big wheel and the spokes
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big wheel and the spokes

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada | SELF | AFM

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada | SELF | AFM
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This band has not uploaded any videos

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"“Infectious, funk-inflected, groove-based music for your dancing” Big Wheel and the Spokes"

Sick weekend. The new sick. And darn near the old one too, the morning after the night before. Friday began innocently enough with a trip to my pal Pat Robitaille’s house, to hear his new album and talk about how much I still want him to change his name, so people don’t confuse him with the hockey player with the same last name.

The kid’s got it – an incredible voice. Guys wish they could sing like him. Girls wish they could take him home. His new album comes out this fall. Sample one of the songs ‘Going as Planned’ and past efforts here: http://www.myspace.com/patrobitaille

So, Friday, as Pat and I got behind a couple frosty beverages, and headed out to the local place where everyone knows your name, and on stage were pals of his, playing in the tradition of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. Meaning – some of SRV’s songs, and others that were of the same ilk. (you can only use the word ‘ilk’ once annually by the way). And being the 27th of August on Friday, I thought how appropriate, a band that does Stevie Ray tunes, playing on the 20th anniversary of SRV’s death. Turns out, neither the venue manager, nor the band, were even wise to the fact. Weird But really, are they’re any coincidences?

And so, as a fan of live music played in small venues, where you can move around, get a drink, sit, stand, roam, and as it turned out Friday night I was pleased to have stumbled upon these three dudes, in this small town tavern, with no stage, and barely any room for a band to play, and yet there they were, playing live on the floor as wait-staff and patrons, literally split up the band, each time they passed between the guitarist Jay, and the bassist Frank, as they waltzed through the door to the patio.

And the band played on, and they rocked. And we wouldn’t let them leave, shouting ‘one more song’ every time they tried.

Introducing ‘Big Wheel and the Spokes’, out of Sault St. Marie, Ontario, Canada.

If you want entertainment for your club or your private party – I highly recommend you try to book ‘em. And while the real test for any band, is to see them play live, their recorded music stands up pretty well too. Check out their songs ‘May’, ‘Hard Times’, ‘Buttah Buttah’, and more, on their myspace, by clicking here: http://www.myspace.com/bigwheelandthespokes
- exploremusic.com - jeff woods


"more hot fudge sundae for the ears"

Joining Big Wheel and the Spokes on stage and the Alumni Party was the Chris Belsito Band.

The Chris Belsito band is Belsito, Craig West, Ed Young, Lindsay Pugh and Jay Case, of course.

Shown is Craig West, Chris Belsito and Ed Young.

It was a rare full band appearance and the band was in top form.

Case, who penned all the lyrics on Barley Soup for the Funky-Ass Soul, joined the Belsito Band about a year and a half ago and says that Belsito and other local musicians are fodder for his creative soup.

"You're learning every time you get up and play with someone live whether you play on a stage or in a basement or in a garage or what ever," said Case. "Seeing local musicians live really inspires me."

Case, Deresti and Alloy also performed on Belsito's latest CD Fade Dissolve and Big Wheel and the Spokes' premier CD is on Belsito's label, Murderous Butterfly Music.

One more magic ingredient in Barley Soup for the Funky-Ass Soul is Crank Sound Distribution and it's daddy George Ravlich.

Ravlich recorded Barley Soup for the Funky-Ass Soul at Loplop Gallery and Lounge then took it home to mix and engineer Big Wheel and the Spokes' flavourful auditory feast.

Deresti also says that lack of sleep contrasted with plenty of time together helps to make the sound of Big Wheel and the Spokes real.

He told SooToday.com that the last track on the CD was recorded the day after it was written and that he played the bass lines on Why Not Try for the first and second times for the two takes it took to record the track.

"We had been up until 5 a.m. with the November All Stars the night before," said Deresti. "I came in that day we were recording and heard the bass player from the November All Stars playing the song with Jay and Cliff and I really liked it so it went on the CD."

Case said that the wealth and variety of experience, Deresti and Alloy bring to the band really inspires him to dig deep and try new things.

"It helps me grow as a musician," said Case.

Barley Soup for the Funky-Ass Soul is a dish everyone will love as soon as they get a taste of it.

Keep visiting Big Wheel and the Spokes' brand new website to find out more about upcoming shows, including a tour they hope to take late this summer or early in the fall.

