Bands rock Woodruff's

Woodruff’s Bar, located at 36 E. Cross Street in Ypsilanti, often plays host to local talent. This past Wednesday the popular bar served up musical performances by local bands Walk Your Bike, The Rabbit Done Died and The Marietta.

The music, which began at 10 p.m., lasted past 2 a.m. During the night the music was so loud it echoed through the allies of Depot Town. Along with the music, Woodruff’s set its own bit of ambiance with games of billiards backed by brick walls, low lights and drinks on tap.

According to Ryan Hampton, drummer for Ypsilanti-based indie rock band Lawless Carver and doorman at Woodruff’s, you’ll find, “All kinds of music,” at this bar.

“We don’t discriminate. You will not find bands playing anywhere else like the bands that play at this place. They’re national caliber acts that play locally. This is the best place in Ypsi for drinks, food and good music. We got it on lock down here.”

The night’s performances opened with a pop project from Flint called The Marietta who provided a smooth groove for onlookers to sway to.

According Ryan Cardneau, bass player and vocalist, The Marietta’s music is, “simple and relatable. People are picky about their music. This is music anybody can listen to. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. We want to play music that we want to listen to.”

The Marietta used a lot of personality to entertain the crowd with saucy remarks and quips between songs.

“We like having a good time on stage. People think they need a gimmick. We try not to take it too seriously,” says Dennis
Berger, vocalist and guitar player.

The song “Where’d I Go” served as a triumphant finale for the band before welcoming the next group to the stage.

Walk Your Bike followed The Marietta’s saucy set. They played a very fluid show with a sound like Bob Marley meets rock and roll with an angelic song bird chock-full of soul.

“Walk Your Bike’s vocalist had some pipes on her! She’ll really blow your hat off,” said audience member and EMU alumni Nina Serdy. “I really admire the power behind her sound.”

Walk Your Bike hocks hippie gospel, moaning the electric blues and banging a tambourine shaped like the moon. The swinging jam “Jumper Man” dealt some Latin Vibes, which was followed by the song “On Board Balloon Skylark” that got everyone on their feet and off their rocker with whimsical dancing.

Ending the performances for the night, The Rabbit Done Died incited its fair share of dancing. They also wowed the crowd with tribal face paint that mimicked mimes.

Lead singer, Kody Klein, who is also the News Editor for The Eastern Echo, served as the ring master to The Rabbit Done Died’s wild circus charade. Amidst the carnival madness, the band produced music of an indefinable genre somewhere between jazz, blues, doo-wop and rock.

With the band’s eight instruments and four singers, there’s a lot of variety.

“We can mix it up,” said The Rabbit Done Died drummer, Andrew Hoepner. “We’ve got lots of different sounding songs which makes it easy to ignore the front man, who is easily the worst part of the band. We like reinterpreting older genres in a newer context.”

Between swapping instruments, the band spit provocative lyrics about prostitutes, smoking and suicide, licking the lobes of listeners; all the while, daring the audience to say “when.”

“We actually practiced for this show,” says Hoepner. “It’s sort of like our first real show. It should be the tightest set yet.”

For your next weekday excursion, visit Woodruff’s website at for upcoming show listings.

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