Big Ol' Dirty Bucket
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Big Ol' Dirty Bucket

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Rock Funk




"BIG OL’ DIRTY BUCKET - 11 songs"

Call me a sentimentalist, but I can’t help regarding this project–which in places approaches the status of a blaxploitation soundtrack—with great fondness. Okay, they throw in some rap to appease the kiddies—particularly on the opening track, “Photonic People,”—and they toss in some calculated vulgarity to spice up “Chuck Norris.” But many of these songs are picture-perfect funk that exploits and gloriously revels in all the genre’s most vital tropes– bizarre, cultic invented words; irresistable rhythmic impetus; goofy wordplay; polyrhythmic foo-fo-raw; interpolated nonsense sounds; wild, one-off guitar solos, and kitchen-sink aesthetics. It’s not pure funk all the way through, but by mixing it up with some genre change-ups like soul and Latin music, the funk shines through loud and clear, most notably on closing track “All Night Long and Once in the Morning.” Highly recommended. () - Francis DiMenno - The Noise Magazine

"BIG OL’ DIRTY BUCKET - 11 tracks"

11 tracks

Wooo! Grab me a fan because this recording is smoking hot! I speak oftentimes about grooves but Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket is what grooving is all about. It really seems impossible to listen to this 10-piece band’s music and not dance—your body will just involuntarily move whether it be tapping your feet or full-body jammin’. Fabulous percussion, brash and punctuating horns, stingin’ searin’ guitar, tasty bass, and then of course those vocals—wow, those vocals by Sarah “Lil’ Shrimp” Seminski. Sultry, powerful, incredible—and I’m still just talking about the funk, soul, and R&B aspects of the band. Peppered within the funk here and there are hip-hop stylings led by MC Micah “Big Daddy Disco” Casey. I am thoroughly impressed with the musicianship of this entire band. Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket really is like a delicious gumbo of music—peppered into the funky soul and R&B are a bit of Latin spice, sweet disco, and salty rap. I can only imagine this band leaves their fans at shows sweating with carefree joy! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, funk lives and breathes here in Massachusetts. - Debbie Catalano - The Noise Magazine

"“Bucket” Makes a Big Splash"

After the holidays pass and only winter’s dreary cold persists, sometimes the joys of the season–hot chocolate, wool mittens, a roaring fire–feel like consolation prizes. As Mother Nature takes her sweet time gusting and blustering over the Northern Hemisphere, our college community diligently searches for a solution to fend off those winter blues. Lucky for us, the College of the Atlantic is school where passionate, dedicated folks are paid to design creative ways to keep us happy, healthy, and entertained year-round–these last few grey months included.

The evening of Saturday, January 12th was no exception, as COA welcomed Boston’s own Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket to campus. With a 10-piece band boasting bright and sunny trumpet runs, syncopated low brass and guitar grooves, and kickin’ bass, Bucket brought the funk back to Bar Harbor in a big way.

“It was probably the hoppingest dance party that Gates has seen in a while. Or at least since, like, September,” Becca Haydu, photographer of the event, related to me. And I’m inclined to agree–whole-heartedly. The dance floor was packed with a mixed crowd of COA students and community members, twirling children, and heck, I’m sure there was a dog or two and a squirrel in the eaves jamming out too. Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket’s sound is popularly described as “Parliament Funkadelic meets Aretha Franklin at a Jay-Z concert,” but from that composite emerges a groove all their own. They spread their genre-bending brand of funk on thick from front to back, cutting the air like a knife and smoothing it back over again in sweet, sweaty sound.The energy in the room was relentless, through slow, sultry ballads and jump-up-and-down jams just the same.

Mother Nature, COA’s found a cure for your winter blues at the bottom of a big old dirty bucket, but to reach it, first you’ve gotta get down. - Erica Allen, Newsworthy - College of the Atlantic

"Review: Big Ol' Dirty Bucket"

