Formed in 2000, the timing of The Ugli Stick couldn't have been more prophetic: a new millennium to usher in this band's fresh way of making music. A way in which they let a variety of styles, such as pop, singer/songwriter, funk and hip-hop, inspire their music without defining their sound.
With their 2001 debut album, "Beatdown", the band let each song take a life of its own. From traditional rock to quirky, acoustic-inspired songs, the eclectic mix reflected each member's need for, and respect of, creative exploration. Equally accepting was their diverse fan base....who bought up more than 5,000 copies of the independently released CD.
Intent on riding this wave of success to the next level, the band stayed focused on getting their music heard. Non-stop touring of clubs and festivals throughout the Southeast kept The Ugli Stick name spreading and the live shows growing. By 2002, the band was playing 150 shows a year and long lines of eager fans waiting to hear them play was the norm. But on a trip to Houston, Texas, for a run of gigs that was to help propel them up, four harsh words scribbled on a cocktail napkin by an audience member almost sent them spiraling down. "Up until that night", said lead singer Eric Erdman, "we had been really fortunate. We had won people over right away in cities like Mobile, Birmingham, Atlanta, Chattanooga, Baton Rouge and more. This was the first time our will and determination as a band had ever really been tested. But we didn't give up on our music or ourselves and we're a better, stronger band because of it." In fact, those four words didn’t just help pull the band closer together, they also became the title to the band’s successful sophomore release “Stop Please! Please Stop!”
Now playing almost 200 shows a year throughout six states, The Ugli Stick is one of the most popular touring bands in the Southeast. When not on the road, they’re writing and working on new songs. Their third album (released in August ’06) was recorded at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, with producer Jimmy Nutt (Drive-By Truckers, Jimmy Buffett). “It’s one of the few places where legendary music was made and the main focus, even today, is still on the music ….and not the music industry” says lead guitarist, Dale Drinkard. “The ‘Muscle Shoals Sound’, made famous by artists like Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, The Rolling Stones, Wilson Pickett, Dewayne Allman…even Paul Simon…. is a blend of music. It’s blues, soul, country, rock….even gospel….and it crosses cultures, genres and races. That’s what The Ugli Stick’s music is all about and that’s why we like recording in Muscle Shoals.”
The Ugli Stick is led by frontman Eric Erdman, an acoustic guitar player with magnetic stage presence and undeniable charisma. Backing him with melodious harmonies is lead guitarist and fellow songwriter, Dale Drinkard. Drummer, Tim Stanton, is the heartbeat of the band. And the groove that binds it all together is the phenomenal Quintin Berry, a one-of-a-kind bass player that is as much fun to watch as he is to hear.
So look out! The band, armed with great music and a style that’s all its own, is on a mission to make sure everyone gets hit by The Ugli Stick!
Eric Erdman - lead singer, guitar
Dale Drinkard - lead guitar, vocals
Tim Stanton - drums
Quintin Berry- bass
2006 - "Nostoi"
2004 - "Stop Please! Please Stop!"
2001 - "Beatdown"
The Ugli Stick Making Beautiful Music
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Dale Drinkard and Eric Erdman of The Ugli Stick spoke to BLISS about the fear and elation they are e...Dale Drinkard and Eric Erdman of The Ugli Stick spoke to BLISS about the fear and elation they are experiencing over the creation of their third album, produced at Nutthouse Studios in downtown Sheffield with producer Jimmy Nutt and legendary grammy-award winning producer Alan Shulman. The album has just been completed, although it took a year of work; while we're talking, Dale picks up a blue kiddie guitar with orange and pink flowers and Eric tunes a light pink Gibson. They break into a medley of Jack Johnson, Jim Croce, Rockg Horror songs and finally end with "a Stevie Ray version of a Buddy Guy version" of "Mary Had A Little Lamb". Playing our daughters' toy guitars and making them sound incredible makes us even more amazed at what they can do with "real" musical instruments.
