Ty Stone made it to Hell for Tyfest and found all of his friends waiting to party with him!

Tyfest 2014 was a private, invite only, all-day festival located at the Hell Creek Ranch Campground in Hell,MI. The event took place on June 21st, 2014. Headlining was Ty Stone & The Truth. Also playing were some of Ty’s friends, many of which belong to the Detroit area Inside Outlaw Songwriters Collective. These friends included, The Royal Blackbirds, Alison Lewis, After Dark Amusement Park, Pat V., Mike Leslie Band, ‘Funky Daddy’ Tino Gross, The Infatuations, Envy featuring Jessie Wagner, Don ‘Doop’ Duprie and Joe Michnuk (MC for the evening).

The idea behind Tyfest started with the Kickstarter project Ty Stone put together to raise money for recording his newest album The Boulevard. Heading up the Tyfest campaign was a local music enthusiast named Chelsea Willis and her husband Jim Waldecker. Ty got with Chelsea & Jim and asked them to help spread the word about his Kickstarter project. Having built a close friendship with Ty, Chelsea said she wanted to do everything she could to help him out.

One of the items people could pledge on was where Ty would come to your house, bar, classroom, or backyard and perform a 60 minute acoustic Storytellers style set.

A friend of Chelsea’s, Jeremiah Kramer, mentioned to her that she has enough friends, many of which she made from Kid Rock’s Chillin’ the Most Cruise, that she could raise enough money for one of these private performances. They liked the idea of having a backyard BBQ with Ty so Chelsea sat down with Jim to figure out how they could make it work.

Using social media, Chelsea put the word out to her friends to see if any of them would like to contribute. Approximately 107 joined in. Chelsea & Jim sat down to start planning their backyard BBQ when reality started to set in. Here, they were going to have 107 friends plus their guests, would have to bring in a sound system, and provide parking for all of these people. They live in a township that has police and in a neighborhood that would not be able to accommodate parking for all the people attending, so they started to look at other options.

They sat down with a friend of theirs and shared their vision with them. This friend mentioned that they should go check out Hell Creek Ranch. After taking a drive on the property, Chelsea & Jim had made up their mind. They found the perfect facility to host their event.

Chelsea and Jim decided to talk to some of their favorite musicians to see if they would also like to play. Chelsea and Jim are not only fans of these musicians but also close personal friends with many of them. The event went from one to ten acts and from a one day event to a weekend event; which included camping, swimming, horse back riding, a BBQ, and music… with friends and family, American Style!

This event was completely fan driven. All put together independently, on their own, without any help from any big promoters. They rented out the entire campground, brought in their own sound system, and hired their own security. Many volunteers came forward to help with all the background needs although she says Christian Draheim (Infatuations) and Linda Lexy (Funky D Records) were very instrumental in helping her with the planning of it all. Even though Tyfest turned into a larger event than originally intended, the festival had a backyard BBQ feel to it keeping it intimate.

Chelsea says she works in the medical field and that it is a rough job at times. She says that music can change and touch your soul while connecting you to things. She says that she needs an outlet within the field she works in and that music is her outlet. She would do anything for many of these musicians who played Tyfest as these musicians would do the same for her. Doop even played her surprise 40th birthday party! That’s how close of a relationship this community has with one another.

On Friday night there was a campfire sing-a-long with Ty and these folks. And, on Saturday was the big festival which included an attendance of just under 500 people. Not all the 500 attendees were from Michigan. There was a mix of people from 19 different states as well as 2 different Canadian provinces, some of which drove 46 hours by car! Even with this amount of people, the atmosphere remained like one big family reunion. Chelsea likes to call Tyfest a celebration of Ty’s successful Kickstarter campaign.

National Rock Review was given the honor of being the only media invited to this special event. Following is a break-down on each band that played, along with photos taken by Thom Seling.


 

The Royal Blackbirds are a working class dirty bluesy influenced soulful rock band from the East side of Detroit. This threesome is comprised of Rebecca Saad (Guitar, Vocals), Dennis Burck (Bass), and Jeanette “Nettie” Gadette (Drums, Percussion).

