I can only think of a couple of local bands that break out of the bass, guitar, drums, keys (maybe) paradigm. What IS that? Who DRIVES that personnel equation? Is it bar owners? The customers? The bands, themselves?
I have more questions than answers. But I don’t think it’s the bands, except in a a particular context. I don’t think it’s customers…I’m honestly not sure more than maybe ten percent of local music consumers think about this, at all. I think it’s economics. I think bands are capped on what they can make, and that larger groups mostly end up splitting the same money six ways as a three piece band. I know that’s not true in all cases, but it seems to me there is not much incentive to add players to your band. Also, you shouldn’t think this is some formal survey…I actually try hard NOT to know what the pay situation is for the bands, as I think it would just make me angry.
Anyway…These cats (and they ARE “Cats” in the best possible sense) in this band. Hoo Boy. The real deal. They are road hard. They’ve all played in bands that toured, some of them at a pretty high level. Some of you older locals will remember seeing Grinder Switch on a lot of bills with bigger bands.
They come from The Bronx (Pete), West Virginia (The Senator), and Miami/Fort Lauderdale (Marty). Their live show is fantastic…They are ‘attacking’ the crowd, every set…Out there among the patrons laughing, dancing, cajoling, bumping, grinding. Pretty cool.
Let me tell you something…What these guys do, the way they do it…It’s hard work. It was easily 85 degrees in the stage corner at Seaside. People have to go two feet from the stage to get to the bathroom, and literally lift beer cases over the corner of Marty’s keyboard stand. There is a post RIGHT in front of the lead guitar player’s mic stand. There’s a pool table in the room. And they just KILLED it. Like they had been there ten thousand times, before. Frankly, they have.
Here’s some photos of Papa Crawdaddy and The Senator, as well as others from my two weeks in local music…