De Soto Drive is a Heartland/Americana five-piece from greater Detroit. Its focus is observational original tunes in the vein of rock's roots -- blues, folk and maybe a dash of rockabilly.
Cutting his teeth as a bass player in numerous rock bands, covering bar staples from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, James shifted his musical exploration to understanding the development of his guitar playing as the backbone for original Americana and Blues music.
As a member of Murrow’s Boys and then later Marten Murphy, James’s collaboration with Ken Marten has lead to a songwriting partnership that has lasted over a decade.
James’s musical interests are many, but most of his influences lead from one origination: the blues. As a guitar player, he has used this influence to bring rhythm, his own brand of “finger-picking”, and slide playing to DeSoto Drive’s original songs as well as the occasional cover.
Musically active for more than three decades, Ken’s harp method is self-styled and self-taught. Since the early 90s, he’s played in several Detroit-based blues or Americana acts: Murrow’s Boys (with DeSoto’s James Murphy - Click for Related Press), Blues in the City, Barrelhouse Duel and the Greyhounds. As a lyricist, Ken helps write DeSoto’s original material.
Ken got his musical start as a drummer during the “big 80s” in his hometown, Mt. Pleasant. His post-punk Nuggets-inspired band, the Confessions, was a staple in the townie and college scene.
A former journalist, Ken’s music articles appeared in numerous publications. A litany of interviews explored the creativity of genre luminaries as varied as Charlie Musselwhite, Dave Wakeling of the English Beat and Victor DeLorenzo of the Violent Femmes.
Ken’s listening tastes are all over the map, from garage rock to Gregorian Chant.
Known to some as a guitar player, known to others as a singer-songwriter, still others remember him as a DJ on Public Radio from the 80s and the 2000s. Jere is a veteran of several Detroit music scenes. Honored with three Detroit Music Awards and plenty of nominations, Jere has performed everything from Blues to Folk-Styles (American, Latin and Irish), to Swing Jazz and Beatles tribute. Click for Related Press
Jere’s prime focus is songwriting, and armed with his myriad influences and Radio Programming skills, he spins up songs that span a range of genre, yet never neglect the all-important emotional heart-to-heart connection.
Career highlights include performing his song "Homeless By Now" with Don Was at Orchestra Hall, to sharing the stage with Bonnie Raitt, to touring around with Michelle Shocked.
Frankie Lee is a native of Detroit who started playing bass and singing as a teenager.
Frankie has played with numerous Detroit-area rock and blues bands, utilizing both the electric & upright basses. During Frankie's career, he has played in several studio recordings and has also made appearances on local radio & television shows. Frankie opened for national headliners Leon Russell, Chuck Berry, Phil Guy, Pegi Young, Carey & Lurrie Bell, as well as backing Elmore James, Jr., Bo Diddley, and Ronnie Earl.
Al Carmichael describes Frankie's unique talents in a few short sentences. Al writes, “Frankie Lee plays bass and supplies the bottom end grooves that the music is built upon. He is pure foundation and feel. Put simply, it could not be done any better. Frank is the master of the feel.”
Pete Berg feels fortunate to have played drums for the finest blues artists from Detroit during the past 35 years, including Johnny Yard Dog Jones, Doug Deming, Billy Davis, Harmonica Shah, Rob Noll, Marc Falconberry, the Alligators, and a few one-night stands with Lazy Lester, Jeremy Spencer (of original Fleetwood Mac fame), the Butler Twins, Garfield, and Johnny Vee.