Acoustic rock legend Alejandro Escovedo performed an in-store, intimate, almost hourlong set on Tuesday afternoon, accompanied by virtuoso rock violinist Susan Voelz at Detroit Guitar on Maple Road in Birmingham.Escovedo’s music interlaces meaningful lyrics and beautiful melodies. First bursting into national prominence with his punk rock group, The Nuns, 35 years ago, he is considered an alt-country, root rock pioneer through his bands Rank and File and the True Believers. As an Austin, Texas, based singer/songwriter since the 1980s, Alejandro has written and performed throughout the world, has a huge underground following, and has been cited as a strong influence by many popular artists.

Susan Voelz is a Grammy Award-nominated vocalist, violinist, and composer who also lives in Austin. Although Susan is well-known as a member of the alternative rock band Poi Dog Pondering, she often performs alongside many well know musicians, such as John Mellencamp and Escovedo.The pair came to play at the invitation of Detroit Guitar’s owners Eric Wolfe and Charlie Lorenzi as part of the store’s performing artist event series. The store was full with a standing-room-only crowd. Both musicians said they really enjoyed playing in such an intimate personal venue surrounded by guitars and appreciative listeners. The concert was offered free but several listeners said that you could pay a couple of hundred dollars for tickets at other venues and the experience would still not have been as good.

According to Wolfe, Detroit Guitar tries to make every person visiting the store feel like “Rock Royalty.” They focus on individual needs and desires and have all kinds of new and vintage guitar-related gear, lessons and repairs. Last year the stores instructors provided over 5,000 lessons, most one-on-one. The store is considered a go-to place for guitar/amp repair and customization. More information is available at or calling 248-540-9900.Detroit Guitar at 243 W. Maple Road in downtown Birmingham is open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

By Carroll DeWeese – Observer & Eccentric