What do you do after founding your own theater, performing with Second City Detroit or studying theater at Wayne State? Well, grab a guitar, set up a tape recorder on a coffee table and chronicle your life as a rock star, of course. Pat Loos, Dustin Gardener and Topher Owen (aka “Three Guys Named Joe”) have done just that. The majority of 1st Official Bootleg CD was recorded live at Detroit-area shows, including the band’s stint as Bittersweet Coffee House’s Sunday night special.
The Joes’ version of comedic rock is less goofy Adam Sandler than it is rocking Tenacious D. In fact, the latter band’s influence is so strong, if it weren’t for solid musical skills and inspired improvisation, Three Guys Named Joe might be accused of claiming territory that has already been staked. Beautiful, three-part harmonies and deft crowd interaction provide the Joes’ saving grace. All live tracks on the album are created on the spot with the help of audience suggestions.
Rowdy crowds invariably answer the band’s calls for material with obscenities (thus, the explicit content advisory on the back of the CD). “Love Stick” is a response to one audience member’s insinuation that Owen and Gardener are, um, rather close for bandmates. Owen’s call for a “favorite body part” on a later track culminates in the glorious harmonies of “Nut Sack.”
“Little Best Friend” (a song about dogs running in a field) and “Don: A Man’s Life in Song” (the result of a short interview with a Wayne State football player who attended a show) provide some of the cleaner comedic moments. And when the band is not fielding audience commentary, they’re simply strumming along to the tune of their own egos. “Rock Me” lends the biggest nod to Tenacious D as Loos takes the guitar up a notch and Gardener belts out, “When I look into your eyes, Topher, it’s no surprise, you’re gonna rock me!”
Are the band’s influences obvious? Yes. Is the album’s sound quality at the studio level? No. That said, Loos, Gardener and Owen still have an edge on the world of improvisational rock ’n’ roll. Three Guys Named Joe have drawn on their extensive backgrounds in music, comedy and theater to tap into a unique genre. As Tenacious D might say, Three Guys Named Joe’s 1st Official Bootleg CD could very well rock your socks off.
E-mail Kari Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.