Wednesday, May 26, 2021

The Detroit Cobras: Life, Love And Leaving 2001 + Seven Easy Pieces (EP) 2003

One of the earliest groups to emerge from the Detroit garage rock scene, the Detroit Cobras developed a

reputation as the Midwest's finest (and most distinctive) cover band -- while the bandmembers devoted themselves to performing other people's material rather than recycling established hits, the Detroit Cobras dug deep into the well of vintage R&B and primitive rock & roll sides, building an individual identity out of lost classics from the past which they modified to fit their swaggering aural personality.

The Detroit Cobras were formed in 1995 by Steve Shaw, who developed a taste for classic R&B from

spending time with Alex Chilton, whom he met through his friends in Detroit primitives the Gories. The first edition of the Detroit Cobras featured former exotic dancer Rachel Nagy on vocals, Shaw and Maribel Restrepo/Mary Ramirez (ex-Vertical Pillows) on guitars, Jeff Meier (from Rocket 455) on bass, and Vic Hill on drums, and they released their first 7" in 1996.

Mink Rat or Rabbit
In what would prove to be the first in a long line of personal changes, Hill was replaced by Chris

Fachini by the time the Cobras released their third single (which also hit the stores in 1996), and their debut LP, Mink Rat or Rabbit, featured a third timekeeper, Damian Lang (who'd worked with Snake Out and Elvis Hitler). During the three years that passed before the Detroit Cobras appeared on the Jack White-produced compilation Sympathetic Sounds of Detroit, founder Shaw left the band, with Dante Aliano stepping in on guitar and Rob Smith taking over on bass.

Life, Love and Leaving
Rachel Nagy's tough but soulful vocals and Maribel Restrepo's lean, muscular guitar lines would be the

group's only constants from this point on, though they would be enough to earn the group a potent following on the American garage scene and a major buzz in the United Kingdom, where they scored a deal with the fabled indie label Rough Trade, which released 2001's Life, Love and Leaving in Great Britain (it appeared on Sympathy for the Record Industry in the United States). (That LP also featured new guy Eddie Hawrsh on bass.)

Seven Easy Pieces

The two albums consisted entirely of cover versions of popular songs from the 1960s. Their retro-garage rock formula proved popular in the UK and prompted the London-based Rough Trade Records to sign the band. They released an EP, Seven Easy Pieces, in 2003 and their third full-length album, Baby, in 2004.


While veteran tunesmiths Ellie Greenwich and Jackie DeShannon expressed interest in writing material with the group, the fourth Cobras album, 2004's Baby, once again featured them rocking out on a stack of R&B dusties, though Greg Cartwright, who helped produce the album, did co-write an original with Nagy and Restrepo, "Hot Dog (Watch Me Eat)." The album also documented another Cobras lineup, with Nagy and Restrepo joined by Steve Nawara on guitar, Joe Mazzola on bass, and Kenny Tudrick on drums.

Tied & True

After a brief hiatus and a move to Bloodshot Records, the Phil Spector-influenced Tied & True was released in 2007 with yet another rotation of musicians -- reintroducing Greg Cartwright and adding seasoned bassist Carol Schumacher, a fellow member of the Reigning Sound, to the ever-changing roster.

The band is known for multiple lineup changes, as noted in the side bar. They generally have a touring

lineup different from their recording lineup. Greg Cartwright of Reigning Sound (aka Greg Oblivian of The Oblivians) has been a constant creative force along with Nagy and Ramirez, who have been around since the group's genesis. In the summer of 2008, The Detroit Cobras went on tour in support of X on their 13x31 tour. For the summer of 2009, The Detroit Cobras headlined a tour w/ the Dex Romweber Duo in support.
Mark Deming

Discography: Albums and EPs

Mink, Rat or Rabbit
- LP, CD, MP3 (1998, Sympathy for the Record Industry; reissued 2004 and 2016)
Life, Love and Leaving - LP, CD (2001, Sympathy for the Record Industry, Rough Trade; reissued 2004, Sinnamon Records, Rough Trade)
Life, Love and Leaving - remastered CD, MP3 (2016, Third Man)
Seven Easy Pieces (EP) - CD (2003, Rough Trade)
Baby - LP, CD, MP3 (2004, Rough Trade, Sinnamon Records; reissued 2005, Rough Trade)
Baby - Enhanced CD (2005, Bloodshot, BS 125 - includes Seven Easy Pieces and video of Cha Cha Twist)
Tied & True - LP, CD (2007, Rough Trade, Bloodshot, Fiveman Army; reissued 2011 Bloodshot)





01. Hey Sailor  (Original by Mickey Lee Lane)
02. He Did It  (Original by the Ronettes)
03. Find Me a Home  (Original by Solomon Burke)
04. Oh My Lover  (Original by the Chiffons)
05. Cry On  (Original by Irma Thomas)
06. Stupidity  (Original by Solomon Burke)
07. Bye Bye Baby  (Original by Mary Wells)
08. Boss Lady  (Original by Davis Jones & The Fenders)
09. Laughing at You  (Original by The Gardenias)
10. Can't Miss Nothing  (Original by Ike and Tina Turner)
11. Right Around the Corner  (Original by The 5 Royales)
12. Won't You Dance With Me  (Original by Billy Lee and The Rivieras)
13. Let's Forget About the Past  (Original by Clyde McPhatter)
14. Shout Bama Lama  (Original by Otis Redding)



Rachel Nagy – vocals
Maribel (Mary) Ramirez – guitar
Dante Aliano (Dante Adrian White) – guitar
Eddie Harsch – bass/organ/piano
Damian Lang – drums


James Wailin – harmonica
Jeff Grand – slide guitar

MP3 @ 320 Size: 226 MB
Flac  Size: 74 MB





Ya Ya Ya (Looking for My Baby)  (original written by Doc Starkes, Melvin Smith of the Nite Riders)
02. My Baby Loves the Secret Agent  (original written by Fred Sledge Smith of The Olympics)
03. Heartbeat  (original written by Edward C. Cobb for singer Gloria Jones)
04. You Don't Knock  (original written by Roebuck "Pops" Staples of The Staple Singers)
05. Silver & Gold (When I Get Like This)  (original written Carl Lebow and Otto Jeffries by for The "5" Royales)
06. 99 and a Half Just Won't Do  (original written by Ronald G. King for Dorothy Love Coates)
07. Insane Asylum  (original written by Willie Dixon for Koko Taylor)



Rachel Nagy - Vocals
Mary Ramirez - Guitar / Vocals
Greg Cartwright - Guitar / Vocals on Insane Asylum
Eddie Harsch - Bass / Keys / Vocals
Kenny Tudrick - Drums / Vocals on Insane Asylum
Joey Mazzola - Guitar solo on Ya Ya Ya (Looking for My Baby)
Steve Nawara - additional Guitar on Silver & Gold (When I Get Like This)

MP3 @ 320 Size: 49 MB
Flac  Size: 134 MB

The Detroit Cobras: Mink, Rat or Rabbit HERE

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