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Open Thread - Blog


March 25th, 2009
Michael Varrati

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The discreet charm of wandering blindly into a pub or bar that you have previously had zero experience with is that upon entering, you have no expectations. True, you’ll form an opinion soon, but for a brief few moments, the clientele, the atmosphere…it’s all alien to you, and for that moment, you truly get to discover a new culture, some foreign location that was as easy to enter as just walking off the street.

With this in mind, the same can be said about the bands that play such establishments, as local bands often do. If you just so happen to be in a bar where a band is setting up, and you haven’t heard them on MySpace or had them recommended to you by a friend, then basically you have no idea what to expect, which I believe, sometimes is the best way to experience music.

I mention this sense of blind discovery and seeming alien experience, because that’s exactly how I encountered Big with Seed Big with Seed. It was March 13, the Friday before St. Patrick’s Day, and I had not really made any plans to review a band that night, as I had visiting friends to entertain, but it just so happens that a band found me, so to speak.

l_79bac835a2255ea0bb84b88ec1175370Wandering into the Spice Café in Oakland (a cozy little joint situated directly underneath India Garden, a delicious restaurant for those so inclined), the band had not yet begun, but were setting up as we ordered our first round of drinks. I had a sense they’d be cool, as the guy who I eventually learned was their lead vocalist (Adam Rossi) was wearing a Hunter S. Thompson t-shirt, and I believe someone who digs the good gonzo doctor can’t be all bad, but I still had no idea what to expect.

Shortly thereafter, the band kicked into their first number, which was a twangy, country inspired deal that I have to admit did little for me, and I was beginning to fear Hunter S. Thompson or not, that I was going to be disappointed. But, if any band should not be judged by their opening number, it is Big with Seed. Once the band got rolling, they kicked out an impressive set of cross-genre tunes, and I’d be amiss if I didn’t take a moment to point out that their guitarist, Scott Delledonne, plays some of the grooviest southern fried blues licks I have heard in an intimate setting in ages.

On their webpage, Big with Seed identifies itself as a “Rock & Soul” band, and I could not agree more. With solid instrumentation and vocals, the band manages to maneuver quite skillfully between blues, the aforementioned southern rock, light funk, and the occasional out and out jam. I thoroughly enjoyed their performance, and while their covers of some modern blues rockers such as the Black Crowes’ “Hard To Handle” (originally recorded by Ottis Redding) did not fall flat, the band was at their best when they were cutting loose doing their own music and their own thing. I particularly enjoy their honky-tonk inspired “Desire and Destiny”, which you can hear if you zip on over to their MySpace page, as well as a few other tracks.

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Based on my research, this Pittsburgh based band is currently unsigned, but have a few feathers in their cap, including steady local airplay on stations like WDVE, among others, and their track “Need to be Freed” was included on a 2005 Emerging Artist collection that was produced by Hometown Records and Overthrown Records.

While their style may not suit everyone’s tastes, to be sure, if you can check yourself at the door and appreciate a night of good old-fashioned bar music and a groovy jam, then Big with Seed are worth checking out, especially if you just happened to wander in off the street. 



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