So why did the band come to The Shoals to record this album at FAME? "We love the atmosphere here and the legendarymusicians that come with i t , " said Eric. Adds Dale, " l t ' s one of the few places where legendary music was made, and the main focus, even today, is on the music and not on the music "industry." This is our new home." "We're actually creating our music with the people who inspired us, legends like David Hood, Bob Wray and Larry Byram,who all play on the new record." said Eric. "That's just a bonus we didn't
expect. We started out wanting to play all the parts on the new album, but why would we not ask these guys we respect so much, when they were willing?"
The Ugli Stick is led by frontman Erdman, an acoustic guitar player with magnetic stage presence and undeniable charisma. Backing him with melodious harmonies is lead guitarist and fellow songwriter,
Drinkard. Drummer Tim Stanton is the heartbeat of the band. And the groove that binds i t a l l together is the phenomenal Quintin Berry, a one-of-akind bass player that is as much fun to watch as he is to hear. The band hails from Mobile, Alabama, where they have a
huge fan base and have been voted "Best Local Band" by the by readers of the Mobile Register for three years running. They play 2oo shows per year all over the Southeast and have found
their true sound with their new album,entitled Nostoi. "Nostoi" comes from Homer's' The l l l i a d
and means "The Return Home" or "Homecoming". "We feel like this record encompasses what
i t means to be ourselves, searching for the music we want to create, and reiurning home to who we really are," emphasizes Drinkard. Their new love for the Shoals can be heard in the influences of Wilson Pickett,
Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Paul Simonand The Rolling Stones. "We didn't know it at the time, but as kids we grew up listening to the 3 "M's", Memphis, Mowtown and Muscle Shoals, and
that has had an impact on our music," said Dale. "We want to get our music out to as many people as possible," says Eric. "Whether that comes through a record
Tim Stanton, Quintin Berry, Eric Erdman and Dale Drinkard
deal or just touring, we don't care." They are also aware of the piifalls and the successes of the music business, and want to create music without being labeled. They also want to spend the rest
of their lives doing what they love. "We are fine with following in the footsteps of Bare Naked Ladies, Cracker, Lyle Lovett,
or The Drive by Truckers-all artists who tour like crazy and have a huge fan base without being on the radio or having a "hit" record," says Dale. "When we came
here I had written two songs in two
years-l've written 14 songs since I have been in this deeply musical atmosphere in the Shoals, which is where all musicians and songwriters want to be."
No matter how much their sound has been influenced bv other Muscle Shoals artists, it is also totally unexpected and
absolutely unique. Their harmonies are elusive and mixed with a hip hop resonance that can't be overshadowed by Eric's unbelievable ability to put
words into a rap mix that will make you rewind over and over.
As they finish their impromptu medley for our seven year old girls on their tiny instruments, we realize that this group has fans of all ages... and we're happy to
know that there's a new generation of music coming out of the Shoals.
The Ugli Stick's 3rd album, Nostoi was released on August 8. You can buy the new record on theuglistick.com and see
the album photo shoot and videos at producingbliss.com.
getblissmagazine.com / FALL BLISS
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It's probably safe to say that back in 2001, when The Ugli Stick was making its first appearances at...It's probably safe to say that back in 2001, when The Ugli Stick was making its first appearances at SpringFest and BayFest and releasing its first album, no one would have predicted where the road would have brought it by this point.
The trio swelled to a quintet, then dropped back to a quartet. That debut album, "Beatdown," was followed by a second, "Stop Please! Please Stop!" While recording the third at FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala., frontman Eric Erdman and guitarist Dale Drinkard were hired as studio staff writers and moved to northwest Alabama.
That third album, "Nostoi," was released Aug. 8. Its cover shows the band lineup as it stands today, with Erdman and drummer Tim Stanton, both founding members, joined by longtime member Drinkard and brand-new bassist Quintin Berry.
