On Fri. Dec. 2,, The Ferndale Area District Library opens their doors for an after-hours gig! A live concert inside a library! First Stop Friday, the library’s bi-monthly showcase of two great local bands, is sponsored by The Friends of the Ferndale Library.
This month, we’ll be helping Ferndale music fans get better acquainted with the scheduled performers at the next installment of First Stop Friday.
Loose Koozies are a new quartet formed (and fronted) by local singer/songwriter Eric Allen. Allen has played with several of Detroit’s best, from the realms of garage rock to blues, pop to country (and even some hardcore punk). The versatile guitarist has always been more of the auxiliary to previous bands, but now he’s stepping into the spotlight as frontman, displaying a richly raspy voice endeared to a rust belt-flavored fraying of country twang, Americana and 60’s Nuggets rock ‘n’ roll.
Allen is joined by Andrew Moran (guitar), Nick German (drums), and Erin Davis (bass), each of with uniquely punched up resumes amid the local rock scene. They just set up their Facebook show and are yet to reach double digits in terms of the amount of gigs they’ve played so far… But we’re so happy to help incubate this eclectic new outfit as they start to reach a galloping pace.
The band started in August. Allen had been recording music with singer/guitarist Gordon Smith (of The Kickstand Band) and between takes he agreed to play a show opening for Smith’s band, even though he had no backing band to speak of at that very moment. “I thought that was a great idea,” Allen said with no shred of facetiousness. Because he realized an urgent sorta kick-in-the-rear to finally form a band would be just what he needed, since he’d been talking about his the desire to do so for two years at that point.
“The true origin of the band actually starts in 1995, when my parents took me to Nashville and I fell in love with country music,” said Allen. “I sat at a table and autographed it like I saw Billy Ray Cyrus do during a TV special and told them I would come back and find (that autograph) after I was famous. So, (starting this band) has always been inside me since that day, but I don’t think I had come close to doing enough living to truly be able to write songs that were as honest as the country songs that i loved. I feel like I’m in that place, now… Still haven’t found my signature back at Tootsie’s, though.”
In the past, with other songs he’d written, Allen admits to never really spending more than 15 minutes on the lyrics or the riffs. That changed with Loose Koozies. “I consciously said that I’d be sitting down to write these songs and actually spend the time to craft them. I think that effort translates to what we’ve been able to create so far.”
Allen’s measuring himself up against some formidable and iconic influences in the country music genre. Nevertheless, without worrying too much about branding or labeling, Allen still feels his trio of players help him to hit upon all the classic eras of country music. The idea is to affect a state of mind, rather than overtly try to sound like someone else.
“I want people to hear our music and have that feeling of endless freedom that only things like the highway, the mountains or the forest can provide. It sounds like some hippy-dippy shit, but I find those things to be more freeing than any band I’ll ever hear in my entire life.”
Meanwhile, the band has been working on recording demos and hope to set down to the serious work of a proper debut release early next year. “Our whole thing, now, is just playing whatever shows come up… I’m really happy that everyone in our band is down to play whatever… We’ve been having some fun playing things like chili cook-offs and other weird stuff; really, that’s what its all about to me, (is) playing, having fun with my friends and drinking a few beers.”
Friends of the Ferndale Library Presents First Stop Friday
Featuring Escaping Pavement and Loose Koozies
Fri., Dec 2 at 7pm
Ferndale Area District Library
222 E. Nine Mile Rd