Bad Influence has been rocking houses since its humble beginnings back in 1988. They have been playing for growing crowds of blues lovers everywhere and are continuing to pick up speed! In addition to the band’s festival and club dates, they have been showcased at the International Blues Challenge, performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC as well as multiple appearances at the NAMM shows. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be anything this versatile band can't do!
Their latest release, "Under The Influence", is the band’s 4th CD. This combination of originals and lesser-known covers was a finalist in the 2012 International Blues Challenge for Best Self Produced CD, a 2012 Washington Area Music Association award (Wammie) nominee for Best Blues Recording and a Pick-to-Click on BB Kings Bluesville on SiriusXM Radio. In addition to their strong originals, the band provides a sound strong enough to do justice to blues and swing classics ranging from Louis Jordan to B.B. King to Stevie Ray Vaughan. According to Northern Virginia Rhythm Magazine, seeing Bad Influence is “a night to enjoy well-played, up-tempo rhythm and blues...Bad Influence makes the blues jump!”
Their third CD, “Tastes Like Chicken”, won a Wammie award for best blues recording. 11 of the 12 songs are Bad Influence originals! According to Northern Virginia Rhythm Magazine, seeing Bad Influence is "a night to enjoy well-played, up-tempo rhythm and blues... Bad Influence makes the blues jump!”
Founding member, Epiphone endorsed guitarist, and Northern VA Blues Hall of Fame inductee Michael Tash (otherwise known as “Jr.”), draws his main inspirations from the three Kings (B.B., Albert, and Freddie) but it’s his unique style of mixing the old with the new that really sets him apart.
Hohner endorsed harp player and vocalist, Roger “Pork Chop” Edsall adds excitement with his raw blues tone radiating the Franken-Fender amplifiers. His harp arrangements are pure and simple, which is exactly why they cut clear to the bone.
Most songs are sung by bassist Bob Malardi. He had performed with many DC area bands until joining Bad Influence in 1993. His natural feel for the blues and vocal phrasing make listening to Bad Influence a joy.
Northern VA Blues Hall of Fame inductee and Sonor endorsed drummer David Thaler adds his talent and songwriting experience. His style is always complementary and definitely hits the spot!
In early 2013 Bad Influence was nominated for more 3 Wammie awards – Best Blues Band, Blues Instrumentalist (Michael Tash), and Blues Vocalist (Bob Mallardi). Since 2003 they have been nominated and won many of these coveted Washington, DC awards. Time is definitely on their side as these boys just keep getting better. The music that pours out of them night after night is the heart and soul of the blues. It’s what life is all about: the highs, the lows, and everything in between. The music speaks for itself.
Roger "Porkchop" Edsall - Harp & Vocals
Bob Mallardi - Bass & Vocals
Michael "Jr" Tash - Guitar
David Thaler - Drums
Under The Influence (2012) - Sirius/XM Pick-to-Click, Finalist in the International Blues Challenge Best Self Produced Recording, Nominated for the Washington Area Music Association award for best blues recording of 2012
Tastes Like Chicken (2001) - Winner of the Washington Area Music Association award for best blues recoirding of 2001.
Where We Been (1996) - A collection of our favorite cover songs.
The Washington Post
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Like a lot of blues bands around the country sustained by a regional following, Bad Influence can ge...Like a lot of blues bands around the country sustained by a regional following, Bad Influence can get along merely by saluting its precursors. But the local band's latest release offers something more ambitious -- a solid collection of original material spiced with humor and soul.
Of course, "Tastes Like Chicken" is familiar in many respects. The quintet's affection for horn-powered jump tunes, harp-laced blues and lazy grooves is evident from the opening tracks. There's nothing fussy about the band's sound or the way it puts a lyric across. Though their music draws on both vintage and contemporary hues, sticking to the blues basics seems a way of life for these guys. They're also supported by some like-minded musicians, including Nighthawks guitarist Pete Kanaras and singers Mary Shaver, Janine Wilson and Cindy Cain.
This time around, though, Bad Influence has put a lot of work into the songwriting. Four members of the band contribute tunes to the mix, including harmonica player Roger Edsall and drummer David Thaler, who penned a couple of amusing songs informed by a distinctly Washingtonian perspective -- "Don't Forget Your Nightclothes" and "D.C. Driver." Edsall is also responsible for "Cat Fight," a swinging, cross-harp romp, while guitarist Michael "Jr." Tash and bassist Bob Mallardi add songs that are boisterous, mournful and romantic by turns. More than anything else, these new tunes are what make "Tastes Like Chicken" such appetizing stuff.
Blues Revue Magazine
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Strong contemporary blues make up Tastes Like Chicken (Badblues 8021), from the Washington, DC outfi...Strong contemporary blues make up Tastes Like Chicken (Badblues 8021), from the Washington, DC outfit Bad Influence. The writing is good - harpist Roger Edsall manages to find new wrinkles in the overdone "Love Dot Com" blues theme, and guitarist Jr. Tash's snapshot of a sour relationship in "Talking to the Wall" is unusually in-depth and affecting. The band's finesse and flair are highlighted in backscratchin' grooves ("Don't Forget Your Nightclothes," boosted by guest guitarist Pete Kanaras' courtesy-of-Earl-Hooker wah slide guitar solo), too-cool shuffles ("Road House"), and chromatic harp workouts ("Cat Fight").
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Michael "Jr." Tash and his band of merry men, Bad Influence, are talking up their new CD, ...Michael "Jr." Tash and his band of merry men, Bad Influence, are talking up their new CD, "Tastes Like Chicken." It's a contemporary blues album Tash says reflects the humor and personalities of five "guys from the suburbs."
It's the band's second CD, and the first to contain original material. "We spent two years getting it just right," says Tash, who, along with the others members, wrote 11 out of the 12 cuts. The songs draw on geographical roots as well as musical ones.
"D.C. Driver," written by drummer David Thaler, is a smart-alecky road rage rant that according to Tash gripes "about the real life frustrations of driving the Beltway." The irritation is expressed in Thaler's lyrics: "On 495 you'll feel deprived/ I hog the left lane at 55/ Won't let you pass box you in tight/ And never notice you flashing your lights/ 'Cause I'm a D.C. Driver licensed to give you the blues."
Harp player Roger Edsall talks about a different part of modern life in his "Love Dot Com." Celebrating what Tash calls "the married man's best friend in the new millennium," Edsall sings "AOL now I.O.U" for the steamy chat rooms that take away his blues.
"It's obvious we're all having fun," says Tash. "We don't take ourselves too seriously. The CD is getting airplay on blues shows in Australia, Denmark and other places. It's such a cool feeling. "
And what about the album name, where did that come from?
"Whenever people try something new they always say, 'it tastes like chicken.' People just can't say 'I like it' for whatever [reason]. If I say we play the blues, that's something different to everybody. This album is different, so, it's like 'tastes like chicken."
Bad Influence shows consist of a mix of original material and upbeat blue covers.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.