|The Infatuations (Photo
by Marc Narder)
For The Infatuations their love for the Motown sound in all its many styles is no short-term crush.
The band’s roots go deep into the scene with direct links to Kid Rock and George Clinton.
All those streams find their way into The Infatuations, and the band in turn delivers a flood of
high-energy sound to its listeners.
True to the name of their most recent album, The Infatuations will throw a Detroit block party when they
perform the 10 p.m. Friday set at the Black Swamp Arts Festival Sept. 5.
Guitarist Christian Draheim, one of the band’s founders, said “just growing up in the city we heard all
the music that came out.”
That included the sounds of the stars and more, he said. “We have influences from bands that never became
popular. … You mix it all up, and it makes a good soundtrack for a block party.”
The Infatuations deliver that with a tight, rocking combo. Joining Draheim are: singer Caleb Gutierrez,
bassist wolf, guitarist Nick Behnan, and drummer Bobby Myers.
The band evolved from an acoustic duo formed whenh Draheim and one of his songwriting partners Marco Lowe
were asked to put together a cover band for a Greektown Casino gig in 2009.
For a few sets they were joined by a percussionist and that got them thinking about getting a larger
They decided to shift gears and expand into a band focused on original music.
What they needed, Draheim said, was a singer with “depth fullness, smoothness, texture and range.”
Draheim heard that when Gutierrez who was bartending at a wedding, took a turn at karaoke to sing Gnarls
They had their man.
They hooked up with bass player wolf — that’s right one name, lower case — at a Kid Rock recording
Draheim first heard Myers with a cover band. Myers was playing drums and trumpet a the same time and
those aren’t the only two instruments he plays.
Behnan is a former guitar student of Draheim.
Most hail from the city’s west side, and have jammed together.
“It’s neat all these guys come together and play with The Infatuations,” Draheim said. Lowe, he said, is
still involved with the band in mostly off-stage capacities.
The band’s peers have shown The Infatuations some love. This year the band won five Detroit Music Awards
and scored 14 nominations across multiple genres.
This means a lot, Draheim said, because the awards are voted on by music business insiders.
A local disc jockey Gnyp said: “You want to know how Detroit parties … watch The Infatuations.”
Still Draheim wishes local listeners would be a little more cognizant of hometown acts.
Just like in the days when you could catch Kid Rock in a local club, there are top-notch acts playing
neighborhood night spots.
Take for example guitarist Dennis Coffey, who played in the legendary Motown studio band The Funk
Brothers, still plays regular gigs around town.
When The Infatuations recently played a show with national act Here Come the Mummies, people were
astounded they were a local band. And these are people Draheim expected to be hip to the Detroit music
Still The Infatuations keep pushing their message out one flyer at the time.
Coming to Bowling Green for the Black Swamp Arts Festival will help spread the word just a little wider.
The band heard about the festival back in 2011 when they shared the bill with The Stone Foxes who had
just played the festival. “We heard nothing but good,” Draheim said.
“We’re really looking forward to it,” he said, “expecting a huge crowd … People just looking to
discover new music.”