Big Tubba Mista
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Big Tubba Mista

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Band Jazz Latin

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Behind the Scenes
Big Tubba Mista
By Dante Murphy
Without really looking, I've found the heirs-apparent to Royal Crown Revue. And while I
ready for that legendary band to step away from their microphones, it's encouraging to kn
a septet from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is waiting in the wings.
Big Tubba Mista has edge, energy, wit and chops to spare. They delve into Latin rhythm
Western style. And when it comes to "get up and dance", they've got it down to a science.
Behind the Scenes, their third album, starts with "Los Caballeros Social Club", a Latin nu
less sultry than grotty with its slow, staccato rhythm. Next up is a slow swing-
and remorse, the sonic 'Dear John letter' of "Walk Right Out". But where the album really
off is the blistering, brassy "Two-Faced", featuring the horns of saxmen Shawn
Mikey Malone and trumpeter Matt Bowman.
"If You Only Knew" saddles up for a ride into the country style, and is followed by peren
band favorite "Set 'em Up". Next up is "Come Dance With Me", an energetic tango disgui
Snavely's serpentine clarinet. Guitarist Eric Keptner gets a moment in the sun on the blue
drenched "Perfect Stranger", adding yet another genre to the band's list of accomplishmen
"Gorgeous Hog" is the other side of the blues, a pre-war stride of double-entendre
personal favorite.
The album also includes five live tracks that challenge the energy of Royal Crown's
Act, leading off with the uptempo swing of "Drive By". The pace stays hot through the jum
blues of "Baby, No More", and keeps rolling through an unusually jivin' rendition of the classic "St. James Infirmary". Then there's the still-hoppin' swing of "1, 2, 3", and if you
coronary yet, try to keep pace with "Killer On 37th Street". It's all top-notch dance fuel, an
fitting close to a very solid album.
www.bigtubbamista.com
Page 2 of 2Big Tubba Mista - Behind the Scenes
- Port Halcyon


When I was first handed Big Tubba Mista's CD, Knock One Back, I thought to myself, "Ugh, another Big Bad Voodoo Daddy wannabe
band." I expected lots of enthusiasm and little musical follow-through. Well, let's just say that I deserve a two-tone shoe in the butt for such a close-minded assumption. This band
is green, but it's got pinache.

Big Tubba Mista has put together
a wonderfully danceable and enjoyable retro- swing album. In fact, it's the kind of rare disk you can pop in for 45 minutes of Lindy practice without having to touch the stereo. With the exception of "Quiet Whiskey," all of the songs on this album are originals, and the band does some interesting things with rhythm throughout the CD. In the opening number, "Killer on 37th Street," the tempo shifts frmo a
typical swing 4/4 to a funk feel, while "Backstreet Brawler" changes from a would-be mambo into a heavy 4/4.
Jonny Victor's energetic vocals are well- paired with instrumental solos. With quality musicianship and multi instrumentalism, these cats acheive a full, rich sound so rarely found
among the neo-swing bands. Well done, boys.
- Scott Friesen
- Atomic Magazine


Discography

The Sting That’s Swing, Dynamax Discs, 1998
Knock One Back, Dynamax Discs, 1999
New Millenium Swing, DM Records, 1999
Swing This Baby III, Slimstyle Records, 2000
Behind The Scenes, Dynamax Discs, 2002
If You Only Knew (DVD Documentary) 2002
Zoot Suits and Hepcats, MP3.com, 2003
Big Tubba Mista (self-titled), Dynamax Discs, 2005
Time Will Tell, Dynamax Discs, 2007

Photos

Bio

Big Tubba Mista's collective experience and expertise range from punk and rock, to jazz. This eclectic mix allows the band to produce a show that is explosive and compelling while retaining the elegance and class inherent in jazz and swing. As they take the stage, BTM's incredible chemistry and command of the stage is immediately apparent as they interact and connect with audiences of all varieties.

Big Tubba Mista was formed in late 1997 by members of the punk rock band, Last Call. In one short year, Big Tubba Mista had become media darlings, playing to consistently packed rooms throughout the region, and being consistently featured in the regional press.

Big Tubba Mista released their debut CD, "The Sting That's Swing", on their own Dynamax Discs label in the spring of 1998. The disc received rave reviews from fans and critics, and was quickly picked-up for distribution by several national chains, including Camelot Music and Hepcat Records. "The Sting That's Swing" has sold several thousand copies without any significant commercial radio or video airplay.

"Knock One Back", the group's 2nd CD, hit the streets in the spring of 1999. Raw and brimming with energy, it was primarily captured as a live studio recording with minimal overdubs. The disc proved to be another success, quickly selling over 5,000 copies. Several cuts from the CD appeared on nationally released Swing compilations such as "New Millennium Swing" (DM Records), and also received heavy airplay as soundtrack music for MTV's "Making the Video" and "Undressed."

Throughout the next three years, Big Tubba Mista continued to perform at a breakneck pace, averaging 125 + shows per year. Performances include celebrated venues such as The Supper Club, The Five Spot, Swing 46, and Windows on the World in New York City, as well as numerous colleges and universities, such as Princeton, Towson University, Washington & Lee, Bucknell University, and many others. In the summer of 2000, folks on the left coast finally got a chance to hear BTM, as the band embarked on their first of several west coast tours, playing to a packed rooms at LA's famed swing club, The Derby, as well as other clubs in San Diego and San Francisco.

Not content to perform at the standard venues, BTM also headlined prestigious music festivals, including the Pontiac American Music Festival in Virginia Beach, VA and the Berks Jazz Festival in Reading, PA. They also managed to make a splash in the political arena, performing at engagements for both political parties, as well as two appearances as an opener for President George W. Bush on his campaign trail.

"Behind the Scenes" was released in June of 2002, and was infused with a highly eclectic mix of swing, country, jazz, and Latin elements. During this period, the band also self-produced and self-financed a DVD documentary, "If You Only Knew", which was completed in late 2002. The 50-minute story chronicles the ups and downs of the group's 7-year history through previously unreleased backstage and concert footage.

Big Tubba Mista continued to perform throughout the Eastern United States in 2006 and released a Greatest Hits compilation. This recording took the most popular songs of the past CD’s and put them on one album. Even today, this CD remains a popular choice by many people as they look to reclaim some of the music from the past out of print CD’s.

In 2007, the band released its latest CD entitled “Time Will Tell”. This album features an eclectic mix of styles in the original music. From their past history of sharing the stage with Royal Crown Revue, BTM’s relationship and friendship with the members resulted in a BTM original song, “Low” to be recorded featuring Eddie Nichols on this CD.

Currently, Big Tubba Mista is in the booking throughout the East Coast and has recently performed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. Check out their website at www.bigtubbamista.com for an updated performance schedule!