According to their bio, they refurbish the bluesy lowdown sound the Detroiter work ethic embodies with tube amps, hollow bodies, thunderous drums and blistering bass.

Gadette and Saad have been jamming together since they were 15; although their bio says that Saad has played in bars since she was 13. A music major at Macomb Community College, Saad cites Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmy Page as influences. Gadette is self-taught.

Burck is a classically trained bassist at the Berkley Music Center and studied under Chuck Bartels (bass player for Bettye Lavette). Gadette and Saad met Burck in 2008 while playing a gig in Westland, Michigan. Four years later, they released their début full-length album, Shot Down, through Funky D Records. They are working on their sophomore album tentatively scheduled for a September release.

The band took the stage promptly at 2pm. I was hooked at the first guitar lick. Saad jams on the guitar. She appears rather young however plays like a seasoned veteran while grabbing the crowd’s attention with her vigorously soulful voice. As a unit, they reminded me a lot of The Black Keys during The Big Come Up/Thickfreakness era mixed with a little Jack White styled guitar playing.

Tino Gross (Funky D) has taken this young band under his wing and I see why. There is already so much talent within this threesome that I only see them getting better (and bigger). Although relatively new to the Detroit music scene, The Royal Blackbirds have quickly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. This band was a definite highlight of the day.

Set list: Ur No Good, Mother Mary, World Is Going Up In Flames, I Don’t Know, Shot Down, All Night Long, It Ain’t Right, Laughing At You, Ramblin’ Rose, Blackbirds Boogie.

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Playing music for over a decade, Alison Lewis started out playing in Detroit area coffee shops, dive bars, street corners, and as her bio says, even flea markets! After a successful run with Detroit’s pop act, The Twilight Babes, Lewis moved to Chicago where she started working on a solo career.

Lewis has taken her blend of Americana music nationwide, touring all over the United States and in other countries. She has received critical acclaim for her recordings and cites Ricki Lee Jones, Drive By Truckers, Michelle Shocked, Wilco, Lucinda Williams, and The Old 97’s as influences.

She eventually moved back to the Detroit area and put together a group of musicians called String of Ponies. Although Lewis remains the same, according to her bio, the Ponies come and go, and sometimes come back again, which keeps the music fresh and always evolving. The one thing that remains every time are the songs she wrote. She will show up and sing her heart out. You can count on that!

Lewis took the stage at 2:55 with Gregory Beyer playing along as her solo ‘Poni’ and man did they sound great blending their acoustic guitars together with Alison’s angelic voice! She is a natural on stage and very inviting with her stage presence. A little later on, Kelly Corrigan came out to harmonize on backing vocals.

While performing She’s Gone Away, Lewis segued into Concrete Blonde’s song Tomorrow Wendy. It was at this point that I fell deeply in love with Alison! She sang this song so much better than Johnette Napolitano did that it was almost as if Lewis wrote the song herself.

Lewis has a wonderful sense of humor and stated “This is a song about drinking too much and staying up too late, something of which I know nothing about” right before she performed In Too Deep.

Lewis mentioned to the crowd “You might know this song, so please sing along if you do” before she sang an incredible rendition of the Patty Loveless classic Blame It On Your Heart. The audience took her up on it and sang along to every word.

Set list: Darker, Just Kids, Storm Song, She’s Gone Away, In Too Deep, Would You, Blame It On Your Heart.

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Detroit Indie rock band, After Dark Amusement Park (ADAP), is led by guitarist, singer, sole songwriter, and full-time freelance bassist, Gregory Beyer. As the only remaining founder from the band’s incarnation, Beyer is currently rounded out with Leann Banks (Von Bondies/Amy Gore & the Valentines) on bass and backing vocals and David Dionise (Ben Keeler & the 500 Club) on drums. Beyer likes to call their blend of indie music “alt glam rock with a hint of power pop.”

