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"gritty reality, wholesome honesty, artistically brave"

It just doesn't get much more stripped-back than this!! Detroit Rebellion is simply man with voice and guitar; nearest comparison, I guess, is Springsteen's 'Nebraska' - gritty reality, wholesome honesty, artistically brave but perhaps commercially risky!

Detroit Rebellion tells is plain and simple, he lets darkly toned acoustic guitar provide nothing much more than a punctuative backdrop for his observational and commentarial words. I notice that the press pack tells of 'Americana mixed with post punk styles' and I suppose that's pretty close to the truth; certainly Detroit Rebellion lives up to the name (the name taken from the Detroit, Mi uprising of 1967 by-the-way!) and kinda sticks two fingers up at the popular tendencies towards massive studio enhancement and often over-embellishment - certainly Detroit Rebellion couldn't be accused of erring from the path of brutal reality and live reproducibility!

Detroit Rebellion should be applauded and rewarded rather than chastised and penalised for his gutsy take on what could loosely be described as American road music. This aint so much lo-fi and as one-pass; Detroit Rebellion, the album, is well recorded such that every important word is accessible and every single note is playing its part in providing the tension and gritty honesty of the whole. Detroit Rebellion gets it just about right on-the-money as far as adding musical poignancy and artistic down-home-boy truth!

Detroit Rebellion, with his album of the same name, won't be knockin' too many contemporary acts from their highly polished perches any day soon! There will be takers for this gritty and very enjoyable work, of course there will, but it will never be anything but a cult album; whatever, at least Detroit Rebellion is keeping music, not only live but also, very real!! I like it a lot, hope you will too!!


"" else is doing this type of stuff, especially as well...""

One man and his acoustic guitar.

Little is known about Detroit Rebellion, other than that he was once a Census Bureau worker, a farmer and, yes indeedy, a politician. Oh and, he was once a member of experimental post-punk rockers Bossman from Rhode Island, who were pretty darned awful. I suppose that's enough actually.

His pictures and videos show him behind cool shades and a hat, sporting a trim beard.

Musically he cites Tennessee Ernie Ford, Leadbelly, Johnny Cash (and oddly, Joy Division, not that you'd know it). This all leads to a kind of acoustic blues and folk rock. In spirit, his work is more akin with the likes of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger et al.

This no-frills collection warrants close inspection purely for the bravery shown in releasing a CD with no other instrumentation, which is a tough call.

DR writes stories about the remote back roads he probably encountered, and inevitably many characters en route, along with social commentary.

He's also got a keen ear for political and social conflict, so his opening song Don't Make Waves is about civil liberties, and Meeting Of The Minds deals subtly about political division. Unlike so many who tackle sensitive issues, there's no hint of real revolution or anger, just pure'n'simple reportage 21st century style. To his credit, as far as I'm aware, no-one else is doing this type of stuff, especially as well, and some might see parallels with the embryonic flourishes of a young Bob Dylan.

Presumably his job at the Census Bureau inspired the threatening role he found himself in, as he strolled the streets for information on The Numbers; however he sees it as a paranoiac measure.

Bob Dylan wrote masterfully about boxer Rubin Carter's case of mistaken identity, and here DR does one for himself, though no specific name is mentioned, so we could assume the Detroit riots of '68 provided inspiration. Like many of the lyrics, there's a great deal of obscurity in terms of actual reference points. Again injustice pops up in the form of War Crimes where he sees the inability to convict war criminals, even though their identities are known, though again, no names are mentioned as he effectively skirts around the issue without potential recrimination. Further-in, The Rabbit is a clever, but short, tale of master and servant, looking at the issues of freedom and enslavement, while New Orleans deals with the social issues in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The verdict - a real troubadour.

Elly Roberts -

"a one-man uprising"

First, it was Donovan, but not really. Then it was Bruce Springsteen, who got bigger than the nomenclature. Among the many gifted, mostly self-contained singer-songwriters who have been called “the next Bob Dylan,” have been artists the contribution of which has been both musical and socio-political.

This is why Beck, who tapped into a generation’s insecurity, got the label, but Ryan Adams, who writes five good songs about himself per day, did not. The closest thing to the fiercely, overtly political music that Dylan was making on his first few records has been the solo output of Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello. But those recordings lacked Dylan’s ambiguity, and they weren’t nearly as accessible. Not that we need a next Bob Dylan. The one we have is still kicking and represents a phenomenon that could only have happened in a certain context. But when there is a buzz again about “the next Bob Dylan,” it will likely not be Conor Oberst being talked about, or Josh Ritter. It may be Detroit Rebellion.

