“Whispers of the North” | The Gordon Lightfoot Tribute Band

Vocals, 6 and 12-string guitars

Mike Fornes

Retired from a radio and television play-by-play career that spanned 26 years and more than 1,500 broadcasts in the National Hockey League and professional baseball, Mike’s musical interests now blend the woods, the water and the wildlife with the North Country music you’ll hear in his shows.

His portrayal of Gordon Lightfoot is simply an honest effort to entertain with an accurate representation of a Lightfoot concert. Mike plays the role of “Gord” in first person, yet avoids saying “I” or “me” in his storytelling of the songs and the circumstances of how they were written. His tireless research and personal interaction with Lightfoot have lead to accurate mannerisms, speaking patterns, clothing, and of course identical guitars used by the Canadian icon on stage.

Rarely does he break character, usually only to introduce the band or give a personal message before the conclusion of the show.

If you have read Mike’s newspaper work, heard him on the radio, seen him on TV or read any of the four books he has written about Michigan’s Mackinac Bridge or the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw, his love of the Straits of Mackinac area is clear.

On stage, he demonstrates his love of a genre of timeless music that captured millions during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. His catalogue of Gord’s music includes 77 songs that he chooses from in concert.

Mike tours annually and will play more than 60 shows in five states and Canada in 2016.


Four talented area musicians play the roles of Gordon Lightfoot’s stage band, replicating parts heard on recordings and in live performances by Carter Lancaster (lead guitar), Barry Keane (drums), Rick Haynes (bass) and Michael Heffernan (keyboards).

Mike Freymuth as Carter Lancaster
Electric and acoustic lead guitars

Mike Freymuth

The versatile lead guitar work of Mike Freymuth adds the authenticity of the acoustic and electric sounds that Red Shea, Terry Clements and now Carter Lancaster have provided for Lightfoot’s music. Born in Jackson, Mich. , and now living in Gaylord, Mike has played professionally in roles that include top-40 bands and performing as George Harrison in the Beatles tribute “The Fab Four.”

He spent many years as a studio musician in the 1970s and still loves to record and produce live sound for various artists and productions for the Gaylord Community Theater.

Art Robinson as Rick Haynes
Bass guitar

Art Robinson

Playing bass guitar for more than 40 years has allowed Art to explore many different genres of music, mostly classic rock and roll and Motown sounds. He has anchored the bass lines of a Northern Michigan band, “Yankee Station,” for more than 20 years.

Robinson says he has too many musical influences to list, and approaches his musical journey as a continuing adventure.

He enjoys snow skiing and golf near his Boyne City home. 

GEORGE KRAWCZYK as Mike Heffernan

George Krawczyk

The versatile Director of Music Ministry at St. Mary/St. Charles Church in Cheboygan, George Krawczyk has appeared in countless area musical productions on piano and organ since his move to Northern Michigan after a 23-year stint of playing and teaching in the Flint and Ann Arbor areas. Besides his superior work in religious music and show tunes in local productions, Krawczyk also enjoys playing in jazz and easy listening roles.

George annually writes a musical comedy for children’s theatre.

Drums and percussion

Matt Wohlfeill

The tasteful drum and percussion effects of the Lightfoot sound come from the talented Matt Wohlfeill.

Newly retired, Matt worked for the Cadillac PoliceDepartment since 1989 as a patrol officer, community services officer, road patrol sergeant, captain, and as the acting chief of police. In addition to serving as a 911 dispatcher, firefighter and EMT first-responder, Matt also has a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton captain’s license.

Among his musical tastes are Motown, blues, beautiful instrumental arrangements and moving vocal harmonies.