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Big Dudee Roo to Release First EP at The DAAC

Underwriting support from:


/Paul Golm

 After playing together for over three years, Big Dudee Roo (Max Lockwood - vocals and bass, Justin Dore - lead guitar and vocals, Aurora Lewis - vocals and bass,  Amanda Smith - viola and vocals, Nate Wagner - guitar and banjo, and Kurt Rizley - drums) will be celebrating the release of their first EP, “Germination”.  The long overdue event will take place Friday, November 19, at the Division Avenue Arts Collective (The DAAC, 115 S. Division Ave.) in Grand Rapids.  The show will start at 7:00 pm.  Opening for the band will be Roosevelt Diggs, a folk/Americana group from the Big Rapids area.  

I had the chance to speak with Big Dudee Roo about their new CD and received an inpromptu concert in my living room.  My husband can’t tell me that it’s his guitars that don’t sound good anymore.  Apparently tuning to 441 makes a huge difference, well that and having Bug Dudee Roo play them.  The songs are written and composed collectively.  They say this collaborative process makes it alot more fun for everyone.  Max says they fed off of one anothers creative energy.  They say that there is no heiracrhy in the band; every part is just as important as the next.  They describe their sound as folk/groove/rock. 

The EP was recorded live in a basement below San Chez in Alex Hamel’s studio over the course of only two nights.  Kurt says that they practiced until they were solid and laid them all down in one or two recordings.  The hardest part they all agreed was choosing which songs to go on the EP and coming up with the track titles.  Max credited Alex with being instrumental in helping everything go so smoothly.  They described how surreal it felt to go into the studio, record all night and then ascent out of the dark basement into the morning fog as the sun was coming up.

As they played me a few songs from their EP, I really felt the energy they described.  They are passionate about music and they are equally passionate about their lyrics.  Most of the songs are related to the earth and protecting the environment.  This is no surprise to me.  All the members of the group are environmental activists.  I recently attended Moral Ground at GVSU where they performed and helped coordinate the event.  The purpose of this event was to acknowledge the environmental issues that we face today and collectively discuss practical sollutions.  I think Big Dudee Roo will continue to be the voice of Mother Earth for years to come.

I spoke with the band for several hours.  I enjoyed their performance; they even got lost within themselves for a minute and started to write another song.  There is one last mystery that has still remained unsolved.  What is the story behind that name Big Dudee Roo?

Disclosure: The author of this article is a volunteer helping to promote the event - Big Dudee Roo CD Release at the DAAC

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