It may seem unusual to attempt to lump a band like Black Eyed Peas into a funk genre. They’re certainly more funk than most bands out there in the pop world. But what would happen if the Peas were stripped of their Top 40 personas and allowed only to do funk music? What would the result be? The answer is Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket.
Not to be confused with the Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown or Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket (BODB) took all of the fundamentals of what worked for the Black Eyed Peas and applied it to their own sound. Strong lead female vocalist? Check. Rapper who has good flows and humorous rhyming sensibilities? Check. Good beats with thumping dance hall bass booms? Check. About the only thing they don’t have is the promotional power which is a crying shame.
The album opens with Photonic Amplifier People which rings in introducing you to their strong female lead Sarah Seminski aka Lil’ Shrimp. Her vocals are strong and clear and an important part of what makes Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket marketable to most jazz funk audiences. Photonic is a classic upbeat funk shoutback that other acts like Brand New Heavies mastered so well and BODB seems to have perfected the formula.
What draws the Black Eyed Peas comparisons are songs like Mic Smoke that features in-house lyricist Big Daddy Disco who’s rhymes are accentuated by Lil’ Shrimp laid over simplified Top 40'ish keyboard riffs. And then the reverse on songs like Blue Dream where the focus is Lil’ Shrimp and then added rhymes are brought in from Big Daddy Disco. It’s as if Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket stole the Peas playbook and then perfected it.
The typical instrumentals and slow jams are notably absent which strays from the normal successful formula of their predecessors, but it doesn’t detract from the strength of the album collection. Every song has its strength and very few have weaknesses.
The main strengths of the album are the vocal efforts delivered by Sarah Seminski. Her style will draw comparisons to a young Teena Marie and that comparison will be very evident to critics in songs like You Make Me Feel and Sin Lamento. Her vibrato is smooth and tasteful without the need to scream or draw attention to itself. She does what she’s supposed to do and does it well.

The most humorous track definitely goes to Emotional Rollercoaster that is the album’s only slow song, but almost doesn’t qualify because it’s a very tongue and cheek back and forth booty call sung conversation that offers up some of the most ridiculous pick up lines you’ll ever hear.
The band itself is very tight and strong. The horns are polished and prominent. The drums are clean and in the pocket and the keyboards are perfectly infused. It’s rare to hear a band this size work so well together short of the famed Parliament.
All of the album’s tracks are strong and filled with funk front to back. Fans of the Brand New Heavies, Teena Marie, and even Black Eyed Peas will certainly appreciate this offering. Check out the tracks below for a small taste of what they offer and then head to their website to snag a copy for yourself at
- Funkatopia

"Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket is a Funk Band on the Rise"

Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket has built up quite a following in the two years they’ve been on the scene. The 11 piece funk band from Salem, Massachusetts plays all over New England. This shouldn’t be too surprising as the band members each have years of experience and years of connections built up. Band leader and keyboard player Brett Badolato was happy to talk about his Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket.

Badolato has been busy for the last 20 years building up his street cred and name recognition. “I’ve been in bands since I was 13 years old,” he said. “They’re a broad spectrum. I’ve been in heavy metal bands, hip hop bands, reggae bands, cover bands, and I just got sick and tired of playing other people’s music. It was time to start my own project and play the music that we wanted to play.”

Badolato took a long, roundabout route toward forming Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket. He had been jamming with 60 different people at random jams, and he eventually started to click with a few of the players. “From there on, we just kept it all originals and kept things going,” he said.

Band members were chosen essentially on the basis of who was comfortable to work with and fun to play with. “It came down to who we liked to share it with,” Badolato said. “Our trumpet player (Andy Gerard) is my brother in law. When he started with the band, he wasn’t in the band. He was helping us record our demo, and at the time it was only a five piece. He had mentioned in the whole process of recording the demo, that he used to play the trumpet when he was in high school, and he hadn’t played it in years. And we thought it would be cool as a thank you for doing the demo for us to buy him a trumpet. So, we bought him a trumpet, and within a couple days he was like ‘I’m going to need to jump in.’”

Gerard, it should be noted, used to manage a studio in New York. When he married Badolato’s sister the couple moved back to Massachusetts and had a make shift studio in his basement and some portable equipment. He was bringing his stuff down to the Bucket jam space and recorded the core elements of drums, keys, bass, and guitar. Horns, percussions, and vocals were all recorded at Gerard’s home studio.

Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket debuted in 2009 at Tammany Hall in Worcester before making the rounds of North Shore rooms like Dodge Street Bar And Grill and a few smaller venues. Eventually, Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket made their Boston premiere at a packed room in the Middle East in Cambridge.

It was those numerous personal connections that resulted in the band playing at many Boston appearances, New England music festivals, and protest type rallies. Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket won the Battle Of The Bands in the Wormtown Trading Company in Worcester. Something Badolato still gets excited about.

“I was ecstatic,” Badolato said. “It was funny because our lead singer Sarah was very uncomfortable with battling. She doesn’t like being judged. It was kind of neurotic going through the different rounds. But we just kept on doing well, and we had a lot of fun, and we met a lot of really cool people, and we had a blast. We were all ecstatic when we found out we actually won the thing. We were just happy to be playing with such amazing musicians.”

One of the prizes for winning the Worcester battle was to perform in front of thousands of people at the Wormtown Music Festival last year. They also just played it again this year, a week ago.

Badolato used to play his keyboards in heavy metal bands, which was never an easy fit. Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket’s lead singer, Sarah Seminski, had made the rounds of many bands too over the years, still belonging to popular function band Search Party and a side project called Vanilla Manvelope. She also worked with Salem area bands The Sea Monsters, The Speakeasies, and Caged Birds. Badolato and Seminsky hit it off well when they were forming the current band and they are now an item.

