! Thank you for sharing your talents with the world! 5 STARS: Great Guitar Driven Rock and Roll  Sarah and her band deliver on this guitar driven CD. Powerful songs delivered with authority and power. Mixing influences of rock, folk and country brought together with Sarah's edgy and gritty vocals, then polished with Patrick Thomas' tasty guitar work.   5 STARS: Sarah Swanson's Album This Side of Madness: This is the 2nd CD that I have purchased that Sarah Swanson and her band has put out. I really enjoy her style of music and the music that band members put out. To me her music tells a great story with each song. Bluesie kind of sound and it rocks. In each of her songs I think we all have a story that relates. This Side Of Madness is a great Cd..Keep up the great work.    ” - Multiples

CD Baby "This Side of Madness"

  Eclectic Chair 344 November 5th,'12 1-3pm on Q90.1Fm Welcome to the Eclectic Chair's cyber home. No Stream Yet…This week’s show is Eclectic Chair #344 w/Trish Lewis that airs Monday November 5th, 2012 from 1-3pm on Wucx Q90.1Fm SEE:  ” - Trish Lewis

Wucx-FM Electric Chair Radio

My Latest Music Recommendations! As my regular readers know, music is very important to me, in a lot of ways. And, I would like to give some props to some new(er) folks you may not have heard of, but you SHOULD!!!! Yes, this is rock & roll, in a variety of forms. I am a rock and roll lover, to my core. I listen to mellow stuff, prog rock, classic rock, singer/songwriter stuff, mostly. SO, here we go! I HIGHLY recommend you check them out, give them a listen, call your radio stations, ask for their music, and most of all BUY THEIR CDS!!! The Sarah Swanson Band I love Sarah’s voice and lyrics. She’s also a pretty cool gal. The second song to be released is the title track(THIS SIDE OF MADNESS), and it is my fave Great band, great tunes! Call your radio station and ask for them! Chris Velan I adore Chris Velan. I’ve been listening to him for a couple years. He is from Montreal originally, and I find his stuff to just be all good, in general. Ben Draiman Just found him last week. CD release next week, give ‘em a listen! I’m digging it! Brett Mitchell I am lucky enough to have seen Brett a kajillion times, and lucky enough that he has come and seen my band too! His 2nd CD has been out for a while, but who cares! Good stuff!!!! Devils on Your Shoulder Their first CD of original music is being released at the end of the month. I love these guys, it’s a very different feel for music, something I can’t classify. I am, again, very lucky to know these folks Okay, so there are FIVE music recommendations! Find them on FB, *like* them, listen to them, enjoy the music! I know I will! ” - Angela Dodge

Sarah Swanson's album Dark Sunshine is both dark at times, light at others, but always rich with insight and emotion.  From the opening track of "After You Move On," which features a warm, yet sweet guitar played by Patrick Thomas to Sarah's amazing voice and meaningful lyrics, Dark Sunshine offers much for listeners of Americana and AAA.  Dark Sunshine answers the question (or maybe doesn't) of if, or when, you "can trust a girl with a broken heart. Sarah's songwriting is both personal and universal and on songs such as "Free", "Not What You Wanted", and "Everything Changed", Sarah lays out her heart, soul, but mostly her mind, into her lyrics. In today's era we don't usually take the time to curl up in "the big chair" with headsets on and listen to an entire album, but Sarah Swanson's album Dark Sunshine just might inspire the listener in this day and age, from time to time, that is exactly what we need to do.  Sarah Swanson's album Dark Sunshine is excellently produced, solid instrumentally, and a bittersweet joy to listen to.  Because as Sarah writes in "After You Move On", you "can't wait forever on a dream." You also can't go wrong in listening to the songs of Sarah Swanson on her newest album Dark Sunshine.” - Tom Gilding General Manager WBSD FM Burlington WI


