The Northern Whiskey Syndicate
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The Northern Whiskey Syndicate

Detroit, Michigan, United States

Detroit, Michigan, United States
Band Americana Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Blueroot Magazine Review Apr. 2005"

"The Northern whiskey Syndicate makes music that sounds like a soundtrack to our fine state. Sprawling vistas of blue, a cool breeze on a sweltering summer day, the bitter snap on a cold winter morning and autumn's restless rusts. Neil Young in roots mode, REM's "Reckoning" melancholy, and Bob Mould in his quiet yet still terse period could all be used as reference points for this St. Clair/Macomb County based band's self tilted CD/EP. Understated and natural the band recorded on analog equipment (as well as analog tape) leaving any mistakes in the final mix proving that they aren't worried about trends, they're simply doing something they want to do." - by Dale Merrill

"Northern Whiskey Syndicate"

Northern Whiskey Syndicate started as a side project for three members of the now-defunct Loaded 44s to express their darker, roots-rock tendencies. The trio's eponymous debut CD achieves that goal with a melancholy beauty.
Within the first 30 seconds of the opening track, a gentle electric guitar arpeggio has given way to a pounding backbeat and distortion. Then Kevin Anderson's dark voice pierces the sound, singing, "The north wind builds under a leaden sky."

With an honesty reminiscent of the heartland rock and Son Volt's Jay Farrar and certain John Mellencamp albums, the CD's seven tracks keep driving like the character in Golden State Promises who is returning home after a failed attempt to make a life in California.

"I'm rolling through the heartland, starting to feel like home again," sings Anderson of East China Township. "There's hope in the sunrise."

The songs are scattered with Anderson's folksy harmonica and such bleak lyrics as "it'll take a month's hard rain to wash the blood off this land." Bassist Steve Presti and drummer Mike Sobieski provide a driving rhythm section.

The album was recorded, mixed and mastered in just three days at Presti's Soundcamp Studios in Warren, but sounds perfectly professional. The CD is available at Northern Whiskey Syndicate shows or by sending an e-mail to

- Bill Chapin - The Times-Herald

"Northern Whiskey Syndicate at Neon's"

Like REM on the roadhosue circuit, No Depression Magazine, Buffalo Tom. September 2005 - City Beat Magazine (Cincinnati)

"NXNE 2007"

This trend began with our first musical act of the evening, a Michigan alt-country rock band called the Northern Whiskey Syndicate who completely took over local pub The Black Bull. Any dinner-eating, beer-drinking patrons who only came to the bar to eat and drink that night had no choice but to pay due attention to the three loud guys in the corner. Fortunately, those three guys were worth paying attention to.

- Imprint Magazine, University of Waterloo


The Northern Whiskey Syndicate - self-titled CD
Volstead 33 - 2nd release
Splice the Main Brace - 3rd release



The Northern Whiskey Syndicate is a roots-rock trio from Detroit, Michigan, that plays original music reflecting life in America’s industrial heartland. The group is composed of Matt Sayes, Michael Sobieski (“Sobie”), and Kevin Anderson. They play powerful and dynamic music with meaningful and poignant lyrics. Their musical influences range from Detroit’s own Motown, to blue collar rock, punk, folk and the No Depression /Americana artists.

The Northern Whiskey Syndicate plays energetically at their live performances, and their recorded material strives to capture that essence. Their music has been described in the press as “honest heartland rock”; “driving”, "REM on the roadhouse circuit" and "a darker Jason & the Scorchers telling timeles stories".

The Northern Whiskey Syndicate has maintained a busy schedule including showcases at two major festivals: The Metro-Times (Detroit) Blowout 2005 & 2006 and the Mid Point Music Festival (Cincinnati) 2005, 2006 & 2007. In 2007, The Northern Whiskey Syndicate was chosen to play Toronto's NXNE Music & Film Festival. Shuteye Records chose a song from the Volstead 33 album, "Flood Plain" to be on their successful compilation CD, "United State of Americana Vol. 3"

The Northern Whiskey Syndicate’s self-titled debut CD was recorded in 2004. It can be obtained through or by emailing the band. NWS' second CD, Volstead 33 can be bought at the band's shows or by visiting their website.

Specific groups that have shaped the band’s sound through their influence are The Clash, Uncle Tupelo, early R.E.M., Steve Earle, the Who, Neil Young and Social Distortion. Music fans to the core; many lesser-known artists including Buffalo Tom, the House of Freaks, Son Volt and the Old 97s have also influenced the group.