Go see them live and pick up a CD to take home and dance to while cooking up your own batch of barley soup. - sootoday.com - carol martin


"patrons arrested at queen street speakeasy"

Big Wheel and the Spokes have finally released a CD and its new offerings arrested a crowd of weekend patrons at Algoma University College's Speak Easy.

At Algoma U's alumni party on Friday night, the band started selling its first CD, a five-track wonder entitled Barley Soup for the Funky-Ass Soul.

Big Wheel and the Spokes are Jay Case (shown), Frank Deresti and Cliff Alloy.

The disc is a must-have for anyone who appreciates a decadent auditory experience.

Case drizzles his sultry hot-fudge lyrics over Deresti's ice cream-cool bass lines and it's all topped off with Alloy's nutty-frenetic drum attacks.

This tasty sundae is served on a solid plate of sizzling guitar riffs from Case that would make Jimi Hendrix' fingers burn.

The disk firmly captures Big Wheel and the Spokes' live sound without strangling it with over-processing.

"We recorded it live off the floor with only two takes of every song," says Jay Case, lead singer and guitarist for the band.

Case says it was important to the band that it stay true to its live sound because that's who it really is.

"Even if there are only two people in the room, three will be dancing," says Case. "It's music to dance to."

For photos of the big event at Algoma's Speak Easy and more on Big Wheel and the Spokes, click here. - sootoday.com - carol martin


"big wheel live @ loplops"

The show was zany and upbeat.....Big Wheel and the Spokes have a charismatic sound and their style can perhaps be compared to a funky-loving jazzy sort of rock....It was exciting to be a part of Big Wheel’s show because everybody both on the stage and watching it felt relaxed and involved, and definitely left wanting more. - sootoday.com - andrea widgett


"track of the day"

buttah buttah named track of the day in blues category for january 9th, 2007.

- garageband.com


"garageband.com awards"

big wheel and the spokes' song "buttah buttah" garnered the following awards in it's first week of reviewing on garageband.com:

Best Male Vocals in Blues, week of 15Jan2007
Best Guitars overall, week of 15Jan2007
Best Guitars in Blues, week of 15Jan2007
Best Drums overall, week of 15Jan2007
Best Drums in Blues, week of 15Jan2007
Best Bass overall, week of 15Jan2007
Best Bass in Blues, week of 15Jan2007
Best Production in Blues, week of 15Jan2007
Best Melody in Blues, week of 15Jan2007
Best Beat overall, week of 15Jan2007
Best Beat in Blues, week of 15Jan2007
Best Mood in Blues, week of 15Jan2007
Most Original in Blues, week of 15Jan2007
Rocking Track in Blues, week of 15Jan2007
Grooviest Rhythm overall, week of 15Jan2007
Grooviest Rhythm in Blues, week of 15Jan2007 - garageband.com


Discography

EP "barley soup for the funky ass soul"
released june 2006
5 songs (2 songs available for streaming)
"Spin"
released december 2009
10 songs (3 songs available for streaming)

Photos

Bio

The members of Big Wheel and the Spokes individually have played in dozens of bands over the last several years, covering a wide range of styles including jazz, blues, rock, folk, country, bluegrass, celtic and free-improvisation. Festival experienced, the trio combines their diverse backgrounds with a mutual love for high-energy, in-the-moment, groove-based music to arrive at the sound of Big Wheel and the Spokes - think Medeski, Martin and Wood meets G. Love and the Special Sauce. In January of 2005, Cliff and Frank had already been playing together in various projects for several years. Jay Case, who was already active in the local music scene in a few projects of his own, approached the duo with the idea of doing a one-time gig ~ playing blues, R&B and soul tunes. The rhythm section enthusiastically agreed and booked the gig the following day. After the first rehearsal, it became clear that there was something special about this trio, and after the first set of the first gig it became clear that many more gigs would follow..... Since day one, Big Wheel and the Spokes have started each set with a free-improvised "jam", usually based around an infectious, funk-inflected groove to get warmed up and to set the tone for the upcoming set. Some of these grooves have become frameworks for songs, and some of these songs have become the 5-track CD "Barley Soup for the Funky-Ass Soul", released on June 1st, 2006 and their most recent full-length album "Spin". Armed with a collective love of unexplored territory; wide-open ears; an undeniable sense of groove; and chops to make Jackie Chan jealous, Big Wheel and the Spokes continue to bring their unique funky/bluesy sound to anyone who cares to listen, or just needs a reason to dance.