Detroit Cobras is Motown’s Most Famous Cover Band

Behold! Charmed Out of La Canasta and into El Club

DETROIT COBRAS. PHOTO DOUG COOMBE

The Detroit Cobras. Do they need an introduction? Perhaps Detroit’s most famous ‘cover band,’ building a unique sound from the blocks of such greats as Otis Redding and Little Willie John to famed Motown girl groups like the Shangri-Las. Which is to say they’ve made a career of improving on perfection. Forming in the mid-1990s, they helped—and continue to —define the Detroit garage rock scene.  

At the core of its rotating cast of characters are two fierceas nailswomen, vocalist Rachel Nagy and Mary Ramirez—the latter described by Third Man Records as “one of the greatest guitarists to ever come out of Detroit.” Ever. From Detroit, the city of Jack White and Fred “Sonic” Smith. Those are big words.  

To say we’re humbled to have caught up with Rachel and Mary, however briefly, is a vast understatement. Their level of cool is beyond intimidating. Also, there is a distinct possibility they may be vampires. After 25 years, they are sincerely, absolutely, and mind blowing-ly hitting it just as hard as they did on day one.  

Which bodes awesome for those of you headed to their show tomorrow nightSaturday, February 22nd, at El Club.  

CV HENRIETTE: ORIGIN OF THE DETROIT COBRAS? 

DETROIT COBRAS: The band was formed through alcohol, determination, and a good dose irresponsibility.  

CVhCURRENT MEMBERS?

DC: Dudes that we like to hang out with. 

CVhEARLY SCENE?

DC: Burning dumpster fire with all our friends. That was fun as hell 

CVh: HOW HAS THE SCENE IN DETROIT & BEYOND CHANGED SINCE YOU STARTED MAKING RECORDS? 

DC: The Motor City is still Burning.

CVhHOW HAS YOUR SOUND EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS? 

DC: We’ve added cello 

CVh: EARLY INFLUENCES? 

DC: The Muppets. (This is a real answer.)  

CVh: CURRENT INFLUENCES? 

DC: Our own Egos & the Muppets. 

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A MUSICIAN?

DC: The push and the pull, the camaraderie and the ability to drink while working with our fans that we love. 

WHAT’S THE MOST TRYING ASPECT OF THIS PATH

DC: Doing interviews…jk ☺☺ 

IF YOU WEREN’T MAKING MUSIC, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?  

Rachel: Slaughtering cows.  

Mary: Being fanned by peacock feathers. 

ADVICE TO YOUNG MUSICIANS?  

DC: Always have fun. Do what you. Love, but always be practical.

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