Artist Spotlight: The Verve Pipe

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

A weekly feature showcasing local artists

Name: The Verve Pipe

Line up: Brian Vander Ark, vocals and guitar; Joel Ferguson, bass and backing vocals; Randy Sly, keyboards and backing vocals; Lou Musa, lead guitar; Sam Briggs, drums and percussion; Craig “Griff” Griffith, harmonica and backing vocals; Channing Lee, backing vocals.

Hitmakers: Chances are if you’ve turned on a modern rock radio station in the last 20 years, you’ve heard The Verve Pipe. The band’s 1996 single “The Freshmen” went to No. 1 on the U.S. alternative charts and No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Michigan band continued to charge into the next decade, with 2001’s “Never Let You Down,” landing in the top 20 of the U.S. Adult Top 40 list.

Present: The band, which performs about 35-50 shows per year, is gearing up to offer two new albums in February. Besides a new original studio LP titled “Parachute,” the group will release “Villains — Live & Acoustic,” which was recorded at the Ark in Ann Arbor.

Next: The band will hold its 7th annual holiday show at Otus Supply, a new venue and restaurant at 345 E. Nine Mile, Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m., all ages are welcome. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door and can be purchased through

Melody Baetens