Brown, Smith, and Tulip took turns on lead vocals, with Russo chiming in as well, but the band was at its best when multiple vocalists were involved. They played two well-chosen covers, "Some of These Days," a song Sophie Tucker made popular in 1911, and "My Life Will Be Sweeter Someday," an old gospel song. But most of the music is their own, impressive for a band that's only been together for a matter of months. Four songs they played that night were brand new and had never been performed in front of an audience before. Smith says that he, Brown, and Tulip all write songs and that they all also brought compositions they'd been working on into the band. The songs are well written, and musically the band is fast and loose--in a good way--and capable of changing tempo with ease. The Appleseed Collective is young, talented, full of energy, and playing a type of music that is hardly in abundance in southeast Michigan. And the washboard is a very underrated instrument.
The Appleseed Collective headlines a show at the Blind Pig Saturday, June 18.
[Originally published in June, 2011.]