At first blush, "Nostoi" is a change in direction, seeming like a lighter, more pop-oriented production that the previous discs. But that's deceptive. When I go back to 2001 and look at some of the very first words I ever wrote about the band, I see that they fit this album perfectly:
It was "a fearless blend of rock that draws heavily on the rhythmic richness of rap and hip-hop" and invited comparisons to groups such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sublime, I wrote. "This isn't the formulaic stuff known as rap-rock. This is the work of rockers who've recognized some good things on the other side of the aisle, and who have the musicianship to integrate those elements into their own approach."
The shoe still fits. What has changed on "Nostoi" is that the band has put a premium on making the songs accessible. The disc doesn't give you the sheer tornado of energy that the band pumped out in its earliest days, but the lyrical concepts come through much more clearly.
Erdman pronounces himself happy. It's no accident, he says, that the title is a Greek word whose meanings include a sort of epic homecoming.
"I do agree it's different, but it's not different from how our shows have been," he said. "I feel like this album sounds like we've been playing."
He's been tired of getting comments that fans hear one band at shows and another on record. He thinks "Nostoi" will lay that charge to rest.
With the disc in hand, The Ugli Stick is ready to expand its touring range out of the Southeast, Erdman said. And he's encouraged by the fact that audiences seem to be picking up the new songs on the first listen.
"Turn It On," "Because of You," "Started Out Right" and "My Old Friend" seem to be getting the strongest response, he said. The last, incidentally, is a tribute to the old Monsoon's, a favorite haunt claimed by fire.
"Nostoi" is available locally at Wherehouse Music and Best Buy. According to a band publicist, FYE in Colonial Mall Bel Air also will stock it eventually. The group can be found online at www.theuglistick.com.
Friday, August 18, 2006
What They're Saying.....
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What They’re Saying About The Ugli Stick……… “If you like your rock with a side of groove, you’ll ...What They’re Saying About The Ugli Stick………
“If you like your rock with a side of groove, you’ll love The Ugli Stick. It’s hard to stand still and listen to these guys rock! Unless your audience is already dead, they’ll love The Ugli Stick.”
Rick Hendrick, Program Director
95.1 The Fox-WXFX/Montgomery, AL
“The Ugli Stick is one of those bands that can take a small crowd and make it bigger. Audiences just don’t seem to leave the venue until the band has finished. They really put on a great show and hold the audience’s attention until the end. A great asset considering all the entertainment choices the audience has.”
Scott Fox, Program Director
“They blow up the phones, pack people into venues, sell cds, are wonderful to the fans, have great hooks, great lyrics, excellent musicianship, an incendiary live show……what more can you ask for?? The NEXT BIG THING is here……and it’s Ugli.”
“The Ugli Stick throws together rock, funk and rhythms like a band possessed…..they’re the funkiest white boys I’ve seen in a while.”
Woofy, Music Director
99Rock-WKSM/Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL
“The Ugli Stick is the most talented bunch of musicians and songwriters I have ever had the privilege of working with. The harmonies are great and the live show is something everyone must see. Keep it Ugli.”
Special K, Midday DJ & Homegrown Show
“You can imagine all the bands that hound us at 99Rock for airplay and live show mentions, so it says something about The Ugli Stick that we play them, and bring them in studio. Hell, I could just as easily have bikini tourists in here, but no….I choose to pump up the great Ugli Stick! And you haven’t seen the full picture until you see them live.”
Kevin McKay, Afternoon DJ
99Rock-WKSM/Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL
“The Ugli Stick is one of the most entertaining bands I have ever had the pleasure to see. They relate with the audience and connect with their fans. Their talent, stage presence and energy will be discovered soon. Until then they will be WABB’s secret weapon!”
Jay Hasting, former Program Director
Top 10 Reason To Check Out The Ugli Stick
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10. They play almost 200 shows a year in 6 southeastern states (lotta shows….they must be good!) ...10. They play almost 200 shows a year in 6 southeastern states (lotta shows….they must be good!)
