CD Reviews for 06/12/07 – The Detroit Cobras

Compact Capsules for 06/12/07
by Dan Ferguson

Detroit Cobras
Tied & True
Bloodshot Records BS-139

Known for their raunch ‘n’ roll, the Detroit Cobras on their first studio recording in three years called Tied & True offer a tale of two albums. On the bookends are revved-up garage grinders atypical of past work, while the underbelly presents a way less frantic, soulful and darn near vulnerable side. A sign of maturity? Who cares! It all just sounds so righteous. Priding themselves in their song mining abilities, particularly the lip service paid to yesteryear Northern soul and R&B nuggets the band so relishes, the two-tone approach of Tied & True wears as well on the ears as the hips. Massaging tunes from the likes of Garnett Mimms (“As Long As I Have You”), Irma Thomas (“The Hurt’s All Gone”), Betty LaVette (“You’ll Never Change”), Northern soul sensation The Flirtations (“Nothing But a Heartache”), Motor City R&B king Gino Washington (“Puppet On a String”) and 1960s U.K. pop/reggae mixologists The Equals (“Green Light”), to name a few, the Detroit Cobras churn up modern garage soul that can’t help but move ya. Standout moments? Shreveport soul sister Dori Grayson’s “Try Love” on which front lady and vocalist Rachel Nagy and guitarist Mary Ramirez have the girl group ala Shangri-Las style vocal chemistry down cold and a smokin’ rendering of Little Willie John’s “Leave My Kitten Alone”. Meow! (Bloodshot Records, 3039 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60618, or

(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 – 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at [email protected].)<...