The Big Wu — Tracking Buffalo Through the Bathtub
(Phoenix Rising PR-2004, 1993, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2000-05-01
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.
Related artist(s): The Big Wu
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more