Black sheep squadron
Jack White's latest discovery: A psyche-folk-pop Detroit two-piece with a penchant for the Ukraine
Published: January 5, 2011
Wiegand makes it clear he wants it to. An LP will exist "one way or another," he says, but he's anxious for momentum. Laid off in March after working in framing, book manufacturing and the printing of "municipal bond proposals," he cheered the opportunity to work on the band full-time. Finlay is more devoted to her career, which she plainly loves — she works in an after-school program; sometimes the autoharp even comes to class with her. Her ambition for the Thornbills is modest: "to have a little bit more money to buy the toys."
Jack White declined to speak to Metro Times about the Thornbills. He's dealt with near-unknowns before, such as Whirlwind Heat, and his preoccupation with roots music from the Black Belles to Loretta Lynn is well-known; still, it's impossible to gauge where something as wispy and enigmatic as the Thornbills' work fits in the Third Man catalog. But White hears something in this band, and few artists in the business today wield more power. His next move — assuming he makes one — could throw Finlay and Wiegand's world into disarray.
For now, the duo resists elation in favor of humble amazement. "It just blows our minds," Finlay says, "'cause we just record music we like, and we never expected people to like it." She means it; you can tell, just like when she and Wiegand play these starkly beautiful, sad songs.
The Thornbills' 7-inch release show happens Saturday, Jan. 8, at PJ's Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit, with Danny Kroha and Andru Bemis; 313-961-4668; pjslagerhouse.com; $5.
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