1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Detroit Scenes

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Thor, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Just got in from a trip to the Motor City last week, and
    I will have to visit there again next month.

    Any suggestions for the local music scene? I will
    probably be staying out west near the Airport as
    a home base, likely during a mid-week period.

    Any must see spots? Any good blues spots that are
    bass player friendly?
  2. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I'm not familliar with the scene on the west side of town by the airport, but the northern suburbs Royal Oak, Ferndale, and Birmingham offer a ton of variety as far as clubs. On any given night theres a blues jam in some club arround town! There is also an excellent Jazz Club (Bakers Keyboard Lounge), that is the oldest Jazz Club in the World (in it's original location). Your best bet is to get on line and check out the Metro Times, I'm sure they have a web sight for club scheduels. I'm farily regular at a blues Jam in Ferndale (New Way Bar) on Wedsenday nights. When I'm in town. Also come by Low Down Sound (YES MOTOWN HAS A BASS STORE). PM me, Mikebass, G , and P. Aaron next time your in town! You'll get "free bass lessons" there if Mike or Will pope picks up a bass while your in the store.
  3. matrok


    Jan 10, 2005
    Ferndale, Michigan
    Not very familiar with the west side anymore either, a few rock clubs is all I know of these days. When will you be in town? At the end of the month Detroit will host it's own version of South by Southwest from April 20-24. Clubs from downtown out to the suburbs will feature local and national acts. You can find a schedule here


    Or as Burkie said, check out www.metrotimes.com and check out the local schedules there if you won't be in town during the Motor City Music Conference.

    Be sure to check out Low Down Sound in any event. It's worth the trip.

  4. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    I have a few sales calls to make there, so I am flexible.
    Probably around 1-2 week of May. Will definitely check
    out LDS!

    I will definitely throw out a few PMs when the schedule is set.
    There is nothing more awful than returning to an empty
    motel room with cable TV, especially when you know there is
    stuff out there to hear and see.

    One of the highlights of my last trip was mistaking Adele
    street for Adelelaide on the map and ending up in an
    area off E Grand - Trombley Street and Riopanne iirc. Just
    east of 94 and I 75. That block looked like a free fire zone!
    Holy Smoke!
  5. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    One of the highlights of my last trip was mistaking Adele
    street for Adelelaide on the map and ending up in an
    area off E Grand - Trombley Street and Riopanne iirc. Just
    east of 94 and I 75. That block looked like a free fire zone!
    Holy Smoke![/QUOTE]

    The Detroit Area is a great area, and most people don't realize it, but one of the five wealthiest counties in the country is Oakland County (just north of Detroit). Great Riverfront, even beachs, almost as many boats as Miami. Decent Club scene too, great variety of restraunts. Good Music Festivals, I got to see Will Lee,Mark Egan, and Victor Baily for free last year on the same weekend! Unfortunently there are still some areas that merrit the name "New Falujih". And the city leadership leaves something to be desired to be polite!!! If you make a wrong turn it's best to be packkin!!
  6. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Agreed, my best friend is from Grosse Point Woods, and I had
    heard about the Shores for years. The car business made a
    lot of people some serious money. And I saw quite a bit of
    renovation and construction going on, pre Super Bowl, I had

    Any one else on good music spots? I figured P. Aaron would
    have tossed in his 2 cents by now. Actually, he was pretty
    much the first cool guy I met when I joined TB, would be
    great to meet him in person for a few beers or so.
  7. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I'll be in town so PM me a few days before. We may have some gigs that weekend too. But if you're in town on Business, are you in thru the weekend as well?

    Beers, yeah.
  8. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Since you'll be near the airport, you'll be halfway between Detroit (east) and Ann Arbor (west). There's a jazz / blues club in downtown Ann Arbor (oxymoron) called "The Ark". They have a really cool atmosphere.

    There's also a club in Birmingham called "Edisons". Birmingham is about a half hour north of the city and not far from Royal Oak. Royal Oak is a place where you can barhop and find a little of everything. Now, truth be told, I've heard Edison's is a pick up spot for 40-somethings, and the night I was there, I can see that that may be the case. But that night I also got to see "The Brothers Groove" play. They are awesome. I wouldn't call their genre blues, per se, but it's in their repertoire. I recognized their bassist as someone I've talked to before at Low Down Sound.

    There's also a fairly new restaurant in downtown Detroit named "Seldom Blues". Seldom Blues is also the name of Alexander Zonjic's new CD. In addition to being a world renowned jazz flutist and morning host of the city's most popular jazz radio station, Zonjic is part owner and frequent performer at Seldom Blues. The last couple times I've seen Zonjic, the keyboard player for The Brothers Groove held down his keyboards.

