Maine Town Meets Motown

Folk-music storytellers Putnam Smith and Jeff Karoub do not appear to share much in common. Smith, a Portland-based ‘old-world troubadour,’ lives in a log cabin and prints the jackets to his CDs on a handset 1901 press. Karoub grew up in Detroit, the son of a Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Motown Records performer. On April 12, Maine-town folk will intersect with Motown mojo to produce the most eclectic acoustic sounds that will hit Oakland County.

Smith is a nationally acclaimed singer-songwriter, whose hit CD “We Could Be Beekeepers” went to number 2 on the Folk DJ charts last June. Detroit native Karoub is a journalist with the AP. Both men tell stories through their acoustic folk music, and they are teaming up to benefit the Baldwin Center, a Pontiac human services agency, on Thursday, April 12, at 7:00pm at Cranbrook Kingswood Auditorium in Bloomfield Hills. He is joining Michigan’s own Jeff Karoub for the fundraiser to support the programs and services of the Baldwin Center, a Pontiac human services agency.

Performer Magazine has compared Smith’s music to Mumford & Sons, Iron & Wine, and Josh Ritter. Despite hailing from Portland, Maine, his rootsy style is steeped in Appalachian traditions (he plays his grandfather’s banjo, in addition to guitar, mandolin, fretless banjo and piano), which he has taken all across the country – from the coast of Maine to the coast of California, from Winnipeg in Canada down to the Bayou in New Orleans. Listen here.

His counterpart for the Baldwin Center fundraiser, Jeff Karoub also has a knack for storytelling through folk music. His single “Made by Motown” has received great reviews and airplay in his native Detroit, the city where he works as a journalist. The son of a Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Motown Record performer, Karoub says there is music in his genes. Hear him here.

The fundraiser concert will begin at 7:00pm. Tickets are $20 at the door of the Cranbrook Kingswood Auditorium, located at 39221 Woodward Avenue, in Bloomfield Hills. For more information, contact Alex Plum, Baldwin Center’s Community Affairs Coordinator, at 248-332-6101 or

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