9. Clubs can pull $2500 - $7000 at the door per show (good money for an unsigned band…they must be good!)
8. Fans wait in long lines to hear them play (sometimes even in the rain…they must be good!)
7. They garnered distribution through Select-O-Hits and their CDs are sold through Best Buy, FYE, Sam Goody, Wherehouse Music, Coconuts and more (tenacious AND they sell product….they must be good!)
6. Chosen for national sponsorship by Budweiser True Music Live (drummer really likes beer or…they must be good!)
5. Voted Top 20 in national Icehouse “Battle of the Bands” contest (people that drink beer like ‘em….they must be good!)
4. They have energetic and dedicated Street Teams throughout the South (free labor and PR…they must be good!)
3. Voted “Best Local Band” by readers of the Press-Register (Mobile, Alabama’s major daily) in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 (and they don’t even do a Skynyrd cover…they must be good!)
2. They’re Charles Barkley’s favorite band (and pro basketball players know music…they must be good!)
And the #1 reason you should listen to The Ugli Stick CD (drum roll, please)…
1. They’re really good…just ask their moms!
Ugli Stick Returns To Town
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Friday, April 07, 2006 By LAWRENCE SPECKER Entertainment Reporter This weekend brings a chan...Friday, April 07, 2006
By LAWRENCE SPECKER
This weekend brings a chance to catch up with The Ugli Stick at a time when the Mobile-based rock band is on the cusp of redefining itself with a new album.
But you'll have to move fast to keep up, given that the group is committed to two shows in the same evening.
First up is a rare all-ages show, a fund-raiser for the Semmes Boys and Girls Club. Starting at 7 p.m. Saturday in the auditorium at Mary G. Montgomery High School, the concert will feature an opening set by Birmingham-based Lock 13.
Ugli Stick drummer Tim Stanton said he expects the show to be a treat, despite the fact that the two groups might be slightly mismatched.
"Following Lock 13 is going to be hard," he said. "Those guys are heavy."
Tickets for the show are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. They are available at Mary G. Montgomery High School, the Semmes Boys and Girls Club and GroundZero Games and Comics. They also can be purchased online at www.groundzerostage.com.
Blake DeWitt, unit director for the Semmes Boys and Girls Club, said the fund-raiser was "something different" that came about thanks in part to a longstanding friendship with Ugli Stick guitarist Dale Drinkard and Lock 13 manager J.C. Smith. He said that while he isn't focusing on any specific audience, he hopes young listeners will take advantage of the opportunity.
"It is an event that we want to encourage kids to come out to," he said. "It's going to be as big as we can possibly make it."
Money raised will help the Boys and Girls club in various ways, including upkeep of its building in Semmes, DeWitt said.
When the show is over, probably sometime between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., The Ugli Stick's night will be just beginning. They'll pack up and move to a familiar downtown location.
"We'll kick off at Monsoon's at our normal early start time of midnight and play till 3:30," he said.
Not that The Ugli Stick has abandoned Mobile -- the group recently played its annual Mardi Gras weekend show at Monsoon's -- but its visits have been less frequent in recent months. With good reason: Over the last year, much of the band's time has been spent working on a new album at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
Two members, guitarist Drinkard and front man Eric Erdman, were even hired as staff writers by FAME, Stanton said, and subsequently moved to northwest Alabama.
"We've got a real good relationship with Rick Hall and the people at FAME," Stanton said. "Their job is to write songs and give them to Rick, and he pitches them to various artists."
Stanton remains a resident of the Mobile area. So does bassist Brandon Whigham, who dropped out as a full-time member of the band at the end of December. Stanton described it as an amicable parting, and said Whigham will play with the group at its Saturday shows. (The group hopes to have a new permanent bassist lined up soon, Stanton said.)
If that hints that the band has been going through some transitions, a few sample tracks from the upcoming disc confirm it.
