Danny Kroha / Timothy Monger / Andy Dale Petty
Danny Kroha: As a founding member of minimal garage rock trio the Gories and a fixture in the Detroit rock scene since the early ’80s, guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Dan Kroha helped change the course of rock history with his one-of-a-kind playing and highly influential style. Kroha grew up in Detroit and took to music early on. By his teen years he was singing for local mod revivalist band Start, who would later morph into the Onset. After the Onset’s dissolution, Kroha formed the Gories in early 1986 with singer/guitarist Mick Collins and drummer Peggy O’Neill. The band made raw, powerful garage rock with rudimentary means, never amassing an enormous following in their time, but growing in popularity immensely after their 1992 break-up. Among many other bands, the White Stripes’ sound was particularly informed by the Gories’ less-is-more approach and their infusion of folk-blues and droning rock influences. The White Stripes’ Jack White would often cite the Gories as a key influence as his band rose to massive worldwide popularity, turning on new listeners to the long-defunct group. Following their break-up in 1992, Kroha played in Detroit rock group Rocket 455 for a time before forming cross-dressing garage pop sensationalist act the Demolition Doll Rods in 1994. The Doll Rods (as they came to be known) played for 13 years, releasing countless singles and touring the world before going on indefinite hiatus in 2007. Kroha led various bands in Detroit over the next few years, as well as playing solo. He played guitar and sang for swaggering trio the Readies, members of whom would sometimes merge with members of the Go in super group the Skies Above. In 2009, the Gories reunited for a handful of shows, further bolstering their legacy. At the beginning of the 2010s, Kroha returned somewhat to his R&B/early garage roots with new trio Danny & the Darleans. In this time he also released 2012’s The Folk Blues Stylings under his own name, as well as a 2013 collaboration with Gories bandmate Mick Collins where the two musicians created songs based around the poetry of legendary producer and sleaze rock personality Kim Fowley. In 2015, Kroha offered up the solo album Angels Watching Over Me on Jack White’s Third Man Records. The album featured a smattering of traditional folk, blues, and gospel tunes from the public domain as well as one original composition.
Timothy Monger: Michigan-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Timothy Monger first established himself as co-founder of seminal Ann Arbor folk-rock outfit Great Lakes Myth Society. In the mid-00’s the band earned a cult following rendering detailed art-pop with British folk undertones and a distinctly Midwestern rock sensibility. Concurrently, Monger’s solo career extended as a natural outgrowth with the chamber pop of 2004’s Summer Cherry Ghosts to the more rustic tonality of 2011’s The New Britton Sound. His third album, Amber Lantern, melds subtle synth textures with elements of psych, folk, and jangling power pop.
Andy Dale Petty: How far can a banjo take you? As long as there are young men who in their heart and spirit combine an open mind with a feeling for history and a lust to wander the country to see what the people really want, it can take you pretty far. Across a continent and down a century or two, if you let it. Andy Dale Petty is exactly such a person as described above. He picks his banjo and starts to ramble the country and life around him in increasing perimeters. He meets love, fun, joy and happiness, but also hardship, pain and loss. He sees the preachers talking about sin and salvation, he hears the country stars and the rock stars sing about wide variety of things, he hears the politicians of various colours talking their slang, but most of all he hears the stories the people tell. And at night he listenes to the sounds of nature. Unlike William Elliott Whitmore, the other young man who rambles the country with a banjo, he does not carve out a niche all of his own, but he collects the scraps and records of others and builds his world from there. Which makes his world a lighter, better and warmer place to live in.