Society Confidential: Texans take Detroit

Susan Whitall and Chuck Bennett

Texas Seger fans love Detroit

We know Bob Seger fans came in from all over to see his Thursday show at the Palace, with his Silver Bullet band, but we were charmed by two Texans who came to Detroit to see him, and were having fun exploring the city. Travis and Lindsay Sawyer are from Monahans, out in dusty, rural west Texas. The closest city where they could see Seger’s “Ride Out” tour would have been Dallas. And a friend tried to talk them into going to Las Vegas, but Sawyer, 31, an insurance agent, resisted. “With an artist like Bob Seger, you want to see him in his element, in his hometown. We’ve never been to Michigan, so we just said ‘Hey, whatever reasons are we ever going to have to go up there? Let’s go.’” The Sawyers stayed in downtown Detroit for two days, and happily ate coney dogs at both Lafayette and American coney islands, visited a table tennis bar and took a private tour of the city that showed them the Packard Plant, Belle Isle and downtown’s stunning architecture. Detroiters were friendly when they told them of their Seger plans.

“Now I’m just bragging, but the people have treated us so well, we’ve had the best experience. Coming up here, Detroit carries a small stigma, people were saying look out and all, but we have not experienced any of that.” Most impressive to the Texans: “The ice flowing down the Detroit River blew our minds,” Sawyer said. “Holy cow! Well, we’re not used to water. Ice and water — not even close.”

John on the mend

We’re happy to report that Detroit’s Keith John, longtime backup singer (and onstage live wire) in Stevie Wonder’s live show, and son of R&B legend Little Willie John, is recovering so quickly in a Houston hospital (even singing from his hospital bed), that he might be released soon. John took ill while on tour with Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” show, and had to be hospitalized. John not only sings backup for Wonder, but on some songs took the lead, giving the boss a brief break. He was heard singing Wonder’s song “I Can Only Be Me” in Spike Lee’s “School Daze.”

GM’s Welburn talks to young designers

GM’s VP of Global Design, Ed Welburn travels the world talking about design, but on Tuesday he’s talking to a particularly interesting group. Welburn will speak about his life and career to students at the Urban Assembly School of Design in New York, inner city children who are interested in careers in design. Also expected to attend the event are Tony Bennett and his wife, Susan Benedetto, who have been acquaintances of Ed’s for many years. The school was set up thanks to donations by Bennett, who is a generous benefactor to schools in his native New York.

New album from Davidson

Folk singer Ethan Daniel Davidson has a penchant for telling good stories, an asset for a folk singer, he’s quick to admit. Ethan is also the son of the late William Davidson, who owned the Detroit Pistons. After traveling the world for some years, Ethan returned to Detroit and is now releasing his newest album, “Drawnigh.” He collaborated on the project with other musicians from Detroit, including his wife Gretchen Gonzales Davidson. The release date is May 19, but you can listen and download on Soundcloud now. For more information visit