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Detroit Rock Supergroup Keeps It Together

Of the Oakland Press

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SSM has been together for about two years now, but the Detroit rock “supergroup” — whose members hail from the Hentchmen, the Sights and the Cyril Lords — still express surprise that they’ve created a lasting concern.

“It seems like every time we do something, it’s the last time we’re doing something,” says guitarist-vocalist Marty Morris. “‘Let’s play a gig at the Garden Bowl. Let’s make a demo. Let’s make an album.’ And that’ll be it.

“Every step of the way has been, ‘That was cool’ and ‘That’s it.’ Eventually it’ll actually be it, but the band has definitely got a life. It’s definitely got legs, and we all want to feed the beast.”

SSM — which also includes keyboardist-vocalist John Szymanski (the Hentchmen) and drummer Dave Shettler (the Sights) — serves up its next course of rock with the Jan. 29 release of its second full-length album, “Break Your Arm For Evolution.” As on its 2006 debut, the trio recorded the album during a two-day session in Akron, Ohio, with the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, although Morris says there was a “frustrating” delay between the recording in March and the mixing of the album in September.

“But in hindsight, it was good,” says Morris, 30, who spent months this year in Nashville “just for a change of scenery.”

“We really didn’t know what we had on tape, so listening to it so much later was like listening to it for the first time. We really had a lot of real, nice objective distance.

“So we were able to just get in there and say, ‘That sounds (bad), let’s fix that.’ Or, ‘That sounds great, I can’t believe we did that.’ It was six months total, but in days of work, it was more like five, and we’re really excited for people to hear it.”

SSM performs at 7 and 8:30 p.m. Friday (Jan. 4) at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit. The performance is included in the price of admission, $8 for adults, $6 for senior citizens and $4 for children aged six to 17. Call (313) 833-4005) or visit www.dia.org. SSM also performs Wednesday (Jan. 9) with the Von Bondies and Freer at the Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor. Doors open at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $12 in advance, $14 day of show. Call (734) 996-8555 or visit www.blindpigmusic.com.

Web Site: www.dia.org

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