The Detroit Cobras

Snakes charm you

Detroit Cobras singer Rachel Nagy
Andy Welter
Detroit Cobras singer Rachel Nagy


The Detroit Cobras, Dan Sartain, and The Willowz are scheduled to perform on Tuesday, August 14.
The Clubhouse Music Venue in Tempe
Rachel Nagy is a strong, sexy frontwoman. Her vocals canter, strut, and shimmy with the knowing look of the much-adored — half coquettish tease, half jaded indifference. She coos to the rocked-up Latin swing of "My Delight," swings her hips with rockabilly swagger on "If You Don't Think," and dives deep into the smoky '60s garage-soul of "Puppet on a String," all off the Cobras' latest, Tied & True. The title is a play on the frequent complaint that the Cobras don't write their songs, instead digging up vintage (usually forgotten) gospel and soul, reworking it (sometimes) in a modern context. Issues of authorship were once considered separate from musical quality. Certainly, the Cobras demonstrate an ear for a classic, as well as a terrific touch live, led by Nagy and longtime guitar sidekick, Mary Ramirez. The albums, it's worth noting, are a much different animal from their live shows, which rage like a caged animal or a small, petulant child. Stand back or be overcome with their sultry fever, swooning to the floor beneath their Stax attacks. Underestimate them at your own risk.
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