Tilted Axes Detroit brings it home

Mar 21, 2013 at 10:17 am
Last week, we wrote about Tilted Axes Detroit,  the brainchild of Detroit native Patrick Grant, a New York-based guitarist and composer who has worked with some of the biggest names in avant-garde music. This week, he pulled off a homecoming of sorts , a way to honor the city that he feels has bestowed upon him its special musical sensibility.

Yesterday afternoon, on March 20, the first day of spring, a procession of guitarists took over the streets of Detroit. Outfitted with portable amplifiers, they created a sonic stew while walking through the Cultural Center, Wayne State University and the Cass Corridor, before circling back up Woodward to the Detroit Institute of Arts for their finale. For those expecting it, the performance was an opportunity to witness a spectacle from New York they’d only read about. And, for the unwitting, the scene was mostly a delightful surprise.

Longtime correspondent and reader Allen Salyer walked along with the guitarists and had this to report:

Photo courtesy Allen Salyer

I actually attended the Tilted Axes Guitar Procession ... even though the weather was uninviting (it was cold and windy and started snowing at one point - welcome to spring). There were 22 guitarists and about 20 people following, with two dogs in tow.

Photo courtesy Allen Salyer

It was fun marching past all sorts of Midtown venues and historic buildings.

Photo courtesy Allen Salyer

As much as I am downtown I managed to discover some new things like the Cass Farms Green Alley, the Hygienic Dress League graffiti on Alexandrine and it was the first time I have been in the Motor City Brewery.

Photo courtesy Allen Salyer

The procession went inside the WSU student union building (the students eating lunch were stunned and amused), Cass Cafe, Motor City Brewery and the Majestic Cafe.

Photo courtesy Allen Salyer

Some passing cars blew there horns in support. Some poor student stuck in the back up waiting for the procession to pass was yelling "Come on! Turn!" at Cass and Warren.


Many people stopped to ask what was going on and who they were.

 There were about a dozen other people with cameras and we were all running up ahead of the procession trying to get good shots - lotsa exercise. Anyway, thanks again for the article. I enjoy doing things downtown, especially if they are music-related.

Thank YOU, Allen for the pics and commentary. Sounds like Patrick Grant pulled off a first in a town known for them!