The 44 Territories

The 44 Territories

 Detroit, Michigan, USA

Americana meets Detroit muscle in The 44 Territories, a band described by the Detroit Metro Times as "This IS Detroit Country."


The 44 Territories know they are different.  In taking their interpretation of Americana music – heartfelt lyricism, twangy guitars and evocative imagery – and marrying it to a distinctly Detroit rhythm and drive, they believe they have created something special.  Now, they look to prove it, on record and at shows. 

In the waning days of the band singer/guitarist Dan McKernan had formed a decade earlier, he and longtime drummer Erik Pelto came to a realization: the music they were creating was more than an evolution in their sound.  It was an entirely new creation, one that owed much to the newest musicians they were playing with, bassist John Wolf Abel and guitarist Josh Weddle. It was a unique kind of Americana, steeped in the many traditions of roots rock and outlaw country, but with the drive that has marked music from Detroit great for generations.  The boundaries were undefined.   

And so, in 2015, The 44 Territories were born. 

Individually, the members of The 44 Territories come from a variety of backgrounds, each as varied as the guys themselves.  McKernan and Pelto spent over ten years playing in Desolation Angels, the alternative country band that built a reputation in the Midwest and east coast as a powerful live act and gave birth to The 44 Territories.  Abel has played with artists as diverse as Tantric, Kenny Olsen and is also a member of Detroit soul artists The Infatuations.  Weddle brings his southern rock and blues guitar from a variety of rock and gospel bands.   

Last summer and fall, the band went into the acclaimed Rustbelt Studios to record their debut with Producer John Smerek (The Deadstring Brothers, Detroit Cobras, Kenny Tudrick).  The resulting EP, Story, showcases all of the things that make The 44 Territories who they are: heartfelt songwriting, captivating storytelling, energetic performance and detailed musicianship.  The songs are full of twang and gusto, from the California-country infused "101" to the southwestern "Blacktop Road" and the driving Outlaw Country of "Getting Even (and Movin’ On)". There’s even a cover of the Talking Heads "Psycho Killer", with an arrangement that would make Waylon Jennings (or Sturgill Simpson) proud. 

Story will be released in the summer of 2016. 

Finally, The 44 Territories added bassist Jason Bowes (Jeremy Porter and the Tucos, Fidrych) to the lineup to play a selection of live shows and join the band in songwriting. Informed in equal parts by the Drive-By Truckers and the Allman Brothers, Willie Nelson and Wilco,  The 44 Territories aim to be a band that connects past, present and future of Americana music – and reminds listeners that Detroit has had a huge impact on that lexicon. 

In their glowing review of the band, Detroit’s alternative weekly The Metro Times simply said This IS Detroit Country (music).The 44 Territories believe you will agree. 

In the meantime, The 44 Territories will continue to be one of the most energetic live acts around, with regional dates. 

Contact The 44 Territories at 586.214.5080, or at


Story (EP) - 2016