Pinning Duende into a particular genre is tough work. It's rooted in traditional Americana, but it might provide a little dirty rock 'n' roll at times, or a little country or blues.
"We used to call ourselves sonic Americana," says Jeff Howitt, vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the Ferndale group. "There's something about the pacing of country and the riffery of blues, but we're too trashy for the suburban sprawl."
The band is gearing up for an album release Saturday at the Old Miami in Detroit. "Murder Doesn't Hide the Truth" is the fifth album from the group and the first on local label Bellyache Records.
The album was recorded at the Tempermill with engineer, producer and musician Dave Feeny. "We don't play a lot of mellow things on this album, but we definitely strip it down," Howitt says. "We've been able to use arrangement more to paint a picture."
Along with Howitt, the band features Laura Willem (drums, piano), Jellyroll Joel McCune (guitar) and Scott Sanford (bass).
9 p.m. Saturday, Old Miami, 3930 Cass, Detroit. 313-831-3830. $10 admission includes a copy of the album, which comes with a digital download. Opening areOutrageous Cherry and the Blueflowers.
For more: www.facebook.com/duende.ole.
Metro 37 Showcase: Studio owner, musician, engineer and producer Kevin Sharpe started the first incarnation of what became Metro 37 Recording Studios in 2005. Since then, Sharpe and his 4,000-square-foot facility in Rochester Hills have been cranking out recordings for all sorts of clients.
Some of the more notable local artists who have recorded with Sharpe include Critical Bill, Mitch Ryder, the Orbitsuns, the Koffin Kats, Alan Turner and Hush. Sharpe has also done work with national acts -- rappers Yelawolf and Tyga and rock bands Smile Empty Soul and Hawthorne Heights.
On Saturday, he'll debut a series of monthly concerts featuring local bands at Diesel Concert Lounge in Chesterfield Township, where he also works as a sound engineer. "This is a job that requires someone that loves local music," Sharpe says. "Our goal is to give (the bands) better treatment than they've ever had."
Sharpe will also record Saturday's concert. "I bring in a 24-track recorder and I get all the individual tracks and the audience response," he says. The recordings will be given to the bands to use as they see fit, and Sharpe will feature the recordings on his Facebook page.
He's also working to develop local bands. "I was a musician up till the time I was about 35," he says. "If I can just help people not make the same mistakes that I've made, they'd be much farther along. Sometimes I help with booking, about what choices to make, material and places to play."
Performing at Saturday's showcase are a handful of newer local rock bands including Blind Season, the ButterKnife Wives, Digital Love, Black Ghost Bandits andNegative Feedback.
In April, Sharpe plans to open a second studio in an upper-level space inside the Diesel Concert Lounge. "It's an added value for the venue and for the bands," he says.
Sharpe's next showcase, set for April 26, is a project called Kickstart Detroit. The featured band, rockers Curbstone Beauty, will earn money to be used toward a studio recording with Sharpe. The showcase is a collaborative fund-raising effort involving the bar and all of the bands on the bill. Each band will earn money, but the large chunk of the night's take will go to the featured group.
Doors at 7 p.m. and music at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Diesel Concert Lounge, 33151 Twenty-three Mile, Chesterfield Township. 586-752-3914. $5.
For more: www.metro37.com.
Rachel May, Metromix editor, is also a member of local bands Broadzilla and Maxine Petrucci. Send local music news to her firstname.lastname@example.org Follow her on Facebook and Twitter: rachelmay222