Viner ripens 

If only someone would write this generation's Harold and Maude, Mr. David Viner could write the sound track. The 24-year-old Londoner hasn't the same name cachet that Cat Stevens did back in the '70s, but something suggests that it's better that way. It's easy to imagine Viner's soft, penetrating voice and nimble guitar-picking guiding us along some painfully lovely storyline, the same way Stevens' did for Harold and Maude. It's easy to visualize Viner too, writing music that's inescapably tied to a plot so beautiful and awkward that we didn't even know we wanted it.

Despite an obvious matriculation from the school of blue-eyed soul and folk, his ear for melody and innocent jocularity make him more than just another pretty piece of UK novelty. He's coming to Detroit this week for, well, a vacation, but being that he's a much-loved performer and pal to a handful of local "garage" musicians, they've put him to work.

It seems Viner has played host to many a UK-touring Detroiter over the years: "It'd be ridiculous not to play while I'm there [Detroit], and, yeah, I guess I'm owed a few beds and dinners," Viner laughs.

But more than being a mate to road-weary Detroiters, Viner is cut from the same cloth as many of his Motor City pals. It makes perfect sense that he has befriended and performed with the Dirtbombs, the Von Bondies and hometowners-by-way-of-Cincinnati, the Soledad Brothers.

He has two records under his belt and both are ear-tickling examples of Viner's tasteful restraint. And the Lovin' Spoonful, Eric Burdon and Hot Tuna loom large.

"It's actually pretty hard to play what I play, but yes, it's straightforward. I'm not making experimental music and I don't stray too far from roots music. I've finally got my dream band," Viner says.

Rumor has it that he might sneak into Jim Diamond's Ghetto Recordings for an impromptu session, but for now the city kid is more focused on going camping and canoeing with his Yankee pals. And he's still got an appropriate amount of vim: "I want to go to Kentucky and try some American spirits. They are expensive here."


Friday, Aug. 18, at the Belmont, 10215 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck; 313-871-1966.

Eve Doster is the listings editor of Metro Times. Send comments to

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Rock/Pop

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 24, 2021

View more issues


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

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation