As last Saturday faded into a beautiful night, downtown Detroit was hopping, and a good portion of the buzz was centered around St. Andrews Hall for the Detroit Block Party on the Boulevard. A dual album release show for both Ty Stone and the Infatuations, the hall was packed to the rafters with friends, family and all-around party people. Rounding out the bill were openers Stereo Jane and Shotgun Soul who kicked off the night to the all ages crowd.
By the time Ty Stone hit the stage, the crowd was fired up and ready to rock. It's been a long and winding road for Ty, who moved back to Detroit a couple years ago after being pursued and signed to Kid Rock's Top Dog record label. Since then, he's trimmed down and put in some serious work. On this night, Stone was in his element as seemingly most of downriver made the trek up I-75 to party with the singer-songwriter. Ty Stone has the grit and honesty in his music that Kid Rock wishes he had, and it is reflected in the crowd's enthusiasm for his no-frills country-rock. The highlight of the set was a raucous sing-along of "Downriver," joined by fellow inside-outlaw Don "Doop" Dupree.
Up next, were the always entertaining Infatuations, led by guitarist Christian Draheim (who also played in Ty's band) and crooner Caleb Gutierrez. The Infatuations are furiously shredding the title of "Detroit's best-kept secret" with the release of Detroit Block Party, a top-down Chevy of a party record. On this night, the band was in full effect, complete with percussion and back-up singers. Singer Gutierrez, has a huge voice that really comes alive in a big live setting. Belting out Faux-town hits, the Infatuations had the crowd dancing in the style of true Detroit block party. You will not find another band in town that is as polished and adept at bringing a party to life like these guys. A soul band at heart, the rhythm section including The Wolf, Chris Polite and Nick Behnan can still rock with the best of them.
There was a definite buzz in the air, a tangible excitement to see a band that is elevating to the next level. After snagging a slew of Detroit Music Awards, the Infatuations are dropping Detroit Block Party at the right time, just on the edge of a summer that will see them touring across the country.
It's tough to translate all of that live energy onto a record, but you can take a listen for yourself right here.