Material: This incendiary Motor City trio aptly describes their music as “extreme blues.” Granted, there are many blues elements in what they do. There is almost a meeting of the minds where the tradition of Texas stalwarts like T-Bone Walker and Jimmie Vaughan blend with the rawness of early ’60s/’70s Grande Ballroom-era Detroit rock & roll. Their all-original 30-minute set spans the gamut from the ZZ Top/ Hendrix-inspired “Prologue,” to the muscular and heavy Munsters-themed single “Playghoul.”
Musicianship: Detroit Trouble is a classic power trio in every sense of that title. Kaan brings a veteran bravado and well-honed focus to his playing that is as much acrobatic as it is technically proficient. He is a consummate entertainer, and it shows. The same can be said for Mikolajczyk and Bies. They work well together, but can each veer off on their own path and always return where they need to be. Vocally, Kaan has a moderate but strong range that can rise above the fray and really encapsulate the band’s collective brand of volatile passion
Performance: Pure unadulterated energy is the primary take away from this band. They really knew how to engage a crowd and build an audience. There were a moderate number of patrons in the venue when the band hit the stage. By their second song the place really began to fill up en masse and took notice. Kaan, Mikolajczyk and Bies pulled out all the stops and commanded their attention. Interacting with mechanized precision, the trio kept their composure while bouncing all over the stage and chatting up the crowd. The guitarist also demonstrated timeless moves by flawlessly playing behind his head, executing incisive strum patterns and working melodic feedback out of his amp. It was also the bassist’s maiden voyage with the band, and he locked into the mix effortlessly like a streamlined hand in glove.
Summary: Detroit Trouble puts their emphasis on the basic pillars of artistry, diversity and showmanship. They know their blues and rock history and enthusiastically weave that knowledge into everything they do. It was a real advantage seeing a band of this caliber in a large room because it was immediately apparent they were up for the challenge. They can be booked as a support act or headliner and would fit in nicely on a variety of venue rosters and stages.
Players: Ray Kaan, guitar, lead vocals; Kyle Mikolajczyk, bass, vocals; Rodney Bies, drums