Monday, July 4, 2011

Mr. B: Joybox Express arrives in Grand Rapids

Posted By on Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 8:41 AM

Pianist Mr. B, aka Mark Braun, and his band, the Joybox Express, are cycling and gigging -- hauling Mark's piano and a full band's worth of equipment --  from Holland to Detroit, July 2-15th -- and they’re sharing their adventures with MT blog readers.

The JBE rolled 30 miles yesterday, from Holland, in 83 degree heat. The terrain was a challenge, limiting us to a 6 mph average, factoring in resting and eating. Up and down, long rolling hills --  a great day.

We were very pleasantly surprised when several passers-by recognized us, yelling out words of encouragement. This whole process is so unusual, contrary to all the normal ways of the music "business." Almost everything we're a part of is small; the settings are unique, bike shops, street corners, country roads. ...  The pleasure we feel from playing our music at unexpected times, outside of the typical venue setting, is profound. We'll often break down and play for a single soul, lighting a smile of wonderment, and then move on.

We're feeling strong, ready to roll into downtown Grand Rapids today. We'll lead a group ride benefiting several local charities that provide resources to kids, just as we hoped to. We'll start and end our ride at Founder's Brewery, starting at 4 p.m. From 6-8 we'll play our gig , also at Founder's, then ride an hour at dusk back to our hotel.

Tomorrow (the fifth) is our big day in the saddle. We'll start at 6:30 a.m. and ride 54 miles to Grand Ledge. Our No. 1 supporters, Chuck and Nadean Hillary, will meet us mid-day and bring our lunch to us. We're loving this, thanks for following us, check for more details of the tour. We hope to have a lot of people joining us as we progress along our route! Stay tuned.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 24, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation