Rachel Nagy has died with the Detroit Cobras

Rachel Nagy, best known singer in the Michigan garage rock band the Detroit Cobras, is deceased, his Pitchfork representative confirmed. No cause of death was given.

Detroit Cobra label Third Man praised Nagy Instagram, writes, “In her voice and personality, Rachel Nagy is the perfect balance of tough badass and perfect lover.” Bandmate Greg Cartwright wrote a message to the band Facebook page: “With the Detroit Cobras Rachel Nagy brings the torch of Rock, Soul and R&B to fans around the world. More than just a performer, he embodies the spirit of the music itself and elevates it to new heights of his own impacting the volume of the sound. I know I am not alone when I say that I am inspired by his vigor, by his fierce energy and by his weakness.

Called “The most famous cover band in Detroit, ”The Detroit Cobras was founded in 1994 by Nagy and guitarist Mary Ramirez. They released their debut album, Mink, Rabbit Rat, in 1998 with guitarist and Detroit photographer Steve Shaw (The Fondas), bassist Jeff Meier (Rocket 455, Nathaniel Mayer), and drummer Damian Lang (Two Star Tabernacle). They followed it Life, Love and Farewell three years ago. The two LPs consisted only of 1960s cover songs, including pop hits and lesser-known soul songs by Shangri-Las, Otis Redding, the Ronettes, the Marvelettes, Irma Thomas, and Ike and Tina Turner, and etc.

The Detroit Cobras ’garage rock spin in Motown quickly caught the attention of Rough Trade. After signing the label, they released the 2003 EP Seven Easy Pieces and the 2004 full-length young, who later performed their original song “Hot Dog (Watch Me Eat).” The Detroit Cobras ’latest studio album, Bound & True, released in 2007. Third Man Records reissued The band’s first two records were in 2016, saying, “Rachel Nagy’s unmatched vocals are undoubtedly a template on which people like Amy Winehouse will work from years to come.”

“People think, ‘Oh, they’re covers, it’s easy, what’s the problem?’ Actually harder. If people play original songs, they have the freedom to fuck up, they can change something. With us, it’s a specific thing we’re looking for, ”Nagy said on the blog All I Can See in 2018. “That’s ridiculous when people call us a cover band. Usually the cover bands are in the corner bar playing Creed and songs that everyone knows and wants to sing along to… Even those who are very deep in their music, they are often surprised to find out what the songs are.

Over the years, the Detroit Cobras have been honored for helping popularize the city’s garage rock scene. Nagy personally inspired everyone from the Muppets on vinyl sent his way from record collectors, but Irma Thomas in particular instilled a love of music in Nagy’s heart. “She’s my Beatlemania. He is everything to me, ”he said NPR in 2007. “At the Jazz Fest in New Orleans, it was there that I first understood Beatlemania … Irma came out on stage and I collapsed and cried and screamed. That woman, she just destroyed me. ”


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