Tag Archives: Detroit

50 States of Talent brings me back to Michigan for Dog & Panther

dog and pantherThis week I found myself back in Michigan, north of Detroit to be geographically specific. I had the pleasure of having a chat with John Katona of Dog & Panther. They are truly a gem. Dog & Panther do not self promote, play shows (except for one) and they carry no aspirations of rock stardom. They create music for the absolute pleasure that it gives them and they are generous enough to share this pleasure with us.

Dog & Panther started for fun when John and Ian Sigmon were making some music for the short films they had been creating. They showed their project to their friends and the music took center stage. However, one of their friends wasn’t too impressed with John and Ian’s singing abilities so he asked if he could give it a go. Enter Ben Vrazo on vocals. The three continued to hang out making music and before they knew it they had enough material to put together an album. They released “What Happened” three years ago and it got such a good response from friends that they just kept making music. They followed “What Happened” with a single called “Giant Hands”. Watch the making of Giant Hands here:

Dog & Panther take their time calling themselves a band. All of the sounds they create come from their surroundings as well as traditional instruments. This is one of the reasons they don’t play shows at the local club. There is such complexity in the structure of the songs that recreating this in a live situation requires much preparation and many extra hands. If you check them out on YouTube you will find their video clips and see them collecting and creating sounds in various aisles in the supermarket.

Their sound is easily compared to Bon Iver, The Flaming Lips, Death Cab for Cutie, lyrically I can even see a similarity with Minus the Bear. Even with all these comparisons their sound is still their own. Watching the few videos of them creating their sounds and the artwork that graces their albums you can easily sense that they possess a maturity and a depth that a lot of local musicians do not.

Their latest release titled “Our Bodies” was released earlier this year. It follows the same formula D&P cd cover. The sounds are at times haunting and ethereal, drawing you as the listener in. The pauses give you time to catch your breath before you dive in for more. The sounds move you, the lyrics touch you and the phrasing adds additional subtleties to the already complex instrumentation.

While they are not big on self promotion they are easily found on YouTube for a few videos. They do have a Facebook page that I suggest checking out and they are available to listen to on SoundCloud or Bandcamp All of these links are easily followed from the webpage they created to link it all together Don’t expect to find too much personal info on these guys. They tend to remain a bit of a mystery and that kinda adds to the quality of the sound because it isn’t about them it is about the music.

They can also be found on ITunes if you want to add them to your library.

Happy listening!





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50 States of Talent Continues in Michigan with Amy Gore and her Valentines


Just in time for Valentines Day I am bringing you Amy Gore and Her Valentines.  Their sound is Detroit all the way, garage, punk-ish and good old fashioned rock & Roll all mesh when Amy hits the stage.  I mean look at them, those ladies are old school rockers.  Their look is vintage meets 50’s pin up gal.  The guys rock their own vintage look Dan Zanes style.

Amy Gore a talented singer/songwriter/guitarist who has had her share of success performing with music icons such as Blondie and The Cramps. In 2011 Amy put together a line up that consisted of Jackson Smith on guitar, Leann Banks on bass, and Joe Leone on drums for what was supposed to be a one show deal to showcase her new material. (let me insert here that all the musicians she put together are accomplished in their own right be it studio musicians or other successful local bands)   However, the bands chemistry was such that they decided to make a go of it.  Amy Gore and Her Valentines was born, originally dubbed Amy Gore and the Squires.

The debut album has recently been released and it is a solid release in the school of rock, catchy lyrics, and solid riffs. A must listen for any guitar driven rock aficionado.

You can find Amy Gore and her Valentines on many popular social media sites, Facebook and twitter and of course YouTube.  She has her own channel there where you can watch some live performances and some artistically produced videos.  One in particular reminded me of a certain Pretenders video and I loved it.  I think Chrissy Hynde  would approve of Amy Gore and her Valentines since there are many similarities between them and the Pretenders. Of course don’t let them be boxed into this garage rock sound.  On the YouTube video channel there are covers of the Plimsouls and Smokey Robinson and some classic country artists too,  Her website is nice and quite professional, it contains everything you need, pictures, bios, upcoming events, links to social media sites and most importantly her music.

So like I said, just in time for Valentines Day, check out Amy and her band.  It’s something sweet for your ears.

She can be found at






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Tomorrow 50 States of Talent continues…….

Sorry for the delay in my posting.  My brother passed away unexpectedly and I have been busy helping out where needed.  In doing so I have neglected my own things.

In time for Valentines Day I have a treat for you a rocker chick (meant strictly as a compliment) from Detroit.  They don’t just make cars and reality tv up there they also make good music.



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