Down home fun included a free show featuring eight acts at Tequila Cabresto in Detroit winding down the summer with a party.Michiganders never let a single summer day go to waste. Tequila Cabresto, a Detroit owned and operated family operation, threw a free backyard Summer Heatwave party at The Old Miami in mid-town Detroit and featured several acoustic performances by their sponsored artists.
The day featured sets from notable acts in the area such as Ricardo Naipes, Cold English, White Shag, Grand Circus, Mike Leslie, The Infatuations, members of Harlow, and a set by D.J. Dock. The Old Miami is one of the relaxing spots in Detroit featuring a veritable backyard oasis free from the concerns of the outside world.
Tantalizing smells of grilled meats hung in the air from a Detroit taco truck serving up fresh two dollar tacos. A dunk tank filled with bikini clad Cabresto models captivated the rear corner of the yard, where a fiver gave you three balls to attempt a dunking. Being an all ages event meant children could attend which resulted in several “covert dunk tank operations” as parents bribed kids to sneak up and smack the lever on the unsuspecting ladies.
The music scene here is one of the tightest families I’ve ever met in my travels. This event had more of a family barbecue/reunion than a hosted event with laughter, smiles, excited high fives and heartfelt hugs among the crowds that came and went all day. Everyone knows someone here in this city, it was a good vibe.
The representation of music on the outdoor stage was a slice of the best of the Detroit music world. The headliner for the event was The Infatuations, whose recent release Detroit Block Party, has been critically acclaimed around the world.
The Infatuations are poised to take the world by surprise this year with several tour date in the works, including a repeat opening slot for Here Come The Mummies at The Fillmore Detroit on October 4. Their blend of rock, soul, funk and groove perfectly captures everything the world loves about all the Detroit music that came before them.
Blues rock guitarist Mike Leslie performed a set of covers and originals accompanied by bassist “The Wolf” of The Infatuations sitting in for rhythm. Leslie had just completed a whirlwind tour of the country playing clubs in Los Angeles, Vegas and Chicago along the way, including a stellar performance at the famed Whiskey A Go-Go in LA.
White Shag is a high-powered, energy packed rock band composed of Laura Mendoza, Jorge Cortez and Joe Leone. The trio pushes out a raw sound that harkens back to early punk days from the Stooges and MC5 to modern-day influences from the like Guns n’ Roses. Mendoza and Jorge both share lead vocal duties, feeding off each other with a fierce sultry demeanor that bares the soul of their Latino heritage and cultural musical roots.
Cold English is a band that defies any particular genre. Hip-hop, jam guitar, ska, rock, funk and soul, it’s all rolled together in a seven-layer burrito of flavorful sound. Youthful, lively, and exuding a vibe of good times they switched the gears of the party midway through the day.
Grand Circus has been a mainstay in the Detroit rock scene for decades. They have several national tours under their belts, and have provided direct support for many national acts in their storied history. No-frills rock n’ roll heart attack stack of sound defines this band. Their stripped down acoustic performance included a bluesy rendition of Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” which could have been right at home in a smoky blues bar.
Harlow is another Detroit band that has a strong following and huge fan base. Singer Lauren Weaver’s vocals range from raspy and throaty to clean and pure, evoking memories of Pat Benatar or Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex. Bassist Kelly Weaver laid down some sick, thick bass on fellow musician Wolf’s new bass while Joe Allen provided a virtuoso display of acoustic guitar work.
Ricardo Naipes is a Mexican born pop and rock musician whose guitar and recording work have garnered him nominations for nine categories in the 2010 Latin Grammy awards. His stylistic three-piece band provided a mellow and pleasing intro in to the day as the first act on the stage.
DJ Dock is a premier DJ in the dance music scene. With a degree in music his talent and expertise bring his music to new heights. His interludes between musical acts kept the party atmosphere alive and kicking without a lull.Â He is one of the top booked DJ’s in the Detroit music scene and can be found spinning almost every night of the week someplace.
The day ended with an all-star Tequila Cabresto artist jam onstage, joined friends and family from the crowd. Covers of “With A Little Help From My Friends,” “Free Bird,” “Roadhouse Blues,” and “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” were performed in various renditions, some amusing, some amazing, but all with the heart and soul that is Detroit music.