Beyer couldn’t be happier with the current line-up, and confidently yet modestly asserts that ADAP is one of the most cohesive and compelling live acts on the Detroit scene. He thinks that the band has room to get even better as the trio performs more shows together.

Beyer juggles a number of other musical projects. He was part of Sixto Rodriguez’s (Yes, Beyer did find Sugar Man!) U.S. touring band, and currently plays with Doop and the Inside Outlaws, Alison Lewis’s String of Ponies, Matt Dmits, Grayling, and Ty Stone’s The Truth. Beyer also has a heavy load as a music teacher extraordinaire. This one-time professor at Detroit’s School of Rock now teaches bass, guitar, keyboards, and vocals privately, proving that he is a multi-instrumentalist with many talents. He also works with a young group called MUR (Mighty Unicorn Rebellion) as teacher, mentor and songwriter.

Not being able to define the band’s sound, Beyer says he is influenced by and feels equally indebted to Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, both Buckley’s, Flaming Lips, The Cure, Motown, David Bowie, T-Rex, Lennon and Harrison’s solo work, and Detroit rocker John Speck (Hoarse/Fags/HiFi Handgrenades).

Beyer has designs to tour regionally throughout 2014 to support the record he is close to finishing, tentatively titled Coo… Goes The Dove.

ADAP took the stage at 3:40pm with Beyer stating “I’m Greg, that’s Leann, and that’s Dave in the back. He’s going deep tonight.” Beyer is fun to watch. He likes to joke around with the crowd and encourages them to joke back. At one point, Beyer stated “Word on the street is Jeremiah got tanked last night, so let’s hear it for Jeremiah!”

Another funny moment was when Beyer stated “This is a new one called Moving Backwards. I tattooed the lyrics to this one on Joe’s back so if you want to read them then you’ll have to get Joe to take his shirt off.” Lucky for us, we never saw Joe with his shirt off!

Set list: Sugar, Jack Knife, Never Here Nor There, Atom Bomb, I Dissolve, Holy Roller Suicide, Safe & Sound, Get Me Out Of Here, Have You Ever Heard?, Lovin’ Turns To Love, Spector, The Bears Are Out!!, Moving Backwards, Skin ‘n’ Bones.

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Pat V. (Pat Vadnais) considers himself Detroit Outlaw Country. According to his bio, Pat V. likes to put the ‘ill’ back in hillbilly with a honky-tonk sound that is half Hank Sr. and half Pabst Blue Ribbon.

His music immediately transports you back down the lost highway and throws you through the swingin’ saloon doors of a 40’s honky-tonk. Classic stories of scorned women, over indulgence and run-ins with the law fuel this good timin’ singer’s music, and are guaranteed to fuel any party all night long. Pat V. is pure country gold, Inside Outlaw style!

Pat V. says his interest is “keeping the Detroit ‘live’ music scene alive & well, with the help of his friends in the Inside Outlaw Songwriters Collective” and says “If it’s old & its country… I like it!”

Pat V. took the stage at 4:35pm. True to his bio, he played some good ‘ol sounding honky-tonk music which sounded as if it were fueled by some PBR! He was fun to watch. He rocked out his acoustic guitar and seemed to have fun doing it. One of the highlights from his set was when Ty Stone came out to sing with him. This was a complete surprise to Pat V. as well as everyone else.

Pat V. also acted as stage manager for the event. This guy definitely knows his way around the stage. Because of him, everything ran smooth and all the bands played their sets right on time. Kudos to Pat V. for a job well done!

Set list: Excessive Enough, Givin’ Up, This State I’m In, Dope Smoke Song, Northern Drive, Swingin’, Play This Backward, Get You On The Dance Floor, All Fucked Up, Probation.

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Multi-talented singer, guitarist and songwriter, Mike Leslie has built up a loyal following with his intensely imaginative uniquely distinguishing style of guitar playing. He has been known to sit at a kick drum, while playing his guitar with his left hand and at the same time playing the snare drum with his right hand while singing into the microphone. Now, that’s what I definitely call a one-man musical jam!