When asked about the challenge of rehearsing and performing with ten other players, - Bill Copeland, Bill Copeland Music News


Please, take a seat. Do you need anything? Coffee? Yes, right. To the point. We must apologize for our rudeness, abducting you like that, but when you hear what we have to say, you’ll understand the need for discretion. A category-funk funkicane originating somewhere in the North Shore was picked up by the Eastern Bootystream, and will be funking into the city by early evening. Our course, we don’t have to tell you what that means. Absolute funktastrophe, the projected revelries being … well, those are just numbers. Certainly, take a moment. Your hips are shaking. - J. Patrick Brown, The Boston Dig

"A Drop in the Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket"

Salem —

If you walked by Murphy’s last Sunday, you could be excused for thinking there’d been a rip in the space-time continuum and 1973 was leaking though. What else could explain the uncut Fillmore East bass pumping through the air, the guests smoking outside in their finest shearling vests and center-parted hair?

Of course, in 1973, no one went outside to smoke. The Salem Jazz and Soul Festival closed out its 2011 season in grand style with a funk music concert to raise money for music education programs in the city’s schools.

“This is our fifth year, and we had a great turnout,” said Larry Claflin, executive director of the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival. “We had a lot of pre-sale tickets, but we’ve also had a lot of people walk in from the street. I think they can tell it’s a great party.”

Claflin said that the Festival, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, raised around $5,500 this year.

“We do a lot of free concerts in the summer, including our main festival at the Salem Willows, which drew around 5,000 people this year,” Claflin said. “Our paid concerts, like the show tonight, pay for our free concerts as well as raising money for the schools.”

Claflin said that the festival would have a few fundraisers in the spring to prepare for its 2012 season, but that Sunday’s concert was its last in 2011.

“It’s a way to get a little money in the bank for next year and also to close the year out with a bang,” Claflin said.

The show featured openers The Honnitz and, for the main event, the band that’s quickly making a name for itself as a party force to be reckoned with, Boston’s Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket. Those with a working set of eardrums who were in Salem on Halloween night will remember their sound blasting from the Haunted Happenings main stage – deep grooves, a busy horn section, and the soulful vocals of Salem resident Sarah Seminski.

“We’re such strong advocates for music education in schools,” Seminski said. “Plus, we’ve all been coming to the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival for years as viewers. They do some of the greatest free concerts on the North Shore. We’re so excited to be performers this time around.”

A New Jersey native, Seminski sings with many bands, including a wedding outfit called Search Party and the rock band Vanilla Manvelope. But funk, she says, is something special.

“The unique thing about funk is its energy and freedom,” Seminski said. “There’s something about this type of music that really resonates with an audience and makes them want to move.”

Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket, an all-original funk band, was formed two years ago. Seminski said their first album will be released later this year – though there’s something alchemic about seeing them live.

“We’re a 10-piece band, but the 11th member is always the audience,” Seminski said. “The synergy between us and the audience can still take me by storm.”

Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket played two sets during the Sunday show.

“It’s good music and a good cause. What more could you want?” said Tony Bon of Salem, who attended. “This is my first time at the festival and I’m enjoying it.”

“I went to the summer concerts, and I’m absolutely loving this music,” said Cathy O’Connor of Marblehead. “Everyone involved has done an exceptional job.”

Pat Foley of Salem attended the concert with his daughter, Danielle.

“I’m a dancer and a preschool teacher, so I see firsthand the impact the arts make in the lives of students,” Danielle Foley said. “It’s so important.”

“We’ve been coming since the festival started,” Pat Foley said, “and we love it.” - Sarah Thomas, Wicked Local North of Boston

"Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket Debut Album Review"

Funk is great music for getting down to, although late night at StrangeCreek Music and Arts Festival brings out some of the best up and coming bands in the Northeast. When 10-piece band Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket from Boston started playing, I was drawn in by the horns and stayed for the rhythm and double threat vocals. The cabin got quite warm throughout the set, as it would be expected with a sexually charged dose of funk and world beats. The band is only two years old but holds great promise with strong live performances coupled with a great self-titled debut album

With strong influences from Parliament Funkadelic, The Meters, Stevie Wonder and most music from the Soul Train era of 70s funk, Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket has strong potential and with funk this deep, they should be on JamCruise within a few years time. The opener, Phototonic Amplifier People has blaring horns and impressive vocals from Sarah, aka Lil’ Shrimp. Mic Smoke gets sharp horns accenting catchy lyrics “When Smokey told Michael Jackson, When they give you the mic don’t give it back son”, Big Daddy Disco sings with a Q-Tip velocity and cadence to the words. Sin Lamento starts with a deep grooved bass before growing into a salsa/tejano number, sung entirely in Spanish. Chuck Norris is notable for weed references and high speed funk, Blue Dream gives a Stevie wonder groove on the keys while I Don’t Want to Ride Your Emotional Rollercoaster is soft in an R&B style, akin to Bill Withers ‘Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone’, a very emotional track. Black Cloud Joe is Wilson Pickett-esque with a big band backing a boisterous story about Joe. Capping it all off is a highlight, All Night Long and Once in the Mornin’, a sexually charged song, with a dash of Ohio Players and a porno-funk guitar in the background, plus balanced dueling vocals.

