Check out the new video from one of our favorites Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., and read the story behind it:
Today we are debuting a video for a song we did not write, but instantly drew a very high level of inspiration from since we formed as a band roughly two years ago. So much so that we felt compelled to record our own version, and put it on our first ever full-length album last year.
"We Almost Lost Detroit" began for us as an homage to one of the great artists of our time, Gil Scott Heron. We were so affected by its continued relevance as a piece of work some 30+ years later that just simply attempting to reinterpret it as a creative exercise seemed like a good enough idea on its own. While the song was originally penned as a reaction to a partial meltdown of a nuclear reactor halfway between Detroit,MI and Toledo,OH, so much of the imagery contained in Gil's words seemed to ring true with the news of today.
But the spirit of the song that always rang out to us was that it didn't seem to be about simply pointing out what had gone wrong. The message seemingly was one of progress. About setting things right. Coming together as people and moving forward. As Gil would say many years later in concert, the song is about realizing that "somebody's always got to be on the job... because there's always a job out there to do".
So we wanted this video to be about people DOING things in and around the city of Detroit. People who are on the job. People who have moved past "what happened?" and are spending more time saying "lets MAKE things happen". These are the people who we feel represent the city of Detroit.
Sadly, roughly nine months after we recorded and began performing our version of the song, Gil Scott Heron passed away at the age of 62. To be clear, we do not consider ourselves a mouthpiece for him nor are we anywhere near as strong of a social voice as he was. But we do hope that our version of his song continues to inspire people to get out there and work towards a better future.
Since that time, the song has taken on a new meaning to us as we have been performing it in various cities and countries for the past year. Every time we performed the song, we were overwhelmed by the connection that we felt to our town even as we were many miles away from the place we still call 'home'. And it was overwhelming to see the positive message of the song reflected back in the enthusiasm of the audiences we performed it for.
As Detroiters, we are born and bred with a civic pride that we are continually told is somewhat uncommon. We wanted the city, and the people in the city, to be the video for this simple reason. It is an exciting time to be from Detroit--as we believe it's a city that is in the midst of reinventing itself in a huge way.