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May Erlewine - Music in My Life

May Erlewine - Music in My Life

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Published by Michael Erlewine
All-Music Guide founder Michael Erlewine talks about his talented daughter, singer/songwriter May Erlewine.
All-Music Guide founder Michael Erlewine talks about his talented daughter, singer/songwriter May Erlewine.

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Published by: Michael Erlewine on Apr 20, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 MUSIC IN MY LIFE TODAY: May ErlewineBy Michael ErlewineI have been telling you some of my stories from the1960s, and I have more coming. Today I break to tellyou something about music in my life right now, likethis last Wednesday night, and a musician asimportant to me as any back then..
I have three beautiful daughters and one wonderfulson. It is almost a full-time job keeping up with whateach of them are doing, and the winds of changehave scattered them here and there across Michigan.And my youngest daughter May (she is thirty yearsold) travels almost all the time because she is aperforming musician, like I was back in the 1960s. So
I don’t always know where she is half the time.
I do know she just recently came back from a west-coast tour of several weeks and both she and herhusband Seth Bernard promptly came down withsome flu-bug or other, so I know they have mostlybeen home recovering. Yet sick or not, they have atight schedule of performances with people countingon their being there to play. They usually findthemselves playing whether they are sick or well. Andthis was the case last night. May was still not feelingwell. And then May and her husband Seth are goingon an east-coast tour next week, so there is only asmall window of time for her to recover and for me toactually see her before their next tour.Every kid is special, as all parents know. I was one offive boys and we boys always wanted to know whichof her sons mom liked the best. Well, as a parentmyself, I now know that it is not like that at all. I loveall of my four kids equally but differently, becausethey are each very different from one another.May was homeschooled, knows how to make her ownclothes, is very self-sufficient, etc., and years beforeshe became a professional entertainer she wasentertaining herself around our home in marvelousways that captured all of our attention. Obviouslythese were signs of what was to come, but it is easierto look back and see how it all fits together now than itwas to look forward and read the tea leaves.
How could I know that May would become a top-flightsongwriter and singer, fulfilling my own dream and
desire to write music. She has appeared on “A PrairieHome Companion” and at concerts and festivals all
over. I catch her acts whenever I can, but winter iswhen I see her the most, because it is not festivalseason. During summer she is often on the road andsometimes hard to even locate much less get to.Last night she was playing a small church in LakeAnn, Michigan, about 90 miles from where we live.She was doing a special benefit concert for somecommunity church work in South America. Notknowing for sure whether May would even be able toshow up, Margaret and I took a chance and headedout to give her our support.The pastor of the Advent Lutheran Church where theywere performing, Justin Grimm, was there to greet usand it is always nice to see him. Pastor Grimm is avery forward-looking individual and all of the youngMichigan musicians that I know support him. He hadthe band set up where the altar usually is, right infront of a modern wooden cross. It all fit together well.
There is no “holier than thou” feeling with Pastor 
Grimm. He invited us to a small church potluck beforethe show with his congregation, which was nice.Last night May was playing piano, guitar, and singing.
It was billed as an “All May’s Songs” show, and
backing her up was her husband Seth Bernard (also awonderful songwriter and singer) on guitar, and jazzdrummer Mike Shimmin on percussion. Because she
was not well, May’s voice was more limited than usual
and could not reach the highest notes, but sheunderstood this and adjusted it accordingly. I couldhardly tell the difference because her heart was stillright there in the songs. She can raise the hair on the

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