Saturday morning, Eastern Market in Detroit. The crowds are difficult to negotiate, especially when pulling a two-year-old in a wagon, but the bumps and constant apologies are worth it because the hustle-bustle buzz is so otherwise enjoyable. The following day, Sunday, will likely be crazier because of the big flower show. My family and I are here for more traditional reasons – fresh and hopefully locally produced fruit, veg and meat.
Samples are placed in front of my twitching nostrils but, unlike at Sam’s Club, these morsels look good. Some sort of spicy sausage (meat unknown)? Yum. Naturally sweetened cookies? Bit bland, but not bad. Wandering around a busy Eastern Market with my wife and kid, soaking in the sights, sounds and smells, is awesome.
Out of the major hullabaloo (an under-used word), just across the street, somebody is providing a soundtrack to the goings-on. Fittingly, the music is earthy, natural and locally produced. Sweet Willie Tea (love that name) is a Flint blues-Americana man who sits on his stool while passers by pass by, one foot on a kick drum pedal, a guitar in his arms and a kazoo in his mouth.
Seriously, you’ve never truly heard the Hank Williams tune “Jambalaya on the Bayou” until you’ve heard it dressed up with kazoo solos. The crazy thing is, on Willie’s watch it doesn’t even sound silly. The guy has a joyful air about him, but also one of authenticity. You believe every word he utters, every note he plays, so a blast on a kid’s party instrument does no harm at all.
People stroll past Willie, many barely notice that he’s playing at all, but those of us that stopped and paid attention were rewarded. Eastern Market is one of Detroit’s many gems and, if you don’t already, check out the musicians next time you’re there.Follow @City_Slang
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.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.