According to Gary Bartle of Real Detroit Weekly, “Mike Leslie Band has created an effortlessly cool sound which harkens back to when songwriters were blunt and emotions were raw. Think Elliott Smith with B.B. King on guitars.”

According to their bio, the Mike Leslie Band offers their eclectic jam twist on pop progressions over rock structure. They have strong folk and classic-rock guitar chops yet write around hooks and lyrics to produce urban sonic jewels. In an interview with Real Detroit Weekly, Leslie stated “I want to have a conversation with listeners and tell them how I feel” and that their début album “Is an expression of feeling. It’s a dark record. Some of the songs are fun and poppy, but the lyrics are really troubled. It’s something that everybody goes through.”

Spanning generations, Leslie cites Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Elliot Smith, Blind Melon, Alabama Shakes, John Lennon, Sam Cooke, Almond Brothers Band, Nirvana, Gary Clark Jr., Jack White, and Jim James as influences.

The Mike Leslie Band hit the stage at 5:20pm. For this show, Leslie’s band consisted of Bryan Reilly on drums and Mike Parrott playing bass for the first half of the set while The Wolf (Infatuations) took over bass duties for the second half.

Leslie jams on the guitar. I definitely see the influence Hendrix has on his style of playing. Leslie gets so into playing his guitar that it feels as if he disappears into his music. He’s such a natural at the guitar that he doesn’t have to pay attention to what he is doing. The music just flows from his fingertips.

At one point, Leslie jumped off the stage and walked out into the crowd. He walked around to small groups of people and played his guitar just for them. After he made his way back to the stage, he mentioned “If you can’t come up here and hang out with me then I’m going to come down and hang out with you.”

Set list: Notice, Weather Vane, 4am Blues, Ride, Easy Death, Look Away, Grapevine.

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This generation knows him mostly for his work with the Howling Diablos, but Tino Gross is a man of many talents. In the early 1970s, he played drums on regional tours with blues and R&B veterans such as John Lee Hooker, Otis Rush, Baby Boy Warren, Dr. Ross, Willie D. Warren, Bob Jenkins, Eddie Taylor, Jimmy Rodgers, Bo Diddley, and Hubert Sumlin.

He did a stint as a session drummer with Ann Arbor’s Blind Pig Records and was a founding member of the quirky 80’s funk-rock band the Urbations.

He has fronted Detroit’s funky bluesy jam style hip-hop rock outfit, the Howling Diablos, since 1991 although some might say the origin of the band came about in 1987 when artist Gary Grimshaw asked Tino to put a group together to play live music at one of his art showings. Not having a band name yet, he and Johnny Evans took the Howling Diablos moniker from their love of blues legend Howlin’ Wolf and an old Fortune Records group called The Diablos.

Tino is responsible for helping introduce Kid Rock to the idea of blending rap with live music (the rock-funk-rap hybrid known to many as the Detroit version of hip-hop).

He runs his own recording studio, Funky D Studios, as well as record label, Funky D Records. He has recorded with Insane Clown Posse, cut remixes for bluesmen R.L. Burnside and Little Freddie King, co-wrote with Uncle Kracker, recorded and produced many musicians, and shares a writing credit with Bob Dylan on Sean Forbes début album.

Martin ‘Tino’ Gross isn’t just a familiar face around town; his years in the scene have helped turn him into one of Detroit’s unheralded musical treasures. He is a walking storybook with a lifetime worth of stories based in and around the Detroit music scene.

Along with receiving several prior awards, Gross also took home the Outstanding Blues/R&B Songwriter award and Outstanding Urban/Funk Vocalist award in the 2014 Detroit Music Awards. His Funky D Records took home the 2014 DMA for Outstanding Local Record Label. His band, Howling Diablos, took home the 2014 DMA for Outstanding Rock/Pop Recording and for Outstanding Urban/Funk Artist/Group.

