Crooked Joint is a band of veteran Detroit musicians under the helm of principal writer Dirk Kroll. Original Indie/Pop/Rock songs that recall and reflect moments in time and slices of life. These "under-the-radar" musicians, influenced by Motown, blues, funk, and early rock, meld music and word to create these songs reflective of life experiences.
Dirk Kroll - vocals, guitar
Greg Hodgson - drums
Tom Wall - guitar
Charles Green - percussion
Al Billings - bass
After the misguided break up of The Detroit Wheels, and the ill-advisement of a solo lounge act direction, Mitch Ryder reunited with Detroit Wheels drummer Johnny "Bee" Badanjek and formed the powerhouse group Detroit. Within their short-lived existence, Detroit did release an iconic album in 1971 forged with the band's name. The cover of Lou Reed's Rock 'n' Roll remains an anthem in the annals of rock 'n' roll history. Lou Reed even stated that was the way the song was meant to be. Distractions and lack of focus disintegrated the band and sent the members in different trajectories. Badanjek reunited with The Detroit Wheels stellar guitarist Jim McCarty to form The Rockets, while Detroit's guitarist Steve Hunter was snatched up by Lou Reed. Mitch Ryder disappeared to Denver for several years before re-emerging with his own band and his own label.
Mitch Ryder - vocals
Johnny "Bee" Badanjek - drums & vocals
Dirty Ed - congas & tambourine
Steve "Decator Gator" Hunter - lead guitar
W.R. Cooke - bass & vocals
Bret Tuggle - guitar
Harry Phillips - keyboard
The Hell Drivers
The Hell Drivers were the "Real Deal" when it comes to Detroit Rock! Powered by some of the greatest musicians and rock icons from the Motor City, including Johnny "Bee" Badanjek on drums and guitarist great Jimmy McCarty, as well as the powerful lead vocals of Jim Edwards, bassist Marvin Conrad and Danny Taylor on keyboards, the Hell Drivers constitute a fusion of Detroit talent, skill, styles, experience and history.
The Howling Diablos
Detroit's Sons of Blues, Rock and FUNK!
The Howling Diablos' rockin, funky, blues jam style is an institution in Detroitand everywhere they have toured! They bring a great live music experience, one that leaves you singing their tunes in your head for a lifetime after.
Since the Howling Diablos' formation in the 90's, they have toured with and opened for acts including George Clinton's Parliament Funkadelic, The J. Geils Band, ZZ Topp, Alice Cooper, Albert Collins,
Ben Harper, Hank Williams Jr, NRBQ, Incubus and The James Gang, as well as headlining their own Howling Diablos shows.
JIVA (jee-vuh) means the living soul. This band that embodies that name has been spreading its rock-soul-funk music across Detroit and the United States Midwest for only a mere four years, but has opened for several national acts including Motown legend The Contours, Jackyl, Veruca Salt, Sponge, Lucas Rossi, Amanda Overmyer (American Idol), The Aftermidnight Project. In 2009 JIVA won the Kid Rock/Jim Beam battle of the bands and performed at the Comerica Park Kid Rock pre show.
"Growing up on the eclectic Motor City music scene, it's no surprise these moody modern rockers have a sound all their own. Mixing alt-rock with R&B, this fierce foursome is like Aerosmith meets Lenny Kravitz."
-- Metromix Detroit
Michael Turner - vocals | Nick Behnan - guitar | Mike Nagy - bass | Leland McCann - drums
Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels
High octane, turbo, high performance, super charged Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels didn't need to hail from the Motor City for those adjectives to be tossed their way, but it was certainly appropriate that they called Motown home. It was Mitch and The Wheels who served as the musical bridge between the Motown soul factory and the high energy, take no prisoners rock 'n' roll that would roar out of Detroit via Iggy & The Stooges, MC5, Ted Nugent and Bob Seger.
The explosive quality was there from the very start. Listen to the way the chords introducing "Jenny Take A Ride" are chomping at the bit to swoop down into the double-time mid-section, or how John Badanjek's thundering bass drum trigger's the ecstatic roll that kicks off "Devil With A Blue Dress On." And the Wheels must have known what they had witness the confidence-even cockiness-of telegraphing their punch forever on "Little Latin Lupe Lu," building expectations to fever pitch before hammering down the riff with Jim McCarty's lead lick trailing behind. And nailing it big time.
