Blue Light Bandits
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Blue Light Bandits

Worcester, MA | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Worcester, MA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Alternative Rock

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This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Jun
01
Blue Light Bandits @ Fête

Providence, MA

Providence, MA

May
30
Blue Light Bandits @ Johnny D's

Somerville, MA

Somerville, MA

May
09
Blue Light Bandits @ Michael's Cigar Bar

Worcester, MA

Worcester, MA

Music

Press


Based out of Douglas, Blue Light Bandits is a young band on the verge of breaking big. They are arguably unmatched in momentum right now in the New England music scene. Over the course of the past two years, this self-described “groove band” has won Rhode Island’s Last Band Standing Competition, scored complimentary studio recording time and hosted their own album release party.

“We certainly feel good about where we are and where we could be headed if we keep it up,” said bass player Ethan Bates. “Good gigs have always led to good opportunities, and a year of playing three to four nights a week, both in public and private performance scenarios, has greatly sharpened our performance skills. We continue to strive for a balance of professionalism and recreation in everything we do as a band, and that balance is what we expect to fuel further success.”

But the success BLB has experienced didn’t happen overnight. The group’s origin goes back to Whitinsville Christian School in 2008, when Bates met guitarist Dan DeCristofaro in a high school music theory class. In college, they recruited drummer Mike Braz, and in 2015, topped off their lineup with singer and lead guitarist Ricky Duran.

Since then, BLB have had their collective foot on the accelerator, and the Rubber Tracks program provided a major boost for the burgeoning band. Sponsored by Converse Music, Rubber Tracks gives emerging artists the opportunity to win free studio time at one of the program’s community-based professional recording studios. In BLB’s case, they recorded at Q Division Studios in Somerville. The end product was “A Little Love” and “Mess You Make Me,” which they made public at their aforementioned record release party in March.

The members of BLB have also become no strangers to performing in front of a large crowd. Last August, they played to a sold-out crowd of more than 400 at Westport Winery in Westport as part of the Sunset Music Series. They have also opened for Sublime cover band Badfish at Syracuse, N.Y.’s, Westcott Theater.

Although they refer to themselves as a groove band, BLB are approachable for almost all listeners.

“Though our sound flows through many musical genres, the groove is evergreen, no matter the type of emotion we express in music,” said Bates. “We believe there’s something special and unique about being able to genuinely create a big sound in a live setting.”

But still, Duran stresses that BLB have a unique approach that’s all their own.

“I think one of the things that sets us apart from other bands is our individual versatility as musicians,” said Duran. “Each of us can stand alone and entertain an audience; we all can play multiple instruments and write music, as well.”

Keep an ear out for BLB as they perform at different festivals and events, including Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard in Little Compton, R.I., this June.

For more information, visit bluelightbandits.com.

By Jason Savio - PULSE MAGAZINE


By Amy NachbarSpecial to The Providence Journal
Blue Light Bandits came together a little less than a year ago, but already they've made a splash.

The band, which practices at Jam Stage in Pawtucket, won a Last Band Standing competition at Matunuck's Ocean Mist in October. They're also nominated for "Best New Act of the Year” at Saturday's New England Music Awards, “Best Up & Coming Act” at Pulse Magazine’s Worcester Music Awards on April 13 at Jillian's, and “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” at the Limelight Magazine Music Awards on April 16.

A four-piece groove band that combines fresh pop, rock and R&B into a soulful, funky sound, Blue Light Bandits is made up of Mike Braz, 25, of Barrington, Rhode Island, on drums and guitar; Ethan Bates, 24, of Douglas on keyboards, guitar, and vocals; Ricky Duran, 26, of Grafton on guitar and vocals; and Daniel DeCristofaro, 25, of Hopkinton, on guitar, keyboard and vocals. They moved in together in Douglas last August, and their show circuit lands them in and around Worcester, Providence and Boston several times a week.

We spoke with DeCristofaro as he and a few friends were on their way to Providence for a night on the town.

The band started when DeCristofaro and Bates were at Whitinsville Christian High School, starry-eyed teens who wanted to break away from their formal music training. They met Braz, who had taken lessons from drummer George Correia of Warren, who has played on recordings with J. Geils frontman Peter Wolf, among others. After a few years of business studies at the University of Rhode Island, Braz was auditioning for the Berklee College of Music.

"A few mutual friends had previously tried to connect Braz with us and, after a few failed attempts, fate decided to sit Braz and I next to each other in the same Berklee audition room," DeCristofaro recalled. "Months later, the two of us bonded over mutual rejection from admission to the college, and we decided then and there to make arrangements to play together.

