Living up to its title, “Ann Arbor Revival Meeting” is a cross-generational project from 2002 that brings to life Ann Arbor and Detroit’s rock legacy through a combination of some of its key protagonists. Scott Morgan, who leads the band at the core of the record, Powertrane, goes back to mid ‘60s days, to The Rationals, who ruled the local teen scene alongside the likes of Bob Seger and The Last Heard. Scott is one of the great white soul singers. In the ‘70s, he fronted the seminal Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, alongside Fred “Sonic” Smith of the MC5 and Scott Asheton of The Stooges. Deniz Tek, guest for the entire show, is an Ann Arbor native who spent most of the ‘70s in Sydney and led the mighty Radio Birdman. Birdman invested Australia with its love of all things Ann Arbor/Detroit, and had themselves a huge influence on successive generations internationally. Ron Asheton, the special guest who appears playing guitar on the handful of Stooges tunes here is the man who played on them originally, the great and sadly now late guitar innovator who was at the core of The Stooges’ huge influence across of the ‘70s and beyond. Ron’s phenomenal appearances with Powertrane and Deniz got him back in the saddle and no doubt inspired Iggy to get Ron and brother Scott “Rock Action” Asheton back onside and reform The Stooges in 2003.
Representing the younger generation are Powertrane’s rhythm section Andrew “Box” Taylor on bass, who instigated the band’s shows with Tek and Asheton, and Andy Frost, a great drummer who was mentored by Scott Asheton. Frost sadly passed away in 2010. Additionally, local identities Robert Gillespie and Hiawatha Bailey are present. Robert Gillespie is Powertrane’s regular lead guitarist, a long time sideman for original white R&B belter Mitch Rider and a former member of Rob Tyner’s new MC5 in the late ‘70s. Hiawatha, who sings a couple of the Stooges covers, was a Stooges roadie back in the day and later front man of local punk-rockers The Cult Heroes in the late ‘70s and ‘80s.
In addition to the Stooges material, the album includes a selection of tunes spanning Scott Morgan’s career from Sonic’s Rendezvous through to records he made with Nicke Anderson of Sweden’s Detroit-obsessed Hellacopters as the Hydromatics, the brilliant Rob Tyner / Robert Gillespie co-write Taboo, and a bunch of songs from Tek’s illustrious career, including a possibly definitive What Gives?, a Smith and Wesson Blues that swings like an out of control train on a winding track, and intense versions of a couple of his post-Birdman tracks, Outside and Blood From A Stone.
Originally released on CD only by Real O-Mind Records in 2002, this is one of the great live albums. As a measure of the Detroit / Sydney connection in the high-energy rock world, it’s probably better even better than the monolithic 1981 recording The First and The Last by Radio Birdman / Stooges / MC5 supergroup New Race. Yes, it really is that great, and now it’s available with extra tracks and on vinyl to boot! Now featuring 3 extra tracks, remastered for maximum impact, and available on vinyl for the first time as well as CD again with new notes, “Ann Arbor Revival Meeting” is an essential listen for anyone who loves Detroit high-energy rock’n’roll.