The Infatuations to bring party to Black Swamp Arts FestivalWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | email@example.com
The title of the opening track on The Infatuations’ “Detroit Block Party” says it all: “Tonight We Celebrate.”
Lead singer Caleb Gutierrez yells, “Get up!” and adds, “If you came to party, you came to the right place.”
“We wanted to set the tone that this is a soundtrack for party events in your life whether it’s a graduation party or wedding, just hanging out for the weekend or whatever it is, we want to be that soundtrack,” said guitarist and band co-founder Christian Draheim. “‘Tonight We Celebrate’ is a song about let’s go have a good time.
“I think so many artists are so deep and so heavy; they have so many important things to say. And at the end of the day, I started doing music because it was fun; it was a way to escape all the important, mundane stuff.”
Fans have been moving and grooving since the Motor City band’s disc dropped in May. The group’s retro-sounding modern mix of rock, Motown, soul and funk has been compared to Fitz & The Tantrums and Mayer Hawthorne.
Essential to that sound is Gutierrez’s distinctive voice.
“[Marco Lowe, band co-founder and songwriter, and I] knew we had to find the right lead singer for this project,” Draheim said. “We had come up with a description of what we should keep our eyes and ear open for: Somebody who has that power and depth of a Levi Stubbs and the full vocal range of Stevie Wonder and can get a little gritty and sound like Rob Tyner, somebody who can symbolize all these Detroit vocalists and have their on thing at the same time.”
Draheim saw Gutierrez take the stage at an open-mic night at a Dearborn bar in 2009.
“It was the first time I heard Caleb sing. And the whole place stopped, even the dart game. He commanded the whole place,” Draheim recalled.
Gutierrez joined the lineup in 2010. One year later, The Infatuations released a video for the single, “Blame It on You.”
“We had a pretty good idea of what we wanted our sound to be; it was kind of a combination of Motown, funk and Detroit-inspired rock ‘n’ roll,” Draheim said. “ ‘Blame It on You’ really had that backbeat Motown feel to it, just something easy for everybody to grab on to and sing along to with us.”
Since then, the group has shared the stage with George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars and Here Come the Mummies.
“As we started playing festivals, I noticed that there’s young people, there’s older people, there are all sorts of different ethnic backgrounds in front of us,” Draheim said. “I think there’s something in [our music] for everybody.”
Get ready to dance: The Infatuations — Draheim, Gutierrez, Lowe, bassist the Wolf, guitarist Nick Behnan and drummer Bobby Myers — will cruise down I-75 to play the main stage at 10 p.m. Sept. 5 at the Black Swamp Arts Festival in Bowling Green. The group also will take the family stage at 1:20 Sept. 6.
See the lineup for the free three-day festival at blackswamparts.org.
Tags: Black Swamp Arts Festival, Caleb Gutierrez, Christian Draheim, Detroit, Fitz & The Tantrums, George Clinton, Here Come the Mummies, Levi Stubbs, Mayer Hawthorne, Rob Tyner, Stevie Wonder, The Infatuations