"Our first collaboration utilized a drum kit, a bass rig, and a keyboard, all crammed into Braz’s tiny bedroom in Barrington. Following this first jam session, we continued to regularly pursue making music together."

After a few years of amateur success, the band stumbled on Duran, a blues singer-songwriter and Grafton High grad, last May. When they heard him, DeCristofaro said, the band knew that this was going to become permanent.

They played a series of small summer shows and a headline performance at Black Potatoe Music Festival in New Jersey. And then came the big win in Matunuck.

“We were initially hesitant to be a part of the Last Band Standing competition," DeCristofaro said. "As a younger band, we would jump at opportunities to play big stages and be a part of contests, but time after time they were a letdown. We would drag our friends and family to sketchy clubs and have them pay $15 each for an unbearable show that dragged on until 2 a.m.

"After some research on the Last Band Standing competition, we decided that it could be worth the effort." And not only did they win — "by getting involved in the competition, we connected with the folks at New England Music Awards, which ultimately led to a nomination for 2015’s Best New Act of the Year."

In February, the group released its first recording as a foursome — the dual-song release of “A Little Love" and "Mess You Make Me.” “A Little Love” is a dynamic, feel-good pop/rock record with a dash of reggae and a sucker punch of blues. “Mess You Make Me,” on the other hand, shifts between being groovy and reflective, with a deeper atmosphere and more personal lyricism.

On March 19, the band hosted and produced a vinyl and video release party in Worcester. There, it premiered a music video for “Mess You Make Me” and released limited-edition 7-inch lathe-cut vinyls for the tracks.

Vinyl instead of a CD?

"We did a vinyl because we had a special opportunity to make them through one of our booking agents at Leesta Vall in New York City," DeCristofaro said. "They started pressing vinyls for their artists, and we thought it was cool to have a limited-edition collectible. We did two songs, so the whole A-side/B-side thing worked really well.

"Vinyls are pretty huge right now, so we were excited to give out vinyls to those who have collections."

What advice do they have for other up-and-coming artists?

Braz offered his input: "Make small attainable goals. Be business-minded and be professional. Network. Continue to listen and be a fan of music — very important!

"There is no formula or perfect way. Just grind and make it happen for yourselves.”

Blue Light Bandits' upcoming shows include The Worcester Music Awards April 13 at Jillian's in Worcester, The Big Spring Show April 23 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, The Gardner Ale House April 28 in Gardner, and Michael's Cigar Bar May 13 in Worcester. - telegram.com


Blue Light Bandits came together a little less than a year ago, but already they've made a splash.

The band, which practices at Jam Stage in Pawtucket, won a Last Band Standing competition at Matunuck's Ocean Mist in October. They're also nominated for "Best New Act of the Year” at Saturday's New England Music Awards, “Best Up & Coming Act” at Pulse Magazine’s Worcester Music Awards on April 13, and “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” at the Limelight Magazine Music Awards on April 16.

A four-piece groove band that combines fresh pop, rock and R&B into a soulful, funky sound, Blue Light Bandits is made up of Barrington High School grad Mike Braz, 25, on drums and guitar; Ethan Bates, 24, of Douglas, Massachusetts, on keyboards, guitar, and vocals; Ricky Duran, 26, of Grafton, Massachusetts, on guitar and vocals; and Daniel DeCristofaro, 25, of Hopkinton, Massachusetts. They moved in together in Douglas last August, and their show circuit lands them in and around Worcester, Providence and Boston several times a week.

Related content Providence band BlindSide Thunder up for New England Music AwardCD Review: From Esperanza Spalding, rock-out fusion workCD Review: Iggy Pop's 'Post Pop Depression' rocks and shocksR.I.'s Trophy Wives power their way to Best Rock Act nominationR.I. band Royal Street up for New England pop music award We spoke with DeCristofaro as he and a few friends were on their way to Providence for a night on the town.

The band started when DeCristofaro and Bates were at Whitinsville Christian High School, starry-eyed teens who wanted to break away from their formal music training. They met Braz, who had taken lessons from drummer George Correia of Warren, who has played on recordings with J. Geils front man Peter Wolf, among others. After a few years of business studies at the University of Rhode Island, Braz was auditioning for the Berklee College of Music.

