Big Dudee Roo

Big Dudee Roo

 Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Big Dudee Roo's atmospheric folk rock/grunge sound has its origins in the town of Wayland, MI. It has since grown and ... more expanded throughout the great mitten state. BDR’s songs deal with themes as wide-ranging as personal and spiritual growth, love and relationships, emotional and personal responses to pressing social and environmental issues, the experience of time and memory, community and family.


"The oft-psychedelic, Neil Young-styled folk rock...oozes an endearing, political charm." (Grand Rapids Press)

Big Dudee Roo's atmospheric folk rock/grunge sound has its origins in the town of Wayland, MI, where all five members were raised and received their public educations. Now based in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, it has since grown and expanded throughout the great mitten state and its vibrant musical community. The songs, penned by bassist Max Lockwood and banjoist/guitarist Nate Wagner deal with themes such as personal and spiritual growth, community and family, "complete with socio-ecological consciousness and positive attempts to find significance in the suffering and disassociation of the modern world" (Recoil). Aurora Lewis' soulful vocals, Justin Dore's versatile and unique guitar work, and Kurt Rizley's steady driving beats feed off of the songs and take them into full bloom with the distinctive Big Dudee Sound.

The genuine energy and emotion that the band puts into their live performances engage audiences in a distinctively intimate way. Big Dudee Roo believes that music can be more than mere entertainmentit can be inspiration for people to think about the world and their place in it, and to work for something better.

"Listen to Your Discontent" was recorded mostly live in the Petersen Barn in Rockford, MI, in the course of three intensive days in August 2011. It was engineered and co-produced by Alex Hamel, mastered by Glenn Brown, and features fine guest appearances by esteemed local artists Samuel Seth Bernard and Karisa Wilson.

The bands 6-song, debut EP, Germination!, was released in September of 2010 and met with an outpouring of praise from fans. Recorded by Alex Hamel in Grand Rapids, it has been called a mixture of early Wilco, Neil Young, and Donna the Buffalo.

Big Dudee Roo will be playing across Michigan to support the new album. It can be found at local record stores, online at, and on iTunes and other music distribution websites.



Written By: Max Lockwood

They say home is where the heart is
Well I need to get my heart back again
There’s people everywhere I turn
So why the hell do I feel so alone
Get on that train
On that train and don’t look back again

There’s something strong, it pulls you back
When you’re away to the place where you come from
A longing from the heart detached
Grows and grows ‘til you get back again
So I’ll ride that train
Ride that train back home to Michigan

It hurts to know that things have changed
Ones who stayed moved on since I’ve been gone
I missed you then but I didn’t know why
Now I know that change it had to come
But once I get back
Once I get back will this all just melt away?

It does no good to tell myself
Everything happens for a reason
It does nothing to ease the mind
'Til all this trouble is far behind
So I’m going back to Michigan
Going back let this work be done by time

People Said No

Written By: Max Lockwood

What if the sun looked out one morning
With a different light
And all the people said No
To endless toil, a darkening veil
And progress made with nothing to show
But loss and consequence
Awakened, eyes awide, 10,000 years gone by
Now where do we go from here?

Back to the balance of all things
And the beauty that can still be seen
If you remember how to look

If we wish to stop the atrocities
We merely need to step away from the isolation
There’s a whole world out there awaiting our return
Ready to welcome us home
Let’s go home

To the heart of the world
That we haven’t known for so long
That we’ve forgotten how it feels
To be a part of the whole
A part of it all

Yes, judgment day is on its way
But no savior on a pedestal awaits
And nobody here, even those pure of heart
Can be saved by only faith
You can’t forgive all that we’ve done
And all we’ve caused

We built ourselves an aircraft then forgot how to fly
Now we’re struggling against the world, falling through her sky
So come along with me, all you that see this fate
But don’t yet open your parachutes, ‘cause this machine will not change
Once we know that this aircraft has plunged down to its demise
We can float down behind, hoping that we survive
To see the new sun rise

Life Wants to Live

Written By: Max Lockwood

In these bleak days
It’s good to see your smiling face
Brown eyes make me forget
To stay wrapped up in my own head
If you should find me
All alone, eyes far, far away
I’ll find my way back before too long, so
Just pick me up before you go
We’ve learned never to be
Fully in the present tense
Because to feel what’s there
Might mean to feel all the sorrow and despair
But this isn’t really living
We’re only fending off death
What is there to live for
Ask yourself, what is there to die for?

Time has come
To decide where you’ll belong
Time is now
To decide between right and wrong
I know it’s hard
To break through the haze and think for yourself
But I know it’s wrong
To stand by and watch as this evil train barrels on

Do you merely want to feel alright
As life crumbles around your ears
Well, I prefer to burn with the honest truth
Know I’m alive when I taste the tears
The next generations
They’re gonna wonder, what the hell were you doing?
When they look back on all we’ve done, and all that we’ve not done
Before turning back to their broken world
So much has been destroyed
But life is still so, so good
And that’s all the reason I need
To die knowing I gave all that I could

Time has come
To decide where you’ll belong
Time is now
To defend that which you love
I know it’s wrong
‘Cause neutrality is complicity
But I know it’s right
To fight like hell against all the evil you see
And I know it’s right
‘Cause I can feel it in my bones
And I know it’s right
‘Cause I can taste it in the wind
And I know it’s right
Because you always get more when you give
And I know it’s right
‘Cause life wants to live


2012 - Listen to Your Discontent

2010 - Germination! EP

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Set List

Our original material is listed below by name, along with a couple of our most recent cover songs. There are many more cover songs that we do occasionally, or have done in the past.


Raven in the Wintertime
I've Been Wrong Before
Being Free
The Last Breath of Summer
The Living Kind
Beautiful Justice
You Are Your Own
Crimson Trains and Grey Twilight
Let it Rise
Flowers for a Crow
Making Memories
Life Wants to Live
Be Present
Yours is my Origin
People Said No
Theory and Drive
It's Not You
Grow With the Flow
Electric Sasquatch


When You Dance I Can Really Love - Neil Young
Down by the River - Neil Young
(several other Neil Young songs)
You Can't Hurry Love - The Supremes
I'm the Man Who Loves You - Wilco
Tyrone - Erykah Badu
Don't Let Me Down - The Beatles
Positive Friction - Donna the Buffalo
Everlasting Light - Black Keys
Up on Cripple Creek - The Band