Detroit’s Deadstring Brothers are ready to be a full-time, working concern in 2010.
Not that they haven’t been already; the Americana-styled group has, after all, released three albums since 2001 and has a fourth, “Sao Paulo,” coming out Feb. 23. But a variety of issues, particularly visa hassles for the sibling British members Spencer and Jeff Cullum, have held the group up at various times over the years, a situation frontman Kurt Marschke says is rectified, at least for the short-term now that Jeff Cullum is married to a woman in Nashville, Tenn., and his brother has secured a three-year working visa.
“Hopefully, those issues are behind us,” says Marschke, 38, whose DSB Recordings studio in Royal Oak is where the band made “Sao Paulo.”
“Hopefully, now we can bear down and get to work. I’ve always believed that being on the road 200 days a year is the only way to make a career, if you’re a musician. If you’re doing that, you should be able to make it work, but we’ve never been able to.
“Other people have been doing laps around us in terms of touring in America. We need to get out there and do it. So if we can play five nights a week all year, I’ll be satisfied.”
The Deadstring Brothers also suffered the loss of singer Masha Marjieh, who broke up with Marschke and went on to join the Detroit rock band Octopus. Relationships are still good and Marjieh even guests on “Sao Paulo” — and occasionally performs with the group — but Marschke now finds himself the band’s somewhat reluctant focal point.
“It’s kind of me back to trying to tackle it myself, vocally, and I’m not always the most comfortable with that. I always try to hide behind someone else,” he says with a laugh. “Now I have to stay healthy and focus on being more professional — which is always hard! It’s been a process, but, yeah, I’m getting better at it every year.”
The Deadstring Brothers perform with Whitey Morgan & the 78’s, Doop & the Inside Outlaws, the Orbitsuns and John Holk & the Sequins Friday (Jan. 8) at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8. Call (248) 544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.
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