Live music, hot dogs, and vinyl – sounds like a pretty dreamy Sunday, right? That’s exactly what locals will find at the first-ever New Fortune Fest, coming to Hamtramck’s New Dodge Lounge this Sunday, May 25th. An all-day event (for real – it’s 2pm-2am), packed with 11 bands off the New Fortune Records roster, New Fortune Fest is surely a go-to event this Memorial Day weekend. You won’t want to miss this line-up, featuring #DetroitProud Playlist alums Dutch Pink, The High Strung, James Linck, and more!

CW50 had the opportunity to chat with Kevin Pachla (founder of New Fortune Records) and Greg Beyer (of After Dark Amusement Park and several other local outfits) about this killer event – and get their take on Detroit music. Check it out!

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KP = Kevin Pachla
GB = Greg Beyer

New Fortune Records

(photo courtesy of Kevin Pachla, New Fortune Records)

Talk about New Fortune Fest – how did this come about? (We dig it, by the way.)

KP: “New Fortune Fest” came out of Greg Beyer’s mouth when we were talking about summer gigs for After Dark Amusement Park.  I looked at the calendar and thought an all-day Sunday show would be fun. The Sunday before Memorial Day? Even better. Secured the venue and contacted all that bands that have records on New Fortune Records.  All the ones that could do it said absolutely.

Ricky Rat’s “Toyko Pop” 45 was just released, the Cold Men Young/Detroit CYDI split single was hot off the press, ADAP’s second pressing with funky, random-colored vinyl was ready, a special Ryan Dillaha record was in the works and after 7 long years, and The High Strung’s “Get The Guests” vinyl was pressed.  We thought – let’s have a record release celebration!  New Fortune Fest 2014!

How did you choose these 11 bands for the Fest? And how long for each band’s set?

GB: New Fortune Records released either a single or a full-length by each of the bands!
KP: I asked the groups to put a tight, hard drivin’ 30-minute set together.  That gives us plenty of time in between sets to chill and enjoy the day.

What else can we expect from the first-ever New Fortune Fest?
KP: There’ll be a solid mix of Detroit tracks going, plus $2 drafts and 50¢ hot dogs. Michigan-based Cabresto Tequila will have specials going, too. This is how I like to kick off the summer!  😉

New Fortune Records

(photo courtesy of Kevin Pachla, New Fortune Records)

Tell us a little about yourselves – and about your involvement with New Fortune Records.
KP: I’ve always been a fan of local music and have been going to live show for as long as I can remember.  I try to support as many local venues as I can.  I truly enjoy collaborating with bar owners, promoters, bands, and fans [so I started New Fortune Records]. New Fortune Records is vinyl only, mainly 45’s, [and]  the artists keep the rights to their music. Limited runs, limited releases…I wish I could support more acts, but more isn’t the goal here. It’s just another way to support the local music I love!
GB: Kevin is one of my best friends so I help any way I can with New Fortune Records!

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Greg, how does Detroit compare to other places you’ve performed?
GB: Detroit to me is still the best city to perform. Also all the college towns across the USA are a blast, but in Detroit, you can go to any venue and there will always be at least one great band!!! Detroit’s musicians are the best in the world.

Greg, what are your favorite places in the city to perform? Kevin, favorite places to book or catch a show? 
GB: Crofoot sounds great! Smalls sounds great, New Dodge is cool!! I like playing anywhere really as long as they have monitors 😉
KP: I’ve got good stories about most every venue around here, but my secret favorite is the Jazz Cafe at the Music Hall.

What has your experience been with interacting with the people of Detroit? Any notable stories?
GB: Detroit is so diverse! Tons of musical genres. Playing with Rodriguez on his American tour last year was a story on its own!!!

What do you like to do in the city when you’re not performing/producing records?
GB: When I’m not making music I’m…making music hahaha…I give private lessons and I raise my son!! Non-stop!!! Music is always playing in my life 24/7.

What are your favorite places to hang out in Detroit?
GB: Belle Isle, and 3rd Street Bar is cool, too. When I was younger, I loved hanging out at the East Side parks…Angel Park, Lakewood, Gar woods…keeping it real.

Top 5 favorite Detroit musicians (past or present)?
KP: Mitch Ryder, Jack White, Smokey Robinson, Don Brewer, Bob Seger, and a special place for Wendy Case
GB: Just 5, huh???? I’ve always loved John Speck (Hoarse, The Fags), Dilla, anyone who has passed from Funkadelic, Alice Cooper, The Supremes

What makes you proud being a musician/producer in Detroit?
GB: Our roots in Detroit are amazing!!! Jazz, Motown, rock, punk, everything!!!! I’m proud because we have so much to offer in this town! Tons of different clubs everywhere and a new lit fire under our city’s behind to turn things around big time!!!

Describe Detroit’s music scene, from your perspective. 
KP: The music has always been diverse here and I think New Fortune Fest shows a bit of that.
GB: Our music scene is home to some of the best musicians in the world! Now all we have to do is come together as a music community and general Sherman the world (i.e. burn everything in our musical path of destruction)!!!  We have a great electro scene, techno still rules, our rock bands are great and our indie bands are still…let’s say theyre still indie 🙂

If you had to sum up the city of Detroit in one word, what would it be?

What do you think sets Detroit apart from other cities like Chicago or New York, as far as the music scene is concerned?

Have you discovered any new favorite spots in the city since you’ve started performing/producing?
GB: I always keep my eyes and ears open for new, interesting places! The Garden Theatre is a new beautiful room and more and more seem to surface. The New Dodge seems to be the hot spot right now for Hamtramck, The Loving Touch for Ferndale, and the [Magic] Stick complex (and Old Miami) still for Detroit. St. CeCe’s is a great spot, too, for acoustic performances.

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There you have it! For more on the first-ever New Fortune Fest, visit the Facebook Event Page, and for a special preview of NFF’s line-up, click here.