"A few mutual friends had previously tried to connect Braz with us and, after a few failed attempts, fate decided to sit Braz and I next to each other in the same Berklee audition room," DeCristofaro recalled. "Months later, the two of us bonded over mutual rejection from admission to the college, and we decided then and there to make arrangements to play together.

"Our first collaboration utilized a drum kit, a bass rig, and a keyboard, all crammed into Braz’s tiny bedroom in Barrington. Following this first jam session, we continued to regularly pursue making music together."

After a few years of amateur success, the band stumbled on Duran, a blues singer-songwriter and Grafton High grad, last May. When they heard him, DeCristofaro said, the band knew that this was going to become permanent.

They played a series of small summer shows and a headline performance at Black Potatoe Music Festival in New Jersey. And then came the big win in Matunuck.

“We were initially hesitant to be a part of the Last Band Standing competition," DeCristofaro said. "As a younger band, we would jump at opportunities to play big stages and be a part of contests, but time after time they were a letdown. We would drag our friends and family to sketchy clubs and have them pay $15 each for an unbearable show that dragged on until 2 a.m.

"After some research on the Last Band Standing competition, we decided that it could be worth the effort." And not only did they win — "by getting involved in the competition, we connected with the folks at New England Music Awards, which ultimately led to a nomination for 2015’s Best New Act of the Year."

In February, the group released its first recording as a foursome — the dual-song release of “A Little Love" and "Mess You Make Me.” “A Little Love” is a dynamic, feel-good pop/rock record with a dash of reggae and a sucker punch of blues. “Mess You Make Me,” on the other hand, shifts between being groovy and reflective, with a deeper atmosphere and more personal lyricism.

On March 19, the band hosted and produced a vinyl and video release party in Worcester. There, it premiered a music video for “Mess You Make Me” and released limited-edition 7-inch lathe-cut vinyls for the tracks.

Vinyl instead of a CD?

"We did a vinyl because we had a special opportunity to make them through one of our booking agents at Leesta Vall in New York City," DeCristofaro said. "They started pressing vinyls for their artists, and we thought it was cool to have a limited-edition collectible. We did two songs, so the whole A-side/B-side thing worked really well.
"Vinyls are pretty huge right now, so we were excited to give out vinyls to those who have collections."

What advice do they have for other up-and-coming artists?
Braz offered his input: "Make small attainable goals. Be business-minded and be professional. Network. Continue to listen and be a fan of music — very important!

"There is no formula or perfect way. Just grind and make it happen for yourselves.”

Blue Light Bandits' upcoming shows include these in Rhode Island: One Pelham East, Newport, May 29 and June 3, 10 p.m.-1 a.m.; Carolyn's Sakonnet Vineyard, Little Compton, June 2, 6-9:30 p.m.; and Barrington Arts Festival, June 12, 1:30-3:30 p.m. For more on the band and its plans, go to bluelightbandits.com.

The New England Music Awards will be held at the Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury, Massachusetts, on April 9. Besides Blue Light Bandits, Rhode Island acts nominated Duke Robillard, Blues Act of the Year; Blindside Thunder, Metal Act of the Year; Trophy Wives, Rock Act of the Year; and Royal Street, Pop Act of the Year. In the Best in State category are Little Compton, Roz and the Rice Cakes, The Red Pennys, Platform One, The Complaints. Tickets are $25 at ticketmaster.com.

By Amy Nachbar
Special to The Journal Posted Apr. 4, 2016 @ 9:30 pm - Providence Journal


Who: Blue Light Bandits is a four piece groove band from central Massachusetts. They are: Dan DeCristofaro (keys guitar vox), Ethan Bates (bass cello vox), Mike Braz (drums guitar), Ricky Duran (guitar vox).

About The Track: Blue Light Bandits’ dual-song release of 'A Little Love' / 'Mess You Make Me' follows a complimentary recording session at Q Division Studios in Somerville, MA courtesy of Converse RubberTracks.

Combining pop, rock, and r&b, Side A’s 'Mess You Make Me' opens with balmy guitars and a chilled out drum rhythm with the lulling hiss of a cymbal. DeCristofaro's vocals are warm and soulful. The arrangements are groovy and full of summer. The vocal harmonies are reflective, intriguing and the lyrics are emotive, personal, real. This is a great track that is full of sincerity with arrangements so tight, so strong and so pleasurable there's no self pity here. This is a heartfelt and thoughtful track that is matter of fact in its delivery.

