Rachel Brooke / Woodman / the Whiskey Charmers
Sun, Oct 15, 2017 @ 8:00 pm to 2:00amView event on Facebook
Rachel Brooke: Incendiary young country singer and songwriter Rachel Brooke channels the darkest nights of American Southern music, pulling forth influences from raw, early country singing to Chicago blues greats, vintage New Orleans “jass” bands to old animated cartoons, all tied together in the framework of her old-fashioned melodies. It takes a peculiar vision to be able to unite these many different sounds, but Brooke’s pulled off the most difficult task: she’s created a new sound from a pastiche of old music without sounding derivative. Instead her music sounds incredibly fresh, sepia-toned perhaps with the vision of our distant past, but as rough-edged and hand-honed as the best of today’s roots music. She’s quite the paradox: a young songwriter who perfectly embodies the music of the American South, but who lives in the wilds of Northern Michigan. An artist who grew up with parents in a bluegrass band, but who spent her teen years raging away in an all-girl punk band. A shy, soft-spoken introvert whose wall- shaking voice has earned her a place at cutting- edge roots music festivals like Muddy Roots. An icon of underground country music who covers greats like Fats Domino on her new record. But when you sing this well and play like hell, who do you have to answer to anyways?
“Take everything you think you know about country music and throw it out the window. That pop rock crap y’all call country is nothing compared to what Rachel Brooke is laying down. She’s an old soul in the way Hank Williams and Memphis Minnie were, culling together both country and country blues into an album that is easily digestible for anyone who gets scared off by real country music. Etta James once said that the blues and country music were kissing cousins. Rachel Brooke is their love child.” -Chip McCabe
Woodman: “For most young and budding musicians, starting a band means getting away from the parents and indulging in sordid and unhealthy activities while exercising a personal artistic vision. Not so for Derek and Hillary Woodman. For that bro-and-sis team, being in a band means spending more time with their dad than most people their age would ordinarily spend because their father, Frank Woodman, is the singer and guitarist in their band, simply called Woodman. Frank’s 45; his son and lead guitarist Derek is 22; daughter and co-vocalist Hillary is 19. So that’s got to suck, right? I mean, what right-minded early-20s rock ‘n’ roller wants to hang out with Dad? It has to be a recipe for some hardcore resentment issues and some kinda Michael Jackson-esque Peter Pan complex, right?
Sitting at the Loving Touch bar in Ferndale and talking to Frank and Derek — who are accompanied by bassist Adam Fuller, also 22 — the camaraderie between the three is hardly different from other bands. Derek will roll his eyes from time to time in an “Oh, Daaaad” sort of way. But it’s done ironically: a family take on natural intra-band-banter than it is at all mean-spirited. In other words, Derek Woodman is a young man who actually enjoys spending time in his father’s company. Frank, meanwhile, doesn’t miss an opportunity to have some well-intended fun at the expense of his offspring:
“Hey, if shit’s out of tune and you have kids to blame, blame ’em,” he says, a big grin on his face — a face that faintly resembles Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson, minus the flute.” [Detroit Metro Times]
The Whiskey Charmers is a Detroit-based Ameripolitan/Country Noir band led by Carrie Shepard and Lawrence Daversa. Fans have often compared their sound to riding through the desert with the top down. They have just released their second full-length album “The Valley” on CD and digital outlets, with a vinyl release to follow this summer. The title track “The Valley” has just been chosen by Alternate Root Magazine as one of the top ten songs of the week and and the Americana magazine Turnstyled Junkpiled says of the new album,
“The Whiskey Charmers serve up another round of their signature “Country Noir” on their second studio release, The Valley. Picking up where they left off, the Charmers create a moody, atmospheric soundscape that plays like the soundtrack to a film noir/spaghetti western mashup. Simultaneously foreboding and alluring, The Whiskey Charmers music is as tempting as forbidden fruit.” – Brian Rock, TJ Music – June 9th,2017
Their debut self-titled album also received excellent reviews in the U.S. and abroad and was nominated for a Detroit Music Award for Outstanding Americana Recording. They have been included as one of the 15 best new bands in Detroit by the Detroit Metro Times who also listed Shepard as Best Singer/Songwriter of 2016.
Mike McGonigal of the Detroit Metro Times says “There might be a plethora of Americana/ roots-infused acts in the greater Detroit area, but the Whiskey Charmers are a real cut above. This bunch are not poseurs. They do not strum ukuleles. They do not write songs about cowpoke bullshit. Their music is charming, original, and always a delight.” – Mike McGonigal, Detroit Metro Times 8/30/16