City Slang: Weekly music review roundup

April 22, 2013
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desolation angels art

Remember – if you send it, it will get reviewed. That’s the City Slang promise. It doesn’t matter what genre the music is – as long as it has a Metro Detroit connection, it’ll get in. Preferably, we’d like to concentrate on new releases but, while we’re getting warmed up here, feel free to send back catalog material too. Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, City Slang, Metro Times, 733, St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 46226. Email MP3s and streaming links to mt.cityslang@gmail.com.

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Desolation AngelsHell or Highwater is tremendous fun. The record is aptly named; this feels like the country house band in Hell (and the fact that the opening song is called “Hellbound” only adds fuel to that theory’s infernal fires. The whole thing reeks of tobacco, whiskey, sweat, sex and sin, with the pumping bass of the Lone Wolf John Abel driving the record like dirty old Mustang. This is Detroit country – cars and women are the muses, and there’s a frantic desperation that makes the Desolation Angels very appealing. See them at Blowout at Baker’s Streetcar on Friday.

Janiva Magness art

Sometimes at MT Towers, we’re having a cleanout, and we discover a CD which somehow went unopened and ignored when it was released, left to linger in the limbo of somebody’s office junk pile. Such is the case with Detroit blues phenomi-femme Janiva MagnessThe Devil is an Angel Too, released in 2010. This album is just too good to not put that right. The opening title track is a sultry little old school blues number, the type of thing you’d hear in a less-than-reputable ‘50s dance club. Magness’ voice is powerful and emotive, and her band is frankly ass-tight. She now has a worldwide reputation in the blues world, and deservedly so.

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