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Thursday, February 5, 2009
Root Doctor at Billy's 2/6
The Lansing-based Root Doctor has been churning out their own trademark elixir of funk for 15 years now. Serious road dogs, the good Doctor has been traversing the land from Traverse City to Detroit and back with an occasional trip to the Nudie Blues festival (now defunct). They make a stop at Billy's Lounge in Eastown on Feb. 6. The Root Doctor's stalwart members are Freddie Cunningham (vocals) and James Williams (bass, vocals), and with the not-so-recent addition of Jim Alfredson (organ, vocals) and Greg Nagy (guitar, vocals) they now have some further songwriting credentials. Beyond that, what Alfredson and Nagy are able to bring to the band in both playing and presence is vital. There aren't too many bands who can still bring a crowd after 15 years at some of the same haunts. The key to the Root Doctor's sound is their connection to old school R & B (LTD's "Back in Love Again") and the Motown sound. For those of us who have lived in the state for so long it's easy to take the sounds of Detroit's West Grand Blvd for granted. Not so with the Root Doctor; their dance-floor-packing version of "I Can't Get Next To You" among others are worth the price of admission any night. What better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Motown records in 2009 than with a trip to see the only authentic practitioners of that quality, world renown vibe left, the Root Doctor. RD plays at Billy's in support of their latest CD, Live at the Cadillac Club.