Help Us Keep Reporting. Donate to Detroit Metro Times.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cosmic cowboys

Posted By on Wed, Nov 14, 2007 at 12:00 AM

"Slow down, there's only so much you can do," singers Kurt Marschke and Masha of the Deadstring Brothers gently harmonize on this album's track of the same name. It's one of the more wistful cuts amid the bluesy rave-ups found on the rest of the album. Yet it's also still ripe with the Americana and classic rock tchotchkes that typify this Detroit-London group's "it-ain't-broke-so-don't-fix-it" vintage sound, complete with tinkling upright pianos and sighing Fender Rhodeses punctuating the warm, analog 12-bar progressions. That's why, as the song says, there's only so much this kind of music can do — but that's also why Silver Mountain is so fookin' good and why, in the end, it actually succeeds at doing so much.

"Heavy Load," for example, is an anthem for the west London classic-rock dancehall that inspired the song (and where the D-strings' current line-up came together). And when Masha steps up to lay it down mightily on tracks like "Queen of the Scene" and "Ain't No Hidin' Love," the D-strings turn into something that's almost reminiscent of Tina Turner belting out "Proud Mary." Marschke's not the greatest singer in comparison but he manages to give his songs an everyman quality that rescues the album from being homage to the Gram Parsons-Allman Brothers-Band-Stones references the songs often evoke.

For all the second-hand smoke, though, it's the dirtier ("Some Kind of User"), more spiritual ("The Light Shines Within") and quieter ("Silver Mountain") songs that, for all their feel-good style, manage to find even more substance in the emotions they invoke. Like the Black Crowes and Kid Rock before them, the D-strings have learned how to dip into the classic rock gene pool without drowning in it.

Hobey Echlin writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

Tags:

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

More by Hobey Echlin

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 27, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation