Whitey Morgan & The 78's
Whiskey River Rock
When people think of country music, they think of Memphis or Texas or pretty much anywhere below the Mason-Dixon. Michigan, especially metro-Detroit and Flint, don't find themselves on the tip of any tongue in the Wrangler jean wearin’, Bud swillin’, Ford F150 drivin’ crowd. Not only do Whitey Morgan and the 78’s draw an audience from outside the cowboy boot clique, but when Southern audiences hear these twangsters gettin’ down to business, all they can say is, “There’s no way you’re Yankees.”
As Whitey Morgan and the 78’s continued their national tour, heading from the previous night’s stint at Reggie’s Music Joint in Chicago en route to Lee’s Liquor Lounge in Minneapolis, RDW had a chance to catch up with Jeremy Mackinder, the band’s wild-haired, bearded bass player to get the scoop on just what makes this country band from metro-Detroit so successful.
As I talked with Jeremy he explained that the subjects of the songs in country music are universal; they’re about hard times. “Everyone can relate to losing their job and stuff like that, and there’s plenty of inspiration in Flint, a place where factories are closed, jobs are scarce and people are bitter,” notes Mackinder. “Country music is about making people smile about the negative stuff, and that’s what we try to do in every show we play. When we’re on stage, we get to see the crowd drinking and dancing and forgetting all the shit — it's really cool to see.”
Whitey Morgan and the 78’s are quickly conquering the Midwest with their brand of guitar heavy “outlaw country” and have set the sights of their Smith & Wessons on the south, namely the Lone Star State, where Whitey and the boys are scheduled to play the infamous Austin-based music festival, South by Southwest, in mid-March. Before that, they will be playing a local homecoming tour after much time on the road: The Machine Shop on 1/24, PJ’s Lager House on the 1/31 and The Crofoot February 13.
Whitey Morgan and the 78’s recently released Honky Tonks and Cheap Motels, which features a countrified cover of Van Halen’s “Running with the Devil” and my favorite, “Honky Tonk Angel” — it oozes with heavy guitar riffs, that any Paisley or Skynyrd fan will appreciate. | RDW
Whitey Morgan and the 78’s • PJ’s Lager House • 1/31
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