Basics: Detroit sent us both a 2-song Street of Dreams CD single, if you will, as well as Ghetto Cafe, a 6-song album/EP. The former is from 2010, the latter 2009. Detroit has quite a history in Phoenix - a quick bio on Last.fm reveals this:
Elusive, exotic rock artist. Collaborated with Sun City Girls' Alan+Richard Bishop on the album 'Immortal Gods' and it is now considered a cult classic. He self released Immortal Gods and another album on his own Pan Records, his final album 'Jungle Captive' was released on Majora in 1997. His records are increasingly hard to find, but he is believed to still be playing today.
Oh he is still playing today, and his music is just as quirky and irreverent as it ever was.
Best Song: "Street Of Dreams" best encapsulates what it is Eddy Detroit does best. For reference, the listing on the CD Detroit sent in goes a such:
Mandolin & Vocals -- Eddy Detroit
Guitar -- Carl Gregory
Saw -- Bob Sandstedt
Yes, there is someone playing the saw on the song -- hell, you can hear it warbling about ten seconds into the song. The saw fits the song's jangly mandolin and Detroit's stark, folk-inspired vocals perfectly. The song describes the street which Detroit lives on -- his "street of dreams." He then manages to rhyme "heroin dealer" with "psychic healer" in describing just who it is that lives on Detroit's street. "Street Of Dreams" is bleak, quirky, funky and frightening all at once. It's a perfect testament to the type of music made famous by Eddy Detroit.
Worst Song: Some of the tracks on Ghetto Cafe tend to be a bit too bland and one-sided, unfortunately. "Homeless Crowd" just so happens to be the first example of one of these tracks. It follows the same plain, boring song structure with an ultra-repetitive chorus. The song is a grand social commentary on the homeless situation in Phoenix, I understand that. However, Detroit didn't have to sacrifice the charming element of his music to do so. As well, the songs on Ghetto Cafe sound decidedly more rough and unfinished than those on the Street of Dreams single.
Suggestions: There seems to be quite the demand for Eddy Detroit's earlier work in the Phoenix underground music scene from the early 1980s. To have such a following towards material that was release some 29 years ago is pretty incredible, but listening to Detroit's music, I can understand why. I suppose making that music readily available would make lots of people very happy, however I don't quite know how easy a task that may be.
Bonus Video: Please to enjoy the video for Eddy Detroit's "Street Of Dreams:"
If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:
Michael Lopez You Asked For It c/o Phoenix New Times 1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix, AZ 85034