As said in the final track, “There ain’t no party like a bucket party cause a bucket party don’t stop” are true words, coming from first hand experience and listening to a funking wonderful debut album. Look for Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket this summer at a festival near you!

Key Tracks: Mic Smoke, Sin Lamento, All Night Long and Once in the Mornin’ - UpstateLIVE - New York State Music Guide

"Moving In Stereo: Funk Comes to Worcester via Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket"

The local music scene in Worcester can claim a lot of great, relatively unheard of bands, and also, most importantly, quite a few venues for bands from out of town to come play their music and bless the people of Worcester with something they cannot see every week without going east. Recently, the people of Worcester were given the gift of funk in a big way.

On Saturday, March 31, Tammany Hall welcomed The Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket to a small but excited crowd. Most interesting, besides the music of course, was how this ten member band squeezed onto the small stage at Tammany, along with all of their instruments. They told me they had played on even smaller stages in the past.

Now to discuss the gift of funk the band brought. It was not just normal funk, it was Beantown Funk. Something similar, but not the same as normal funk. According to guitarist, Funk EZ Money McNasty,” “It has a little bit more rock and latin percussion in it.” Whatever it had in it must have been more than enough to get everyone at Tammany excited and dancing despite it being the last set of the night at 12:40 a.m.

Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket is preparing to release their first full length studio album in May. The album will be self-titled and will feature all twelve songs from the set heard that night. After the album they have big plans.

“We are going global!” said keyboardist Reverend Bad Funkalatoo. They plan to expand their shows further out past Massachusetts and will soon be traveling to Maine in the coming months. From there they aspire to book a national tour.

This hopeful bunch of funky rockers have been jamming as a group for about two and a half years. They said in an interview that the group started with five members then and have grown since then to the aforementioned ten piece ensemble that they are today. Their lineup includes two vocalists, one doubling as mc, keyboard, trumpet, trombone, drums and bass among other things.

As someone who has seen quite a few shows, especially at Tammany, it can safely be said that they brought the Beantown Funk and then some to Worcester. Their set featured lots of energy and talent for their music and performance. In the process of making a few videos during their show, it was truly a challenge to stand relatively still and not dance to avoid camera shakes.

Those who missed it need not be afraid. The Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket will return to Wormtown in June when they play at Beatnik’s on Park Avenue June 8. Also, for anyone willing to travel, there is a plethora of dates they have booked around Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine that can be found on their website . - Ashley Arseneau, The Student Voice


Still working on that hot first release.



Described as "Parliament-Funkadelic meets Aretha Franklin at a Jay-Z concert", Big Ol Dirty Bucket entertains with an energetic and engaging stage show that whips the dance floor into a frenzy and leaves every audience member sweaty and screaming for more. The bands sonic elements pay homage to its influences -- 70s Funk and Soul music spiced with touches of Latin rhythms and seasoned with a touch of Hip Hop -- creating a uniquely funky and fresh listening experience. The 11-piece band complements its seamlessly tight hooks and dance grooves with bouts of over-the-top musicianship, and the result is a sound and performance that is musically intricate and complex yet accessible to even the most casual music fan.

Fueled by a propulsive rhythm section and led by the powerhouse vocals of front woman Sarah Lil Shrimp Seminski, Big Ol Dirty Bucket surged onto the local Boston music scene in May 2010 with its inaugural appearance in front of a sold-out crowd at The Middle East Downstairs. A cascade of well-attended Northeast American appearances followed the performance over the next two years, including appearances with chart-topping acts such as Tracy Bonham, Onyx, 420 Funk Mob featuring George Clinton and members of the Parliament Funkadelic, Dopapod, Zach Deputy, Max Creek, Strangefolk, and other national and international icons.

BODB's inescapable live energy launched the band into first place in the Wormtown Trading Co. Battle of the Bands in the winter of 2011, consequently earning them a midnight Saturday night set at the Strange Creek Music and Art Festival alongside jam band and folk rock legends Max Creek and Strangefolk. Since then, Big Ol Dirty Bucket has appeared at other festivals including Harry Browns Greenlove Festival, the Wormtown Music Festival, Harry's Harvest Ball, Uphoria Music Festival, and others.

Band Members