Don Was Leads Detroit Super Session Jam
Grammy-winning producer Don Was came home over the weekend to spread a little Motor City love with his all-star Detroit Super Session.Grammy-winning producer Don Was came home over the weekend to spread a little Motor City love with his all-star Detroit Super Session.
Was (whose real last name is Fagenson) curated the 90-minute, 13-act revue yesterday (July 20) for the city's 16th Annual Concert of Colors. He also helmed a house band that featured Was (Not Was) longtimers Randy Jacobs on guitar and Luis Resto on keyboards and backed luminaries such as Mitch Ryder on Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted," Dirtbombs frontman Mick Collins on "Stop," Latin-pop singer Lola Morales on "Enciemdeme" and former MC5 manager and poet John Sinclair on the talking blues "Screamers."
Resto's own band, with Sponge frontman Vinnie Dombroski on drums, played a bit of Eminem's Academy Award-winning "Lose Yourself" -- which Resto co-wrote -- to lead into the keyboardist's own "Just So You Don't Die Alone."
Was, meanwhile, played bass for the Detroit Cobras' version of Garnet Mimms' "As Long as I Have You," while Was (Not Was) was represented by singer Donald Ray Mitchell, who joined the house band for "From the Head to the Heart" from the group's latest album, "Boo!"
Other Super Session highlights included a reunion of the punk band the Ramrods, whose singer, Mark Norton, gave festival organizers palpitations by jumping and dancing atop a grand piano; a rendition of "Cynthy Ruth" by the early '70s funk-rock band Black Merda; and a performance by avant jazz saxophonist Faruq Z Bey. The show was filmed and will be up soon on Was' Wasmpolitan Cavalcade of Recorded Music Web site on My Damn Channel.
Last Thursday, Was and creative partner David Was were in a suburban Detroit studio recording a track for Amnesty International with Sudan United For Peace, a collective of highly regarded African musicians. They hope to recruit some Western stars to be part of the song as well, though release plans have not yet been determined.
Don Was produced Amos Lee's new album, "Last Days at the Lodge" and is working on upcoming releases by Todd Snider, Maia Sharp, the Old Crow Medicine Show and Ziggy Marley.