Ponderosa Stomp: The Detroit Breakdown: Wall Street Journal
w/ Mitch Ryder, ? and the Mysterians,
Eddie Kirkland, the Gories, others
Lincoln Center Out of Doors
Broadway at 60th Street, (212) 875.5456
The folks at Ponderosa Stomp honor the bygone and all-but-forgotten stars, the almost-stars and sidemen of rock, R&B, soul and other forms of American music. To celebrate the sounds of Detroit, they’ve dusted off a dandy collection for two free shows at Lincoln Center. A 2 p.m. soul and blues revue at the Hearst Plaza features Eddie Kirkland, who, though his 87th birthday approaches, still plays the blues with funk and fire, as befits a man who once worked for John Lee Hooker. If you caught the documentary “Standing in the Shadows of Motown,” you saw guitarist Dennis Coffey working with his fellow Motown house-band members, the Funk Brothers. The Velvelettes had a string of minor Motown hits in the mid-’60s, though there was nothing minor about how well their vocals suited the classic arrangements.
At 5 p.m., gritty rock takes over the Damrosch Park bandshell. Though he’s released albums in recent years, Mitch Ryder is best known for his ’60s hits “Devil with a Blue Dress On,” “Sock it to Me Baby” and “Jenny Take a Ride.” ? and the Mysterians’ “96 Tears” is a cheesy classic. Back in the mid-’80s, the Gories’ blues-punk was so elemental you’d think they were learning to play as they recorded, but the result packed a primal charm. In 2009, 34 years after they recorded it, the African-American punk band Death finally released their debut album (it’s said Columbia spiked it in ’75 when the band wouldn’t change its name). Word is the surviving members are back in the studio, ready to record a follow-up.