The string band Picks & Sticks is hard to pin down.
| Picks N’ Sticks Stringband. Photo provided.
The band can strum out old-time pieces from a couple centuries back or a pop tune from the 1960s. They can play a whole show of songs related to hobos, or cowboys or play for country dances. They can swing and sway and even rock... though the quartet sticks to acoustic instruments. "We do so much," said Sherry Humecky, one of the band members.
The Michigan-based band is set to return to Wood County for two shows this weekend - Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Pemberville Opera House and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Grand House Town Hall Opera House.
Tickets are $10 and are available at the door and in advance at Beeker's General Store and Riverbank Antiques in Pemberville and at Washers in Grand Rapids, or by calling (419) 287-4848.
The band includes Humecky's husband, Morgan, and Michael and Susan Gleason.
Humecky said the band got its start abut 10 years ago. Her kids were grown, and she was looking for a new venture. She and her husband, who had been in a rock 'n' roll band when they were in high school, started going to concerts and music festivals.
At one such gathering Humecky spotted a hammered dulcimer, and it captured her fancy, so she bought one and a started to learn it.
That help reignite her husband's love of music, so he started out playing banjo.
In the course of frequenting musical events they met the Gleasons, The two couples hit it off and started jamming together.
People heard them and thought they were pretty good. So Sherry Humecky said she made a few calls and made a few posters and before they knew it they had shows lined up.
The now make the rounds of fairs, festivals and dances, and are regulars at Greenfield Village and have played at the Detroit Zoo.
They all sing and play several instruments. "We have a lot to bank on," Humecky said.
"My husband is kind of the ringleader," she said. "He's one of those who likes to work the audience."
He's not afraid to go out into the audience and initiate a sing-along, or start asking for requests.
As with a show a few years back in Pemberville, Picks & Sticks expects to tap into a variety of styles for their local opera house shows.
They have enough experience amongst the band members to meet almost all requests. "We just have fun," she said, and that's exactly what they want their audiences to have as well.