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Ex-Seger Singer Lets The Blues Bring Her Home

Of the Oakland Press

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She’s known mostly for her pop and rock work with Bob Seger, Eric Clapton and her own band, Shakespear’s Sister. But Marcy Levy — a.k.a. Marcella Detroit — has no problem singing the blues.

“The blues and soul infl uence goes into almost everything I do,” says Levy, 54, who was raised in Redford and Oak Park before leaving the area in 1973. She now resides in Los Angeles with her husband and 16-year-old son.

“I grew up listening to Motown, Aretha (Franklin) — who’s still my favorite singer. Then I got into folk blues, Leadbelly and John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters ... and then more into rock ’n’ roll. What I do is kind of combine all the stuff I do and try to make sense of it together.”

Levy, who co-wrote Clapton’s hit “Lay Down Sally,” released a blues album of her own last year, “The Upside of Being Down.” She calls playing with Chicago’s Siegel-Schwall Band next week in Ann Arbor a “musical master class with my heroes, my idols. I used to go see them all the time when I was underage, sneaking into clubs in Detroit with a fake I.D.”

Mostly, however, she’s planning to “concentrate on me” in the near future. After spending time writing for others, including European hits for Charlotte Church and Alex Parks, Levy says she’s been “spreading myself a little thin” and now wants to focus on her own music.

“I want to pursue my solo career again,” she explains. “That’s my priority. I just did a show of jazz standards, a tribute to Billie Holiday, and I just love singing those songs.

“But it won’t be retro. It’ll be more of that bluesy jazzy funky pop, as Norah Jones and Corinne Bailey Rae are to pop. That’s a big area and kind of what I’m looking at doing. I’m really excited about it.”

Marcy Levy performs with the Siegel-Schwall Band at 8 p.m. Tuesday (March 20th) at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $22.50. Call (734) 761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

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