Technically speaking, the Detroit Cobras
are a cover band. But they’re a purist cover band. The band slithered up from the same roots-revering scene as the White Stripes and the Von Bondies, but the Cobras’ record collection runs a bit deeper. Singer Rachel Nagy and guitarist Maribel Restropo (who, from a Pabst-addled distance, could pass for Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson) provide the vocal muscle links to that scratchy 33-RPM era when Mary Wells and Willie Dixon shared the same stage and not just the same turntables. When Nagy sings Otis Redding’s “Shout Bama Lama” or Clyde McPhatter’s “Let’s Forget About the Past,” she unleashes the kind of voice Phil Spector used to scour the universe to find.