The Whiskey Charmers to perform at Riviera Theatre Bar

THREE RIVERS — Detroit-based Americana band The Whiskey Charmers will take their unique sound to the stage at the Riviera Theatre Bar Friday, Oct. 18.
The band is made up of singers and guitarists Carrie Shepard and Lawrence Daversa, who are both from the Detroit area. The band began when the two met seven years ago through their own separate projects, who each shared one thing in common — their drummer, Brian Ferriby.
“We both have been in bands with the same drummer, and we were both looking to start new projects, and he brought us together,” Shepard said.
“He recommended me to her, and they were working on stuff, and she checked out the videos of me on YouTube, and thought they were pretty bad,” Daversa said with a laugh. “And she had me in the band anyway.”
Shepard and Daversa both said they have a variety of musical inspirations. Shepard said the music of artists such as Bonnie Raitt and Iris DeMent inspired her to go into writing music for a living. Daversa’s, on the other hand, was much more eclectic.
“I grew up listening to my brother’s music and my dad’s music, so it was a mixture of my brother’s hard rock and heavy metal, and my dad was country western and 50s and 60s R&B music, along with Chet Atkins and everything else,” Daversa said.
According to the band’s biography, their sound is often compared to “riding through the desert with the top down, the feeling of being in some lonesome smoky bar off the side of an abandoned highway, or music from a spaghetti western movie.” Both Shepard and Daversa say they also have a hard time pinning down the exact musical style of their band from time to time.
“We are trying to pinpoint it exactly, but it seems to be a combination of a lot of things, like folk, country, western, and rock,” Shepard said.
“That pretty much sums it up. A lot of people ask us that question even after hearing us,” Daversa said. “I think it rings familiar with people, but at the same time, not quite like stuff they have heard.”
The duo has released two albums to some acclaim. Their first was a self-titled album in 2015, followed by 2017’s “The Valley,” which received a Detroit Music Award for Best Country Recording. Recently, three of their songs have been featured in the critically-acclaimed Playstation 4 video game “Detroit: Become Human,” which has sold over 3 million copies worldwide.
“There’s a scene in a bar, and when you go into the bar, three of our songs rotate in the background when the characters say their dialogue,” Shepard said. “It’s so great, because we’ve been able to have a lot of people discover our music through the game. We’ve gotten a lot of encouragement and positive feedback from people who would’ve otherwise not heard our music.”
This won’t be the first time The Whiskey Charmers have performed at the Riviera Theatre Bar, having performed the last three years, but Shepard said the duo loves playing at the venue every chance they get.
“It’s such a cool spot. Every time I go there, I say we wish we had something like this near us,” Shepard said. “It ends up being a really intimate performance for whoever’s there in the crowd, and the crowd’s usually appreciative. Plus, we get to see our name on the marquee, so it’s really cool.”
Shepard said audiences can expect the band to perform songs from their first two albums, plus some songs from their upcoming third album, which will be released in a few months. Daversa said, along with seeing their name on the marquee, he’s looking forward to the interaction with the audience during their performance.
“Like she said, I’m looking forward to how intimate and interactive it can get,” Daversa said. “A lot of times, when you travel around and play different places, even if they’re great performances, people are usually there with something else on their mind or something else to do, and they appreciate you from a distance. The way the Riviera’s set up, they can’t get away.”
The Whiskey Charmers’ performance starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18 at the Riviera Theatre Bar. The performance is free to attend.
Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 23 or robert@threeriversnews.com.

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