Tino hit the stage at 6:15pm with only a guitar and kick drum. He put on a heck of a show. People enjoyed him so much that they did not miss him having a back up band.

Set List: If The Devil Come To Get You (Tell Him I Don’t Want Ya!), Prison Train, Funky Daddy, Long Way To The Top, Worried Life Blues, Rollin’ Stone, Can’t Stand The Rain, Shake Rattle and Roll, Trouble In My Crib, Boogie Children, Motor City Burnin’, Grinnin’ In Your Face, Gloria, I Wanna Be Your Dog.

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Some might think that Motown is dead but they are completely wrong. Motown comes back to us in the form of The Infatuations. This is not your parent’s Motown but a reimagined version for a new generation. These guys are heavily influenced by the funk, soul and rhythm-and-blues that were so prominent in Motown. They are not trying to reinvent the wheel. However, they play with such confidence that you would think they had invented the genre.

It’s hard to believe that The Infatuations are a relatively new band. They play with the same heart and soul as such classic artists as Smokey Robinson, Al Green, Sly and the Family Stone, Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding mixed with the extraordinary musicianship of the Funk Brothers, 94 East, The Time, P-Funk, New Power Generation, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. However, The Infatuations do it in a way without being a derivative of any of these listed artists.

The band has quickly become one of Detroit’s top drawing acts. They brought home 5 Detroit Music Awards in 2014 for Outstanding R&B Artist/Group, Outstanding Live Performance, Outstanding Rock/Pop Songwriter, Outstanding Blues/R&B Recording for Yesterday Morning and Outstanding Video/Independent for Yesterday Morning.

The Infatuations are a must see live band. According to Gnyp, from 93.9 FM The River, “You want to know how Detroit actually parties… Watch The Infatuations!”

Comprised of Caleb Gutierrez (Vocals), Christian Draheim (Lead Guitar), The Wolf (Bass), Robert Myers (Drums), and Nick Behnan (Guitar), The Infatuations deliver a celebration of high-energy rock n’ soul and get their audiences movin’ to the beat every time they play.

As Joe Michnuk (the MC) announced The Infatuations, he threw some of the band’s CDs out into the audience. As one of the CDs flew into somebody, he jokingly said “I didn’t mean to stab anybody; I’ll be doing that later tonight in my tent!”

The Infatuations took the stage at 7:00pm and quickly got the crowd dancing. Gnyp was right, these guys truly are a must see live band. They are all energetic, seasoned, upbeat and highly entertaining musicians. They sound as great live as they do on their CD. If I hadn’t watched their performance with my own eyes, I would’ve thought they were just playing along to the CD itself. These guys are THAT good!

The Wolf is a monster on the bass. His appearance is so hardcore that I kept expecting him to branch off into a Rage Against The Machine song. Myers played the shit out of his drums. I’m surprised they were still standing afterward. Gutierrez can sing anything with his multi-faceted vocal range. Draheim is mesmerizing on the guitar while Behnan adds the necessary ‘punch’ to accompany Draheim. At different times, the band would harmonize on the background vocals adding to Gutierrez’s heavenly voice. One thing I would like to see is the band breaking down into some a cappella in the middle of one of their songs. After hearing them all harmonize together, I feel they have the chops to pull it off, a capella style!

Set list: Tonight We Celebrate, Dancin’ On My Knees, Harley Girl, Livin’ Here Without You, Back Again, Miss You, Diamond Disco, Down Jefferson, Blame It On You.

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Envy is a New York five-piece band that has successfully combined the elements of rock, soul, and pop to create their own unique sound. In the Detroit music scene, lead singer, Jessie Wagner, is most known as one of the back-up singers in Kid Rock’s Twisted Brown Trucker band.

Wagner’s career in music goes back years before Kid Rock tapped her to sing for him. She began writing songs for a production company in Jacksonville, FL named Black House. From there she went on to performing in clubs and venues in the South. She met, future American Idol finalist, Bo Bice and started touring with his band, Sugar Money. Shortly after, she moved to New York City to further her career.

