A new record and new single from two of West Michigan's rising stars
Join Austin Benzing for the release of his new EP, "Live from Dogtown". Grace Theisen premieres a new single, "Master of Fire" as she begins her Fall 2022 tour.

Austin Benzing is a West Michigan based singer, songwriter, and guitarist making a mess in the genre sandbox. His two records boast a wide array of influences, resulting in Michigan made country-fied progressive rock with a silver of acid jazz that is guaranteed to get you moving. Growing up on the fringe of the Manistee National Forest, Benzing picked up a guitar at age 10. Inspired by classic country and heavy metal influences like Buck Owens, George Jones and Metallica, it quickly became his focus to make his own mark. As his musical appetite increased to artists like bluegrass’ Punch Brothers, jazz’s Julian Lage and the jam band Umphrey’s McGee, his songwriting delved into multiple projects and interests. Benzing is a member of acclaimed West Michigan band,The Turnips, and the Avocadsquad collaboration collective. He was also part of the Balsam Brothers, a popular "aggressively happy" progressive rock band that came out of Ferris State University and birthed two records. Conceding that he caught “a touch of that country bug,” Benzing’s solo twangy 2021 full length release "Steady Your Nerves", boasts classic country harmonies, searing instrumentals and some heavier, rock-edged salvos. “My solo album has eight tracks exploring the boundaries of country music” says Benzing, noting the project features contributions from Joe Hettinga and members of The Turnips, Ultraviolet Hippopotamus, among others. His upcoming EP features original songs "Live from Dogtown" shot and recorded at Dogtown Studios with Robby Fischer and Michael Dause (The Accidentals), then mixed by Devin Anderson. Olivia Vargas and Marissa Peak of August lend vocals, and other members of Michigan bands like The Turnips, YNot, and more contibute their musical talents. Benzing also plays with Michigan country band, Gunnar and the Grizzly Boys, and Bluewater Kings Band. When he's not shredding guitar, Benzing enjoys spending time in nature and working on guitars as a luthier.

Grace Theisen is a Kalamazoo-based independent Blues/Americana artist. Grace’s love for music started in her childhood living room, harmonizing to folk and blues songs with her family. Inspired by a variety of artists from bluegrass/folk singers like Patty Griffin and Alison Krauss to 1950’s & 60’s Beatles and The Supremes to the King of Blues, B.B. King. She graduated from Hope College with double major in Psychology and Women’s Studies. As her love for musical composition evolved throughout her college career, she realized singing and songwriting were having a far greater impact on her life than she anticipated. From 2012-2018, Grace co-founded and ran a nonprofit called Songs Against Slavery. They worked to fight sex trafficking in the United States by raising money and awareness through benefit concerts and musician partnerships. They ran 28 benefit concerts in eight states and raised over $375,000 to aid in the fight against sex trafficking. Grace lived in Nashville, TN from 2015-2018 to run SAS full-time. In that time she opened for Emmylou Harris, played the infamous Bluebird Cafe, participated in songwriter rounds at The Listening Room and opened for Matthew Perryman Jones at The Nashville City Winery. Grace won Cari Cole’s Best New Artist of 2021 and was named “Artist To Watch” by Local Spins media outlet in January of 2022. In March, she released her 3rd EP, Dance With The Shadows. This record was produced by Jake Rye of the Social Recording Company who is also the producer for fellow Michigan artists: Michigander, Brother Elsey, Leland Blue, Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions.From that EP, the Down To The River official music video won Best Americana Video & The Audience Choice Award at the 2022 Michigan Music Video Awards. Behind the Rain was picked up by one of Spotify's official playlists, Home At Last. Her upcoming single, Master of Fire, is in celebration of the ACLU of Michigan getting Reproductive Freedom for All on the Michigan ballot this fall.