The patio of will continue to host its free noon concert series this week as the summer winds down. The August 13 event features indie singer-songwriter Sarah Swanson, whose “Dark Sunshine” has been described in promotional materials as “a blend of '70s West Coast rock and dark, soulful tunes.” Listeners have described Swanson’s voice as a “haunting, strong presence.” All songs on “Dark Sunshine” are, she has said, “intensely personal, yet universal.” Swanson’s musical experience began in her childhood, where she spent time writing, singing and playing music influenced by the 70s music collection of her parents, which was, she relates on her website, “laced with an edgy and often haunting alternative songwriter rock sound of today.” In both high school and college, Swanson played in cover bands and continued to write songs. Although Swanson eventually switched directions and focused on other interests for a few years, she never stopped writing songs in her spare time. According to her website, Swanson met local guitarist Patrick Thomas at the Blind Pig, and the two married in 2002. PREVIEW Sarah Swanson Who: Local singer-songwriter. What: Indie folk/pop. Where: The patio at, 301 East Liberty Street. When: Friday at noon. How much: Free. Thomas encouraged her to return to the studio, and they worked together on Swanson's album, "Dark Sunshine," produced at Big Sky in Ann Arbor. This week, Swanson and her band will take the stage at our very own 301 East Liberty location, sharing the raw, emotional sound that has come to characterize her music with concert-goers who join in. ” - Courtney Rabideau


Subtle and musically tasteful, Sarah Swanson's CD, "Dark Sunshine", begins with a reflection on freedom and cautionary intimacy in the first track, "After You Move On". Swanson writes, 'i knew you when i thought i was free, i must have been crazy. . .you say have an understanding, i say i have one too, i'm deceiving you right from the start, did you trust the girl with the broken heart.. .she'll only bring you down'. Swanson at once sings of herself in first and second person, taking that emotional cue to distance oneself from profoundly honest personal reflection. Swanson doesn't want to be the deceiver, yet may be, and in the way Cash's "Hurt" sweetly describes a personal pain, so does a pain get communicated here. Supporting the tune is world-class guitarist and producer, Patrick Thomas. His lyrical and textured guitar work is a backdrop and first-rate canvas to Swanson's colors.   The guitar playing has an airy-voiced Travis lean in cuts like "Blue". We hear influences from Winwood, Zep, to Nicks - 70's substantial style with contemporary rhythmic choices in the (drumming). When the rock kicks in, the drums from Chuck Mauk are a page out of Bonham-land. Swanson's voice soars above with conviction in the varied dynamic tune that turns into a modern throw-back trip to when a music piece could move from heaven to hell and back again. Track 5, "Dance with Me", is a textural masterpiece. Swanson's voice invites with a somber love as she sings 'dance with more time'. Thomas' guitar work which consists of at least six layers of beauty, is a lesson in subtlety and restraint as the supportive music structure caresses the vocals like a parent. We are reminded of the production nuances of Natalie Merchant's first solo records. Swanson's voice, though, is more accessible. The timbre of her voice is up-front and without a noticeable wash of effects. The result is a listening experience that is pure and substantially personal. In track 6, "Afraid of Everything", piano and guitar exchange phrases as Swanson continues with the reflective pace, 'in this small town, your face is everywhere, a sign of complete disaster, when you're afraid of everything, it's not the easiest way to live'.   Track 7, "You're My Man", is the one upbeat tune in the collection - a shock of countrified proportions. The tune, dedicated to a very lucky guy, is from a yee-haw lucky gal, and one of the most commercial ditties we've heard in a long time. The personal lyrics are country-perfect with a grin at life and a mountain-top shout, "You're My Man". Lyrics are light and revealing, 'sometimes things get crazy and i say i'm runnin away, you don't need to worry baby, you know i'll always stay, all i know is you're my man'. The tune chronicles her admiration of this guy as he plays and performs guitar, safely guides her through wildlife, and loves the domestic role of step-Mom for his son.   Track 8, "No Goodbyes", is the epic band tune on the record. Swanson sings, 'it's impossible to say you don't have to stay, i'm going back to that place to see you smile, no goodbyes'. Piano lays down the perpetual chord changes, snare hits the four, and, again, the guitar work is perfect. There's something here that's tangible but hard to achieve. Clearly, Swanson and guitarist, Thomas, are incredible musicians in their own right, as are all the musicians in tow, yet the songs, sacred in approach from a production standpoint, are respected around the message and composition. And in that, Swanson's vocal delivery bleeds honesty in communication while the guitar work is there to agree and nurture the song - as does the rest of the instrumentation - without the kind of acrobatics that take away from song yet is so prevalent in much of contemporary popular music. The final song is Swanson solo - piano and vocal - in "I Know You". She sings, 'time has a way of playing her games, i have played some games of my own, i did not know that you were not playing, looking back, i should have known. . .you can run, but the past is right behind you, and I will always know you'. The paradox of this substantial quality album is clear and reflected in the album title. Swanson writes of struggle, pain, self-pity and condemnation, while maintaining a pragmatic love and acceptance in life - the balance, if you will, between black and white, good and evil, and "Dark Sunshine". - d.k. ” - Don Kimenker Review

