Each week, CW50’s Detroit Proud Playlist delivers you ten tracks from artists with local ties, for your listening pleasure.
We thought we’d mix things up this week and invite a previously featured Detroit Proud Playlist act to “Guest DJ,” if you will, and compile their own set of tracks from fellow locals.
This week’s mix features tracks chosen by members of Nina & The Buffalo Riders – an incredibly talented group of musicians with an amazing (and infectious) live energy (we’re telling you – you have to experience them live…you’ll thank us later).
Check out some terrific tracks, hand-selected by Nina, AJ, Mike, Ryan, and Ramiro of Nina & The Buffalo Riders:
1. Liquid Monk – “Man On Fire”
Nina and the Buffalo Riders and Liquid Monk have ties going all the way back 15+ years, when Monk lead guitar player Mike Leonard and I would jam in Leonard’s parents’ basement for hours on end, with Buffalo multi-instrumentalist Ryan Meadows always nearby, looking on and soaking up the sounds. Going back 2 years prior, Monk drummer Eric Fillip and I had already been playing the Metro Detroit scene together, performing in separate hard rock/heavy metal groups, both based out of the Dearborn area. This was at the very beginning of all four of our performance careers, and we have been riding parallel, often times intersecting, roads ever since. Even if there weren’t many, many years of musical history between us, Liquid Monk would absolutely still top my playlist. Monk are virtuous individually and, collectively, surreal. Their leadoff single, “Man on Fire,” is just the beginning of what’s to come. – AJ
2. Feral Ground – “Writers Blocks”
Seven members in this “living” hip-hop group, and not a single “hype man”. Every member is a true musician and artist. The first ten seconds of this song define their character: coltish, socially constructive, and verbally malleable. This Detroit treasure incorporates funky bass, heavy drums, and jazz imbued guitar that are forged together with two tongue-thumping, hypnotically bombastic MCs. If that isn’t enough to rattle the bones, their DJ creates soundscapes that prove why the DJ is essential to the game, while all supporting Ginger’s colorfully gorgeous vocal power. They are all one monolithic melodic hook. Very tasty.
3. Leaving Lifted – “What’s The Word?”
This chorus has been stuck in my head since I first heard them play it. Leaving Lifted’s music is always so dynamic and danceable! – Mike
4. Nikki Holland & The Dirty Elizabeths – “Annie”
I love the dynamics in this song…the punchy verses and the chorus surrounding this soft and sultry pre-chorus. It’s also very catchy. This will get stuck in your brain for a while! – Nina
5. Escaping Pavement – “Mary”
Their voices are locked together, joyfully dancing around intricate and symphonic mandolin melodies. The guitar work from both Aaron and Emily is impressive alone, but truly entertaining when you involve their ability to create graceful original music, and their keen sense of unusual covers for their genre, albeit perfectly executed. Easily one of my favorite bands in Detroit, and “Mary,” one of my favorite songs in general. – Ryan
6. The Landmarks – “Nostalgia & The Architect”
NBR had the pleasure of first playing with The Landmarks at the 2015 DETxDET (Detroit by Detroit) music festival, one of the very last rock and roll shows to be held at the famous Magic Stick in Detroit. Hearing a band play covers is not usually a great indicator of what their sound might be like when playing their own originals, but The Landmarks were different. Playing through a roaring mini-set of White Stripes tunes, I was captivated by not only their instrumentation, but by the artistic decisions they made to represent their re-works of one of our more recent Detroit legends, Jack White. I left DETxDET with only one group’s original material in hand, and that was the debut EP by The Landmarks entitled Schisms. The disc hasn’t left my car stereo since. – AJ
7. Whiskey Charmers – “Vampire”
This song, for me, is a consummate ambassador of their image-laden sound. It is haunting and sardonic; lyrically facetious and musically serious. Lawrence is one of my favorite guitar players in Detroit, often flawlessly emulating the distinguished “country” pedal steel using a 6-string lap steel. Carrie’s voice is gentle and nostalgic, creating images with her words that, more times than not, resemble cacti and a vacant desert motel; road-tested for assurance. – Ryan
8. Suburban Bloodshed – “Kicked In The Nuts”
This song and band has been a calm before the storm for me before each show, with their fast-paced and equally technical riffs, coupled with scratchy yet fierce vocals. Suburban Bloodshed keeps me guessing and continues to make an impact and impress the punk and thrash scene here in Detroit! – Ramiro
9. Woven Tangles – “Floods”
This track is a hypnotic jam that does a neat job of building layers and intensity. The vocal harmonies between Kevin and Holly are particularly awesome! – Mike
10. Daniel Harrison and the $2 Highway – “Missing You”
(“Missing You is not currently available to stream – check out other tracks HERE)
These guys are the perfect summertime band. While listening to their tunes, it is physically impossible not to think of blue skies, a cool breeze, cold drinks, and summer fun. Recently, I was lucky enough to get to hear a preview of a few tracks these guys are set to release very shortly, and as expected, one of their tunes pulled me right in. What they managed to accomplish, in their own unique way, was to successfully bring back sounds and style reminiscent of bands like the Gin Blossoms, Hootie and the Blowfish, Seven Mary Three, and all of the awesome, mellow, but completely heartfelt and fun rock and roll acts that filled up the summers of my childhood. I don’t know if this is a direction they plan on heading, but I will be attentively listening! – AJ
BONUS: The Normandies – “Rainman“
The Normandies are something special. They are a group that can cover many different styles and nail them all. Modern folk, classic R&B and soul, jazzy, bluesy…they do it all. Every member of this group is highly talented and The Normandies have an absolutely wonderful leader and vocalist in Kaylan Waterman. We are very excited to see what these guys will do and where they are headed. – AJ
There you have it, folks! Many thanks to Nina & The Buffalo Riders for lending us their kind words about these 11 talented local acts.
You can catch Nina & The Buffalo Riders live, at the July 30th Whitney Garden Party at the Whitney in Detroit! For more information (& more tour dates), visit the official NBR Facebook Page HERE!