In the early 2000’s, she joined on as one of the lead singers for the famous disco group Chic. With Chic, she performed all over the world, including such prestigious venues as the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Roskilde Rock Festival, and the Grammy’s. She even had the honor of singing with such artists as Peter Gabriel, Pattie Labelle, Elton John, Sister Sledge, Musiq, Bebe Winans, Eric Bene, and the Pointer Sisters.

It was during the Montreux Jazz Festival when she first met Kid Rock. Liking how her voice blended with Sylver Logan Sharp, the other singer in Chic, Rock asked them to sing on his Rock N’ Roll Jesus album. From there, she went on tour with Rock and contributed to his albums that followed after Jesus.

Wagner looked for people to help her develop her musical vision of combining her soulful voice with rock. She met guitarist Kieran Sullivan. From there, the two of them added Dave Diamond (Drums), Steven ‘Stevie B’ Bonacio (Bass), and James Lewis (Guitar) to the mix. According to their Facebook page, the band’s interests are “Sex-hugs-and-rock-and-roll!”

Envy took the stage at 8:00pm. Jessie Wagner is an absolutely stunning front woman. She has beauty, poise, can sing, dance and entertain the hell out a crowd! I see why Kid Rock added her as his back up singer as she is every bit of an incredible show woman as Rock is a showman. Wagner danced non-stop for the entire set and enthralled the crowd with her magnetic stage presence.

Wagner brought Kieran Sullivan and James Lewis with her from New York. Helping her out was Stefanie Eulinberg (Kid Rock’s band) on drums, Jimmy Bones (Kid Rock’s band) on keyboards, and Ibrahim Jones (who teaches music and sometimes plays with Dave McMurray) on bass.

Set list: Army of the Underdog, Backseat Girl, Stuck In My Own Way, Shakin’ My Head (SMH), Alright, Oh, Take Me Over, Party Revolution, Handle It, Fire.

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Don ‘Doop’ Duprie is one of Detroit’s best-kept secrets. The roots of this working class singer/songwriter shine throughout his lyrics, which he wears on his sleeve like a badge of honor. A laid off firefighter, born and raised in industrial River Rouge, MI, Doop has forged a successful music career as a solo artist and as the front man for his band, The Inside Outlaws.

Doop and Ty Stone formed the Inside Outlaw Songwriters Collective in 2005. According to Doop, “The original vision was to get a group of songwriters and musicians together to make good music and really focus on writing great songs.”

Since that time, the collective has morphed into a group of musicians who, not only play under the name of the Inside Outlaws, but also create music on their own under their own name. Similar to Alison Lewis’s band, String of Ponies, the Inside Outlaws come and go, and sometimes come back again, which keeps the music fresh and always evolving.

In addition to Doop and Stone, the group of alt-country and Americana musicians includes Matt Dmits, Alison Lewis, Katie Grace, Pat V, and Gregory Beyer. Doop teamed up with legendary Detroit producer Jim Diamond at Ghetto Recorders for all three of his album releases: Blood River (2007), Everett Belcher (2009), and What Am I Supposed To Do? (2011).

Cat, of Radio Free Americana, described Blood River as “a raw, honest mix of workingman’s country and rock n’ roll from the heartland that swaggers like The Waco Brothers.”

Eric Allen, of Real Detroit Weekly, stated, “From the first strum of the acoustic guitar on album opener Everett Belcher, Doop stakes his claim as Detroit’s Bruce Springsteen. Meshing The Boss and his New Jersey tales with John Mellencamp’s odes to Indiana, Doop fills Everett Belcher with bits and flecks of Detroit.”

Brett Callwood, of the Metro Times, described What Am I Supposed To Do? As “honest, raw and heartfelt, but that vein of Detroit filth and gasoline is running straight through it, giving his country music an edge that our friends to the south will never be able to match.”

Doop’s songwriting has received national attention, having been hailed, “hands down the best songwriter we (Detroit) now have to offer the American World” by Don Zelaznv of AmericanRoots.com.