    Baker's Keyboard Lounge was already mentioned, and is certainly a solid suggestion. Low Down Sound is a must. Huber & Breese is also worth considering if you're up to the trek to the northeast area. If you're into vintage Fender and Music Man and Marshall stacks, Junkyard Guitars is another cool stop.

    Include me in on your pm when you get you itinerary nailed down.

    Link to Seldom Blues performances Click on EVENTS

    Link to The Ark performances


  9. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    I'm from the westside and live about ten minutes from the airport, what kind of music do you want to see??
    Rock, Jazz, Blues..or D. all the above
  10. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Let me know, where you are staying you are right in the middle between Ann Arbor and Detroit so your options are wide open.
  11. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    I'm not choosy on musical style really, I play pretty much
    anything. The CD player goes from blues to jazz to rock
    pretty much interchangeably.

    Last time I was at the Fairfield Inn on Merriman, this time
    I think I will hit the Crowne Plaza across the street. One
    of the things you do on a first trip is scope out the places
    to stay. Your sales calls are next, and the rest of it comes
    behind, but most of my calls turned out to be in the
    northern suburbs, Dearborn, Warren, and Southfield.
    Can you spell Leon's and Chicken Shack? I also do business
    with United Fish downtown. Which is where I got a little
    lost, hehe.

    I figure the 1st or 2nd week of May, there is a direct flight
    that arrives 6:10 daily, so a Tuesday night arrival, and leave
    Friday morning early.Or last plane out Thursday, depending
    on how the calls go.

    I'll PM you guys the week before, and if anyone wants to
    hook up that Wednesday, cool. Or if you are gigging, I'll
    stop by.

    Thanks for all the great suggestions, I appreciate it!
    I look forward to meeting some of the
    Motor City Madmen!

    PS Does the Fleetwood diner still exist in Ann Arbor?
    I can remember a really hung-over breakfast there about
    1977 ... after closing up the dive across the street.
  12. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Yes, the Fleetwood is there. And it looks the same.

    Thor, my gigs are on the weekends, but I'll be around. I live at Woodward and 11 Mile Rd. Royal Oak-geographically. But depending upon the time of day, it's fairly easy to navigate the metro area. Going to Ann Arbor, even from Metro-Airport is a 45-50 minute drive. It's no fun spending all day in the car. So it'll take some planning to get around but we can figure something otu, I think.

    P.S. Radio here stinks.
  13. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member


    Looking forward to busting you up in person, we should have
    some good laughs. When on the road, I am on expense
    account, so the beer is on me. Payback for abusing you
    over the last few years...

    Royal Oak is not that far, except during rush hour.
    Actually, 94 heading back to DT wasn't that
    bad at all when compared to the Boston area.
    I expect 275 to 696 would make sense as well.Or
    Middle Belt Rd to 696 ...

    Malthumb, I am still mad at you for the pics you posted
    last year of the SSR! I saw one on the road yesterday
    for the first time. Orange. That thing was sweet!

    I'll check in when the flights get booked.

    P.S. Radio here stinks too. Clearchannel owns the 4 biggest
    stations in this little market. 1 Rock, 1 oldies, 1 mix and 1
    talk. Baaaaah! I think it has gotten bad everywhere. The
    college stations are ok, Brown is crappy(sic), but URI has a
    pretty good one. Pathetic state of affairs for a musician.
  14. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    When you send your itinerary I'll have to see if I can get my hands on something cool to drive. This upcoming week I'm supposed to get into a Chrysler Crossfire, a Toyota RAV4 and a Mazda RX8. Those are just overnight competitive fleet drives. I'll have to see if I can get a CTS-V or a Corvette or something when you're out here.


  15. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Ouch. :bawl:

    That hurt.

    Nothing like rubbing it in. ( No way I would do that to
    you, ever! ;) )

    I once put 227,228 miles on a RX-7. Best thing was, if I
    moved the seat up one inch, I could fit my 2x15 retro
    Acoustic cab under the hatchback. I really miss that car.

    Well. looks like we got a fun evening coming up. A mini gtg almost. If worst comes to worst, and everybody if busy, I got a great list of excellent places in the area.

    Now I am really looking forward to making the trip!

    Thanks again, gents!
  16. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    From Romulus (Metro airport) you are 15-20 minutes from, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Royal Oak, Etc. your right in the middle. I live there so unless yur are facing rush hour you will be fine. WEMU.com has many listings for jazz and blues clubs and gigs in SE Michigan. There is also a publication called The Current out of Ann Arbor. These two resources are best for jazz and blues listings. I suggest Real Detroit Mag for a blend off all music styles to get an idea of whats playing in the area. I too gig on the WE's but I know a lot of peeps that do play during the week. I hope this helps.
  17. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    WEMU is the only real Jazz station. WCBN is the best overall college station in the area. Limited range for them though.