Indie rocker returns to Midland Indie rock artist Sarah Swanson returns to her hometown of Midland on Saturday, February 26 to perform in concert at Creative 360 presented by Phoenix Productions. Swanson, who is promoting her latest release Dark Sunshine, is ecstatic about playing in front of long time friends and new fans.   “This upcoming show means the world to me. I started writing songs when I was a kid back at Sugnet School. I followed the teen musicians from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship which I attended all through school, and I joined my first band in Midland,” recalls Swanson. “Even though I've lived in Ann Arbor for years, I still feel nostalgic toward Midland when I visit. It is a long time dream of mine to sing these songs here where I grew up.”  Swanson's music ranges from intense, moody confessionals to rock-based edgier songs, each punctuated by personal and introspective lyrics. While Swanson is the primary songwriter, guitarist Patrick Thomas co-wrote some of the songs on the newest CD, including the eclectic fan-favorite “Blue” and “Free”, which found airplay on dozens of radio stations across the country.  Nine of the 10 songs from the CD hit the airwaves, but the uptempo “Free” was the breakout song in radio rotation from Hawaii to Maine and from Texas to Minnesota.   “We were astounded when the songs especially 'Free' started showing up on stations all over the country,” Swanson says. This led to in-studio performances and interviews. “It is an amazing feeling to hear your song on the radio!”  Dark Sunshine charted with the national Americana Music Association for weeks as well as charting on the Roots Music Report. The CD was recently nominated for the West Michigan Jammie Awards in the categories of Best Female Solo and Best Rock/Pop CD.  Although Swanson's music leans toward a laid back sound, she assures concertgoers that the shows are energetic, engaging, and well-executed thanks to her phenomenally talented band.   “We'll be performing a number of selections off of Dark Sunshine as well as introducing a few new songs from our upcoming CD which we start recording in March,” Swanson says. “This band does like to rock so we also play a few of our favorite cover songs which wraps nicely into our love for 70s rock.”  Swanson will be joined on stage by musicians from Southeast Michigan and Ohio including guitarist Thomas, guitarist Rod Capps, drummer Chuck Mauk, bassist Don Beyer, and back-up vocalist and percussionist Jennifer Buehrer.  Acoustic performers Paledave and Jenny Fair will open the show on February 26 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Creative 360 is located at 1517 Bayliss St. in Midland. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids, and can be purchased the night of the show.  For more information or to hear Swanson's music visit: or ” - Midland Daily News

— Midland Daily News

An inspiring work by strong and tempered vocalist Sarah Swanson sets the mood for this initial effort. Her excellent songwriting and high quality production reveals superb and memorable performances by supporting musicians helping to create overall strength of this classic yet contemporary visit into her inner feelings. A must listen to. Go Sarah and Patrick!  Charlie Huhn of Foghat ” - Charlie Huhn of Foghat

— New Dark Sunshine Review

Sarah Swanson: This Side of Madness

Join Sarah Swanson Email List