Mitch Ryder (lead vocals, harmonica)
Jim McCarty (lead guitar)
Joseph Kubert (rhythm guitar)
Earl Elliot (bass)
Jim McCallister (bass)
Johnny "Bee" Badanjek (drums)
Detroit's Delicious Diva of "Sex-Rock," Queen Bee serves up a sexually-charged rock that will make you wanna shake your ass and sing along. Bigger than life and sexy as hell, Karen Neal is the brains, beauty and the beast behind this enigmatic trio and multi-media persona! Backed with a line-up of heavy-hitting young bloods Terry Bradley and John Hajec, Queen Bee is an unstoppable force of power, passion and intensityThe stuff that legends are made of!
The First Law of Thermodynamics states, "Energy can be changed from one form to another, but it cannot be created or destroyed." So it is with The Rockets. Formed in 1972 by drummer Johnny Bee Badanjek and guitarist Jim McCartyboth remnant members of the explosive Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheelsthe Rockets quickly won a huge and loyal Detroit following, and national acclaim with such hits as the cover of Fleetwood Mac's Oh Well, Turn Up The Radio, Can't Sleep, Desire and other powerhouse songs. The Rockets' hard rocking and energetic stage shows placed them on footing with other hometown greats: Bob Seger, Ted Nugent and Detroit's adopted sons the J. Geils Band. The 70s were very good in Detroit.
But though energy can be harnessed, directed and conserved, it can also explode in powerful bursts like a supernova, and so seemed the fate of The Rockets. But energy regroups and transforms, and so did the members, each tackling other projects and other collaborations, however gravitational pull brought Badanjek and McCarty back together again in the form of The Hell DriversDetroit Rock to the core. The Hell Drivers naturally and exquistely covered Mitch Ryder and Rockets tunes, instantly regaining not only a loyal Detroit fan base, but pulling fans from across the state and across state lines.
In 2010 upon urging of fans and music industry professionals, The Hell Drivers fused back into The Rockets again. And the Rockets blast off again, experiencing a rising success headlining shows in the D, as well as opening for the J.Geils Band at Pine Knob, or as it's legally called, the DTE Energy Theater, and for a couple of the last Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band shows of their lastest tour.
This embodiment of Detroit rock synergy cannot be destroyed, only changed. Boy Howdy!
Johnny "Bee" Badanjek
David Gilbert - Vocals (1976-83) - R.I.P. 2001
John Fraga - Bass (1972-79) - R.I.P. 2010
Dennis Robbins - Guitar (1977-81)
David Hood - Bass (1979)
Dan Keylon - Bass (1980)
Bobby Haralson - Bass (1981-83) - R.I.P. 1999
Marc Marcano - Keyboards (1973-?)
Donnie Backus - Keyboards (1979-83)
"Imagine a demolition derby where the cars are driven by the Cramps, Alice Cooper and Stooges in the Munsters backyard." That's how one reviewer descrbes a Ruiners live show. Another describes it, "The Ruiners are a wild and fantastic beast; pure white lightning;
a sexy car barreling through a crumbling tunnel surging sparks in the direction of what looks like self-destruction, yet the car handles hellacious commotion ever so gracefully, as the driver grins through the melting windshield and decides to stomp on the gas." And a Detroit Live writers warns, "They are the kind of band that will make you forget that you lost your job, your mortgage is in foreclosure, your credit is bankrupt, or it will pump you up with the courage to tell your boss what you really think of him!"
However one doesn't need writers and reviewers to get a sense of this slice of Detroit, grease, glam rock. Just listen to their music. The Ruiners may just well be a great analogous reflection of Detroit itself. After typical adolescent, self-destructive behavior
and incidencesclub bannings, beatings, court enforced restraining orders, jail terms, cat fights, pregnancies, bankruptcies, heart attacks, overdoses, emergency room visits, fire, lost passports, occasional nudity, you know, typical stuff a new, focused direction demands maturity (at least musically). Do or die. And The Ruiners do.
Nina Friday (the Russian Ruiner)