Infectious, melodic, severe, and political without relent, Detroit Rebellion is a man with a guitar and a voice. Listing his influences as Tennessee Ernie Ford and Joy Division, Detroit Rebellion makes you hear drums where there are no drums, an MC where there is no MC, a bass guitar where there is no bass guitar, and pummels you with the only instrument you know for sure is there: an acoustic guitar. The opener, “Don’t Make Waves,” features a groove so perfectly urgent that you can’t help but wonder what’s so pressing. Nothing, really, just your civil liberties:

“Who’s gonna tell ya what’s right and what’s wrongWhen your laws and your freedoms just don’t get along?”

It has been in ways either superficial or clumsy that the influence of hip-hop has seeped into other popular music forms. Flash and platitude have infected hard rock, dance, and rhythm and blues, while metal and world music have simply switched on occasion from singing to rapping. And these mutations were necessary, but not as permanent as the more subtle ways in which hip-hop has spread. Chuck D of Public Enemy famously called hip-hop the “black CNN.”

In Detroit Rebellion’s music, you hear a sense of community like nothing outside of Appalachian folk. “Meeting of the Minds” tackles political division in a more conventional style that could simply be a song written from one brother to another.

“The days are shorter, I have regrets/Don’t you think it’s time that you and I should make amends?”

Hip-hop shares with traditional blues the communal sharing of musical parts, the exchanging of riffs between songs and artists, the common themes and sounds. (Many of the most commonly used samples in hip-hop can be traced to three albums: ‘There’s a Riot Goin’ On,’ by Sly and the Family Stone; ‘Drums of Passion,’ by Olatunji; and ‘This is Madness,’ by the Last Poets.)

Few before Detroit Rebellion, however, have used those live guitar grooves like beats. One gets the impression he has collected them, rotates them, and can switch between them mid-song, on a dime. A guitar part changes as rapidly as a record can be scratched, and as judiciously.

Although the disaffection and disenfranchisement of hip-hop are present in DR’s music, there is no anger, no rage in his voice. He simply reports. It is in this ambiguity that his political statements stand up. Dylan certainly did not live the events he chronicled in his songs, while Public Enemy did.

“New Orleans” is a first person lament in which, like Dylan’s best “topical” writing, the narrator is spared his own reactions:

“It’s a riot or rebellion but I’m not sure we get to choose.

Because on the road to New Orleans everybody pays their dues.”“New Orleans” closes Detroit Rebellion’s self-titled debut, which will formally be released on March 21 at White Electric. “The next Bob Dylan?” I’m rigidly against the concept. More interesting for me will be the next Detroit Rebellion. - Motif [in the groove]


DETROIT REBELLION ( With a name like Detroit Rebellion, I was expecting some hard-thrashin' piece of in-your-face stompin' rock'n'roll noise done all loud and furious with no apology. Instead I got something genuinely surprising – and much better than what I expected: a tuneful series of spare, moody and compelling story-driven acoustic bluesy folk songs that vividly evoke the dusty and lonesome backroads of America in a fresh, precise and insightful way. Armed with just a pleasant twangy voice, a well-strummed guitar, and a
sharp grasp of songwriting that gets right to the point in an admirably clear and straightforward manner, Detroit Rebellion spins tales about remote corners of the country and the wayward souls that populate it with a warmth, humor and clarity that's an absolute pleasure to hear from start to finish. A lovely little gem of a no-frills beaut. - Joe Wawyrzniak - JERSEYBEAT.COM


Detroit Rebellion debut CD.



" else is doing this type of stuff, especially as well..." - Allgigs (UK)

"This no-frills collection warrants close inspection..." - Costa News (Spain)

"...a solid release from an ambitious new artist that shouldn't go unnoticed." - Adequacy (PA)

"...a tuneful series of spare, moody and compelling story-driven acoustic bluesy folk songs..." - Jersey Beat (NJ)

"Infectious, melodic, severe..." - Motif Magazine (RI)

"...sticks two fingers up at the popular tendencies towards massive studio enhancement and often over-embellishment..." - Toxic Pete (UK)

Influences include: Leadbelly, Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Doors.

Detroit Rebellion has been booked with soon with Deer Tick, Last Good Tooth, Annie and the Beekeepers, Brown Bird, Tallahassee, Hoots and Hellmouth, Orion Rigel Dommissee, Jana Hunter, Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez, Allyson Callery, The Bourbon Boys, etc..