Live Review: Tino G's Dumpster Machine

Trixie’s Bar  Detroit, MI 

Contact: Tino Gross, [email protected]

Web: .tinogsdumpstermachine.com 

Players: Tino Gross, lead vocals, harmonica, percussion; Garret Bielaniec, guitar, backup vocals; Mike Smith, guitar, backup vocals; Dennis Burck, bass; Johnny “Bee” Badanjek, drums; Erin Marie, backup vocals

Material: Anything soulful and funky will do! This is music rooted in the blues and filtered through the seminal rock, punk and Motown-influenced sounds the Motor City is famous for. And with a lineage linked to Mitch Ryder, The Rockets, Parliament Funkadelic and Kid Rock, the band tears into tunes like “Detroit Girl,” “I Wanna Be Your Dog” and “Ain’t No Party (Like a Detroit Party)” with unbridled passion and steely confidence.

Musicianship: Their moniker “Dumpster Machine” is most apt as all these disparate musical elements are dumped in a blender and assembled on stage with mechanized precision. The two-guitar lineup of Bielaniec and Smith is a formidable force to be reckoned with. They trade rhythm and lead parts like second nature. And they each play with a ferocity and attention to detail that’s air tight. Lead vocalist Gross and primary backup singer Marie have simpatico and a seamless working relationship as well. Their timbre is evenly matched, with no one overshadowing the other. The rhythm section of Burck and Badanjek is well orchestrated, with rich tones and deep grooves. Together they create a unified sound that appears improvised, yet methodically intact.

Performance: The band wasted no time making their presence known. Badanjek laid down a Bo Diddley-type beat and Gross followed lock-step on harmonica. He proclaimed “I Was a Witness to Some Funky Business” as the band unleashed a vortex of good vibes and an unabashed festive feel. The crowd was all in and continued to hang tough for their high-energy take on a Blind Lemon Jefferson shuffle “See That My Grave is Kept Clean,” on which the guitar interplay was truly inspired, injecting some rocket fuel into the traditional piece. They squeezed in some original punk, with the heavily syncopated “I Had Problem Last Week,” and even worked in some country riffs at various points throughout the night.

Summary: Tino G’s Dumpster Machine creates a rockin’, groovin’, good-time atmosphere that crosses over many barriers. Musically, they are par excellence and cleverly walk that line between lo-fi indie rock and super-slick R&B. They are a fan favorite on the Detroit club scene and, with their superb pedigree, are poised to successfully take their show on the road. – Eric Harabadian