Doop’s albums made the Top Ten List in Metro Times and AmericanaRoots.com. His second album, Everett Belcher, won the 2010 Detroit Music Award for Outstanding Country Recording and was named Album of the Day by Country Music Pride’s podcast American Daily. His music has been featured on the award-winning podcast Digivegas.com, the #1 Americana podcast, Americana Root Roundtable, on NoDepression.com, and on the American Public Media radio show The Story.

Doop has been named a 2012 Kresge Artist Fellow. The program recognizes Detroit area performing artists for their “creative vision and commitment to excellence.”

Doop is a self-taught guitar player, following two lessons he says he didn’t like. Doop says he remembers watching a PBS documentary about the tragic plight of the American farmer during the Reagan era and around that same time he heard Rain on the Scarecrow by John Mellencamp. This, he says, changed his life.

According to the article Working Man’s Blues, written by Bill Holdship of the Metro Times, Doop feels Bruce Springsteen is the very best. Doop even performs a countrified cover of the Boss’ Prove It All Night, which he recorded for the Everett Belcher album. Along with the Boss, Doop’s musical DNA is made up of the Charlie Pride, Hank Williams Sr. and Conway Twitty songs he heard in his grandfather’s pickup as a youngster. As are the Bob Seger tunes his hot-rodder dad had blaring in the garage while building cars. As is the Motown music his mother adored. And Doop strongly believes that all those distinct elements, even the soul part… no, especially the soul part, have a place in Americana’s unique musical blend.

Just recently, LA weekly listed Doop and the Inside Outlaws as one of their 10 Country Artists You Should Be Listening To. A list which also included Eric Church!

When not playing music, you can find Doop baking pies at Dangerously Delicious Pies, which is located inside the Third Street Bar in Detroit, MI. Doop is one of the owners of the pie shop. Business is doing great for the Pie Guys and they are rated one of the top restaurants in Detroit.

Doop took the stage at 8:55pm. Armed with only his voice, an acoustic guitar, and a harmonica, Doop mesmerized the crowd with his incredible songs. I overheard people saying that he is Detroit’s version of Bob Dylan. I tend to agree with them however I would go one step further and say he is Detroit’s version of Ryan (not Bryan!) Adams. The reason is, with Dylan, you know what to expect as his songs all have a similar sound. Adams writes songs as well as Dylan but adds a more diverse musical cross-section to his sound. Doop is every bit of a modern-day Dylan but his songs have a wider range of versatility to them along the same lines as Adams. Doop and the Inside Outlaws are every bit as talented as Ryan Adams and the Cardinals and could easily match them song for song.

So, take some Bob Dylan, add some Ryan Adams, and mix in a little grittiness of Richmond, Virginia’s Tim Barry, and you have the unique sound that is Don ‘Doop’ Duprie.

Set list: Everett Belcher, M.F.N.J.O.B., What Am I Supposed To Do, If I Were You I’d Probably Hate Me Too, Sittin’ Here, Think About Me, Touring Band, My Fault, You Gotta Rock n’ Roll Sometimes.

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Ty Stone is a powerhouse singer who can easily fill an arena sized venue with his voice. After cutting his teeth with his early band 2 Days Straight, Stone headed out west to Los Angeles, California. In between working minimum-wage jobs and playing music around L.A., Stone recorded his first solo album titled TCMFB.

Stone got his big break when someone handed Kid Rock a copy of his demo. A phone call, and visit, from Kid Rock brought Stone back to Detroit. Rock took to Stone’s great songwriting and incredible voice, signing him to his Top Dog Records. Stone states, “I had that experience everyone fantasizes about; some rock star grabs you up out of your crappy life, moves you into his house, puts you on private jet, and introduces you to his rock star friends. That shit happened to me. I learned so much.”

