Page 49

the michigan

difference

can find who have had the kind of impact

years later, younger acts are honored to

he’s had, and yet aren’t house-hold names.”

play and sing on his records.

Peters has been involved in music since high school. He was in Getaway Cruiser, an Ann Arbor-based band signed to Sony

More people need to know that.” It’s important for Peters that

Records in the mid-1990s, and has since es-

this album has as much visibility

tablished himself as a songwriter and pro-

as possible, but not just because

ducer, penning hits for artists such as Kid

of commercial considerations. The

Rock and The Black Eyed Peas. Despite

idea of Coffey being introduced (or

these experiences, the Coffey album, to be

re-introduced) to the public at large

released by London-based Strut Records

appeals to his interest in the preserva-

this spring, has presented unique rewards.

tion and celebration of American musi-

“It’s a rush to be working with someone

cal history — an interest he developed

of Dennis’ talent and possibly helping him

in part through his history coursework in

get back to a level of recognition he hasn’t

the College of LSA.

had in a long time,” says Peters. “The idea

“The music Dennis has been involved

with this project is to both reconnect

in making during his career is uniquely

Dennis with his musical roots and to con-

American and maybe even uniquely a

temporize him by connecting him with

product of Detroit. People should under-

younger, relevant artists who work in

stand that music is like anything else;

complementary styles.”

it has a history and a course of develop-

The new record is a collection of songs

ment. You don’t go from A to Z without

with originals very much in the spirit of

all the other letters in between. I love

Coffey’s early solo work — gritty, psyche-

that with this record, we will be putting

delic funk — and new versions of songs

Dennis’ new music into the world and

Coffey played roughly 40 years ago. Mod-

also hopefully turning people on to all

ern performers like Mayer Hawthorne,

the great things he’s done over the en-

Kings Go Forth, and Mick Collins of The

tirety of his career.” n

Dirtbombs participated in the sessions. “Dennis spent most of his career playing in the shadows and is often uncredited on recordings by young, popular acts of the day,” says Peters. “All of these

Coffey’s 2004 memoir, Guitars, Bars, and Motown Superstars, recently was released in paperback by the University of Michigan Press.

SOUND FAMILIAR? Coffey’s songs have been sampled and re-sampled over the years. You may have heard his beats laid into the tracks of the following hits. “Scorpio” from the album Evolution, 1971

Sampled by: BUSY BEE, “Old School,” 1988 PUBLIC ENEMY, “Night of the Living Baseheads,” 1988 YOUNG MC, “Bust a Move,” 1989 LL COOL J, “Jingling Baby,” 1990 MOBY, “Mobility,” 1990 RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, “Renegades of Funk,” 2000

“Getting it On” from the album Evolution, 1971

Sampled by: PUBLIC ENEMY, “You’re Gonna Get Yours,” 1987 BEASTIE BOYS, “What Comes Around,” 1989 PM DAWN, “Even After I Die,” 1991 DIAMOND D, “No Wonduh,” 1997

“Ride Sally Ride” from the album Goin’ for Myself, 1972

Sampled by: LL COOL J, “Big Ole Butt,” 1989 ULTRAMAGNETIC MC’S, “Feelin’ It,” 1988 COMPTON’S MOST WANTED, “Calm Down,” 1989

PHOTO Ebet Roberts/Redferns

SPRING 2011 / LSA Magazine

47

Crime and Punishment  

Spring 2011 issue of LSA Magazine.

Crime and Punishment  

Spring 2011 issue of LSA Magazine.

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