The production, by Jimmy Nutt, is rich and deep, even though the versions given to the Register were not yet final. Just as striking is the fact that a group known for its chops has softened its punch in the interest of songcraft and accessibility.
When doing cover songs, the Ugli Stick has been capable of delivering a devastating cover of Dr. Dre's "Forgot About Dre" one minute and Sade's "No Ordinary Love" the next. Its original material, especially on its debut disc "Beatdown," showed copious hip-hop and hard-rock influences.
Most of that is gone on the new material, though the group's sound is, if anything, more confident.
"I've given up my hope that we're one day going to be a metal band," Stanton said. And he's pleased with the way the project is shaping up.
"The sound quality, that's something we're really proud of," he said. "I don't think there's anything local that compares."
Listeners at both shows will get their chance to hear the new material for themselves. Stanton said that lately the group is "kind of doting on our new children."
Work on the album is down to finishing up a few tracks, then doing the final mixing and mastering. Stanton said he's hoping for an early summer release.
In the meantime, the group will continue to tour markets such as Memphis, Nashville and Atlanta. And Mobile won't be left out of the loop.
"We haven't gone away. But we haven't focused on keeping Mobile happy," said Station. "(But) we won't ever not be from Mobile."
On the Web: www.theuglistick.com.
The Ugli Stick all-original show is one and a half hours. A typical cover show lasts four hours, including breaks. Here is a sample cover show:
The Ugli Stick
SAMPLE Cover Song List
California Love (2 Pac)
All Mixed Up (311)
In Da Club (50 Cent)
Brian Wilson (Barenaked Ladies)
Steal My Kisses (Ben Harper)
Word Up (Cameo)
Holiday Inn (Chingy featuring Ludacris)
Rock Superstar (Cypress Hill)
Personal Jesus (Depeche Mode)
Humpty Dance (Digital Underground)
Forgot About Dre (Dr. Dre / Eminem)
Lose Yourself (Eminem)
Real Slim Shady (Eminem)
Times Like These (Foo Fighters)
Ready Or Not (The Fugees)
Rodeo Clown (G. Love & Jack Johnson)
Jump Around (House of Pain)
Nice To Know You (Incubus)
Wish You Were Here (Incubus)
Need You Tonight (INXS)
Gold Digger (Kanye West)
Jungle Boogie (Kool & The Gang)
Bubbletoes (Jack Johnson)
Taylor (Jack Johnson)
Doctor My Eyes (Jackson Brown)
Remedy (Jason Mraz)
Big Pimpin’ (Jay-Z)
Jigga What (Jay-Z)
Can I Get A… (Jay-Z)
What’s Golden (Jurassic 5)
Your Fantasy / Get Back (Ludacris)
Five On It (Luniz)
Let’s Get It On (Marvin Gaye)
Harder To Breathe (Maroon 5)
This Love (Maroon 5)
Land Down Under (Men At Work)
Po Folks (Nappy Roots)
Aw Naw (Nappy Roots)
Must Be The Money (Nelly)
Hella Good (No Doubt)
Hey Ya (Outkast)
Mrs. Jackson (Outkast)
Bombs Over Baghdad (Outkast)
When Doves Cry (Prince)
Get Off (Prince)
No One Knows (Queens Of The Stone Age)
Can’t Stop ( Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Give It Away (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Drinkin’ Problem (Rehab)
Sittin’ At A Bar (Rehab)
No Ordinary Love (Sade )
Somebody Already Broke My Heart (Sade)
My Ruka (Sublime)
What I Got (Sublime)
Wild Thing / Funky Cold Medina (Tone Loc)
Various artists (Notorious B.I.G, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, Sugar Hill Gang, Jurassic 5, Skee-lo, Biz Markie…..)
Say It Ain’t So (Weezer)
Beverly Hills (Weezer)
Bust A Move (Young MC)
Voodoo Child (Jimi Hendrix)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.