Rock executive produced Stone’s first outing for Top Dog/Atlantic Records, an EP titled 4 on the Floor and it’s follow-up début full-length American Style. Per Rock, “His soul and his Rhythm & Blues instincts are just spot-on. It’s exciting stuff to hear.” American Style launched the national single American Style and the video Anywhere’s Better featuring Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker that actually reached #1 on CMT.com and received national airplay on CMT and CMT Pure.

Stone has mentioned of Rock, “It’s an honor to work with him. He cares about the music and he basically sticks up for me in this business, like a big brother.” That extended to Rock taking Stone out as an opening act on two arena tours, opening concerts in the kind of venues he’d only entered as a fan before, not to mention a few pretty amazing Chillin’ the Most Cruises.

According to his bio, Stone see’s himself filling that void that guys like Bob Seger and John Cougar Mellencamp once filled, that kind of Americana, normal, blue-collar, everyday man. Stone explains. “That’s something everyone can relate to, y’know? I’m not a super pretty dude. I lived like everyone else and had all the bullshit jobs people had. I just want to write about real things that normal people can relate to.”

Stone has come a long way as a songwriter. He mixes the perfect blend of country, southern rock, and Motown soul into his unique sound.After the success of American Style, it was time for Stone to take his next step forward.

Stone decided to put a Kickstarter campaign together to raise the funds needed to record his follow-up to American Style. This was very successful for him. Stone set a goal of $10,000 however was hoping to actually raise $20,000 which he says was the budget needed to record The Boulevard. With 303 backers, he raised $32,485 which was more than the $10,000 goal he had set.

It was time for Stone to follow through on fulfilling one of these pledges and Tyfest was his opportunity to do so. Ty Stone took the stage at 9:45pm to play a short acoustic set prior to The Truth coming out for the full-band set. The Truth consisted of Gregory Beyer (Bass), Bryan Reilly (Drums), Christian Draheim (Guitar), and Kelly Corrigan (Backing Vocals).

Stone opened up with his soulful church choir-ish classic Blessed St. Anthony. He belted out the song with his impressively strong voice and grabbed everyone’s attention from the very first note. We were all here to worship at the ‘Church’ of Ty.

Stone’s voice is magnificent. Hearing him sing live is more impressive than listening to his CD as you get to see the emotion he puts into his music first hand. There are no studio tricks with him. He is the real deal. He hits every high note of every song without skipping a beat. His band was tight and their sound was crisp. You could hear every note from every instrument and they blended perfectly with Stone’s voice.

Stone played an amazingly long set without showing any signs of tiring. He played every song off of the 4 On The Floor EP and almost every song off of American Style and The Boulevard.

Set list: Blessed St. Anthony, Bob Seger, The Boulevard, Beauty Queen, Both Of Us, Line of Blood, American Style, Feel Good, Money in the Mattress, Anywhere’s Better, That’s Me, Smile, Love Songs, Never Will, Done Is Done, Wouldn’t A Been, Real Thang, Down River, Love and Hate, Faith In Love.

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In my many years of attending concerts, I have never been to one that ran as smooth, and friendly, as Tyfest. This all day celebration was put together by avid music fans for avid music fans with artists performing who are as much avid music fans as they are artists. Kudos to Chelsea Willis & Jim Waldecker for a job well done. Can’t wait for next year’s installment of Tyfest!

All photography by Thom Seling.

About The Author

Erik's interest in music began at an early age. In high school, he was the co-host of the underground metal show the Social Mutilation Hour, on 89.5 WAHS, under the name of Neurotik Erik. During this period of his life, he independently promoted shows under the name of Ding Dong Ditch Productions. Erik would rent out local VFW Halls, use space at Oakland Community College Auburn Hills Campus, or simply throw basement parties around the Detroit area. While at college at Ferris State University, he became head of the student run organization, Entertainment Unlimited, and continued to promote shows, but on a larger scale. He also helped start an underground magazine, 'Outpunk', where he interviewed bands and wrote music reviews. Additionally, Erik joined the staff at the Ferris State University Torch and wrote on a larger scale.

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