Montreal rocker Sam Roberts feels that “Detroit wears its history on its sleeve,” which is what inspired “Detroit ‘67,” the concluding song to his third album, “Love at the End of the World.”
“That was my way of just paying tribute to the contribution Detroit made to music ... that we all grew up listening to and influenced us as songwriters and people,” says Roberts, 34, who’s been hailed as “the best live frontman in music” by Esquire magazine.
“But at the same time ... the song’s meant to take you on a journey beyond that and acknowledge that moment in time. Every city has its nasty moments and most of them try to sweep it under the rug and forget about them. But in Detroit I feel history is still alive and well and you’re part of it as you make your way around the streets.
“I admire that about the place, to be honest.”
“Detroit ‘67” has a decidedly Motown flavor, but Roberts — who filmed the song’s video in downtown Detroit — says that’s not the only Motor City music that that’s rocked his world.
“There’s definitely a rock ‘n’ roll contribution, too,” notes Roberts, who won a Canadian MuchMusic Video Award for the new album’s first single, “Them Kids.” “Obviously, the MC5 was a big kick in the ass for a lot of us as well. But for myself, personally, Motown ... speaks to me the deepest. That’s what Detroit was for me. It was the Motown era, so that’s what I chose to reflect in that song.”
The Sam Roberts Band and Mother Mother perform at 9 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 28) at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Tickets are sold out. Call (313) 961-8137 or visit www.livenation.com.
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