Exposé Online banner

The Big Wu — Tracking Buffalo Through the Bathtub
(Phoenix Rising PR-2004, 1993, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2000-05-01

Tracking Buffalo Through the Bathtub Cover art

The Big Wu is a Midwest quintet who focuses on the amusing swing jazz groove vibes of Zappa or the Grateful Dead. This is the kind of group who can channel a happy vibe and break off into a heavy jamming section quite easily. Guitarist Chris Castino emotes a clean Jerry Garcia tone on several pieces, with Jason Fladager spurring an edge with his overdriven blues leads. Together they evoke the best assets of a funky double edged, but smooth guitar attack. “Kangaroo” could almost be a piece from an 80s Dead album with Bob Weir crooning his best down-home style. The song also features a whistled midsection along with a tasty vibes solo. “Bloodhound” taps into bluegrass territory with an amusing story offset by parallel acoustic guitar lines. Plus the band can slow things down a bit as on “Puerto Rico” or on the all-too familiar “Precious Hands.” The group is also making a serious dent in tape trader territory as indicated by extensive boot recordings by avid collectors. It’s not too hard to imagine the group stepping out on many of these pieces since winning an internet jam-band poll on www.Jambands.com earlier this year. Not bad for a seven year old local set of musical friends from Minneapolis making good on an accessible genre left void by the Dead across the nation. I’d love to hear a live tape before completely pegging the band, but if these studio sessions are any indication, this barely scratches the surface on their full capabilities.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 19, 1993 releases

Related artist(s): The Big Wu

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

World's End Girlfriend - Seven Idiots – Occupying a distinct netherworld where the realms of electronic music, avant garde, post-rock, and modern classical music intersect, World's End Girlfriend (the nom de musique of Katsuhiko Maeda) has...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues