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The Detroit Cobras

Sixty seconds with Rachel Nagy



Indy: Most people have never heard the obscure rock and soul songs you play. Do you think you could have passed them off as your own?

RN: We definitely could have gotten away with that, but kind of the point of what we do is honesty. All the time, you hear people where you can recognize what they're ripping off. But some of them actually think they came up with it. They think they actually wrote those three chords.

Indy: Your singing has been compared to Dusty Springfield, as has Duffy's over in England ...

RN: I'm not really fond of her.

Indy: So you're not a fan of Amy Winehouse and the UK retro-soul thing?

RN: I can't stand Amy Winehouse. I think the only thing she's got going for her — and it's a huge thing — is the Dap-Kings. And I think they would have been better off staying with Sharon Jones.

Indy: You've recorded four albums worth of covers so far. Is there any other band that has done that?

RN: I really don't know. I think people have this misconception that every artist writes their own music, and most people don't. But "covers" usually means you go to the corner bar and everybody's singing along to their favorite Pearl Jam song. And that's definitely not what we're doing. There's one band in London called Shout Bamalama — an Otis Redding song we do — and they actually do our version.

Indy: I haven't heard yours. How is it different from the original?

RN: I don't know, it just is. I mean, I'm not Otis Redding, for one thing. I'd have no problem if I was. It'd be awesome.

Indy: Except that you'd be dead.

RN: That'd be all right. I don't have that big of a problem with that, either.

At Denver's Larimer Lounge, May 13.

Purchase CDs: Detroit Cobras

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