By Vlad T, Rock At Night Detroit
Live Review: The High Strung with the Muggs and Duende-May 14, 2022
It was an evening intended to celebrate the vinyl release of a forgotten album by The High Strung. It ended up being part of a grand celebration of the ‘Strung’, two of the band’s lauded Detroit compatriots sharing the bill, and everything that is Detroit rock today.
Local sons the Strung, long lauded for an array of clever and adventurous material (not to mention bus-bound adventures on the road), took advantage of the pandemic to reassess and revisit an unreleased album, Hannah. The sonic charms of Hannah—or at least her vinyl sisters—can now end up on your turntable, which was reason enough for the band to commemorate its release with a show at Detroit’s venerable Old Miami on May 14th. The band has earned a sizable international following, yet continues to call Detroit home. That following was out in force for this evening’s show and reveled in the electric, spirited performance from front men Josh Malerman and Mark Owen and their supporting cast of merry men, Derek Berk, Chad Stocker, and Jason Berkowitz.
Building up to the Strung’s set were two headline-caliber local acts in their own right that understood their important role in feting the main act and setting the bar high for an audience eager to share the love.
Local rock stalwarts the Muggs, featuring musical brothers Danny and Tony, tore through a bludgeoning set of swagger, hooks and crunchy blues. It was a showing of power that threatened to dim the lights on the Cass Corridor but instead set afire the hearts of the Muggs faithful who have stood with the boys through thick and thin.
No less impressive were local roots rock institution Duende, which set the stage for the evening’s festivities with its spicy eclectic stew of Jelly Roll’s jangly riffs, the booming rhythms of Laura Willem and Scott Sanford, and the distinctive howl of Jeffery Howitt. Olé, olé, olé!
The evening’s three principal players, while different in style and approach, complemented one another organically. Ultimately, it let the punters savor the collective grand experience and appreciate this memorable episode in Detroit music.
The High Strung are:
Josh Malerman – vocals, guitar
Mark Owen – vocals, guitarChad Stocker – bass guitarDerek Berk – drumsStephen Palmer – electric guitar
The Muggs are:
Danny Muggs – vocals, guitar
Tony Muggs – bass
Laura “The Boom” Willem – drumsScott Sanford – electric bass“Jelly Roll” Joel McCune – guitars, harmonica, vocalsJeffery Howitt – vocals, guitar
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