About the Band

About Motor City Soul


Motor City Soul performs a special repertoire enjoyed by diverse audiences of all ages.  We deliver our performances with  energy and audience engagement that leave your guests amazed and talking about MCS and their experience for days, weeks, even months after!  Our unique mix of Motown, Soul, R&B, Funk, Oldies, modern Pop and Rock includes songs recognized by most, loved by all, and chosen to keep the dance floor full all event long.  MCS can put 5 generations on the dance floor at the same time with the same song. 




Kelley Rawls- 

Lead Vocals


Introducing Kelley Rawls, lead singe.  Kelley studied musical theater and dance at Point Park University Conservatory in Pittsburgh and attended Circle In The Square Theatre School on Broadway.
Kelley has performed with The Micheal Chekhov Theatre Company in lower Manhattan and with Inmates of the Theater Asylum Theatre Company of Los Angeles.  She has also fronted classic and R&B bands; and even a jazz trio.  In her spare time, while in L.A., Kelley recorded an original pop album.  




John Nikolich-
Drums/ Vocals



John DRIVES  the Motor City Soul "bus", powering the band and the audience through the music in a way that demands your attention.  Raised in the Detroit Metro area, John picked up his first set of drums from the curb on trash day when he was 6 years old.  He has played professionally since age 15.  His musical experience includes playing in blues, rock, top 40, Christian and orchestra bands.  John has an energetic style and has played with members of Rare Earth and the George Duke band.



James Browneagle Niemi-
Lead Guitar/Vocals


DMA winning musician James is a veteran of many local and touring cover, dance and original bands.

From the Midwest to SoCal and back to his native Michigan with decades on lead guitar influences include: The Beatles, Motown, Zeppelin, Hendrix, the British Invasion, funk/R n’ B/soul, Johnny Winter, Clapton, Jeff Beck, FM underground and AM pop radio.

Venues: many Detroit and metro area clubs/bars, all Detroit casinos to The Fillmore, Royal Oak Theater, Harpos, The Ark, performing live in studio on all the local TV stations morning shows, many festivals around MI and OH including stints in Vegas. He has also opened for a national acts Leon Russell, Eddie Money, Starship, America, Mitch Ryder to name a few.

A rock guitarist at heart, and gifted with “big ears”, he has the ability to cover many diverse styles and genres and brings that energy along for the musical ride!



Kenny Foster-
Lead Vocals




Kenny’s unique style mixes the original Motor City sound along with his very own musical talents, is one that can’t be compared. His vocal excellence has performed with the great legends as Rev. James Cleveland, The Temptations, Four Tops and with local groups, The Domino’s and The Players. Kenny’s versatile, local blend of Gospel, Blues and Rock can be called the“Motown Sound” along with his charisma, will keep a crowd on the edge of their seats, tapping their feet.


Mike Harrold-
Lead Vocals



Mike, born in Alabama, home in Detroit, MI. Mike started singing professionally at age 17 as the lead singer with The Shades of Blue, a local R&B group. Mike has 13 years experience in musical theater to add to his repetoir. You may remember Mike in For Your Ears Only (R&B) as lead and backround; or as lead and backround in The Dynamics (R&B). Mike's Gospel experience as lead & backround includes Spiritual Parader's, Mighty Men of Valore, and Testify



Ross Kadish-
Keyboards/ Vocals



As a lifetime resident in Michigan , Ross studied music therory and composition at Wayne State University. Ross has spent over 3 decades mastering the styles of progressive,rock classic rock, pop, jazz, funk and blues while playing with numerous bands in the metro Detroit area.



John Morgan-
Bass Guitar/ Vocals


  John says his parents had him singing with his brothers before he could talk. He started playing musical instruments at a very young age, but he always had an ear for bass. When he auditioned as a lead guitarist for an original rock band, he took a bass along and instead became the bassist. He’s never looked back and has played bass with 3-piece to 17-piece bands and everything in between playing all kinds of music from folk to big band to rock and R&B doing live performances of just about every kind and some commercial studio work.



Michael Whitehead-
Lead Vocals



Singing just seems to come naturally for Michael.  As former lead vocalist for Serpentine Fire, an Earth, Wind, and Fire tribute band, Michael further developed his first tenor voice as well as a very strong falsetto that will rival anyone in the business. Michael has performed with several other groups in the Metro Detroit area including D Tour, Hidden Agenda, The Saints of Soul, Larry Lee and Back in the Day as well as performing as front man for his own project, The Michael Whitehead Band.

Shawn Kane-
Audio Engineer

Shawn is a veteran of gigging bands and has been producing live sound since the 1990's.  He is responsible for all Motor City Soul audio production and uses the most current digital equipment to present and produce Motor City Soul's live performances in every type of performance venue imaginable, including theaters, wedding halls, tents and outdoor concerts events.  Shawn also produces audio for wedding cermonies and provides recorded music programming for any client needs (ceremonies; background music for dinner, receptions, breaks etc.)  Shawn has been with the band since 2011.