Blue Light Bandits Explains:
1.Who produced the video? Where was it filmed?
I
The video was produced by our good friend Ryan Schaefer from Boston-based SNDBVX Media Group. He has been blowing up the hip hop scene and his animation work has gotten him work with Beats and many other notable companies. We were both excited to work on this project together because we were the first band he has made a video for.

The video was filmed in and around our humble abode. We wanted to go for a “this is where we are right now” feel for our first video, so we filmed all of the live performance shots in our favorite space, our basement jam room. The outside shots and aerials were all filmed on Badluck Pond which we are very lucky to have in our backyard.

2. How does the video compliment the song?

'Mess You Make Me' is a song about love and the battle of perspectives. As in most of our songs, the song is about a specific relationship and situation, but the lyrics are kept simple and relatable. The plot of the video paralleled this approach, allowing viewers to take in the vibe but create their own story. Additionally, the video served somewhat of a biographical purpose. Before we filmed, we placed a mannequin, a giant stuffed banana, and other quirky objects throughout the room, all of which were relics of personal memories. We wanted to create something that we could look back on several years from now and see who we were and where we came from.

3. Any behind the scenes stories?

The guitar that was smashed in the dock scene was Dan’s very first guitar. During college, the guitar collapsed in on itself and became unplayable. Instead of throwing it out, he decided to save it for a guitar smashing scene in a music video someday. 5 years later, that day finally came!

4. Tell us about the ideas/ themes/ imagery used?

The song speaks to the pressure of a relationship and how challenging it can be to balance doubt, trust, gratitude, and expectations. The sections of the song flow between heartfelt emotional space and tense movements combined with themes of doubt. We used a lot of blues and oranges in the same shots to portray opposing perspectives and give off the idea of hot and cold, often combined in the same shot. In the same vein, we chose a winter sunset for our outside shots which created a feeling of both warm and cold.

When I began writing, songwriting was a very personal experience for me. When I would play the songs with my bandmates, I was very particular about arrangements and making everything sound a certain way. As I have grown as a writer and a band member, I have tried very hard to surrender that mindset as it was only limiting the creative potential of the entire group. 'Mess You Make Me' is perfect example of this transition from its original creation to its current arrangement.

The acoustic guitar in the video was the guitar I had when I wrote 'Mess You Make Me' in 2011. Before the guitar smashing scene, I am sitting alone on the dock with my guitar, which in a way symbolizes my young pop singer-songwriter view of myself. After the smash, we stand together. The imagery here shows where we came from musically and where we are now.

5. What is the message the video is trying to convey? Interested?

"In summary, life and love are difficult, but worth it. We are always trying to find the best way to improve our situation, but we are so quick to throw away everything we have at the glimpse of something “better”. When we get used to something, we fail to recognize the value of it and how blessed we are to have it. So many times we leave something because it isn’t perfect and we end up falling back in love with it once it’s gone. Nothing on this earth can make you feel completely satisfied and nothing is perfect. So before you decide to throw it away, make sure it’s not something beautiful that you are taking for granted." - Daniel DeCristofaro

Feature by Karla Harris - When The Horn Blows


Local based groove rock band, The Blue Light Bandits are excited to release a music video for “Mess You Make Me” on March 19. “Mess You Make of Me” was one of two songs that the Blue Light Bandits put out on February 26 along with track, “A Little Love.”

The song marks great changes for the band as the song features local solo act, Ricky Duran, who had previously competed on NBC’s The Voice. Duran is now lead guitarist and vocalist for the band.

The band began recording the songs ConverseRubberTracks, a program that lets independent artists apply for complimentary studio time with a professional sound engineer at an acclaimed studio. The Bandits were selected for the project in December 2014, and recorded the songs at Q Division Studios in Somerville in January of 2015.

Upcoming gigs for the Blue Light Bandits include Medusa Brewing Company’s 1­year Anniversary Party on March 5, headlining the Worcester Music Awards at Jillian’s on April 13, and opening for national touring and recording act New Politics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute for its Big Spring Show on April 23.

The release party for the music video will be held on March 19, on the patio at Michael’s Cigar Bar in Worcester. Entry is open and free to the public.

By Kaitlyn Murphy - PULSE MAGAZINE


Worcester-based indie rock outfit Blue Light Bandits has a lot to celebrate, what with the vinyl release of its songs “A Little Love” and “Mess You Make Me,” along with the music video for the latter song, which will be unveiled at the band’s show Saturday at Michael’s Cigar Bar. The songs are both effervescent little blasts of adult pop. “A Little Love” revels in joy, a likable and upbeat number that has an infectious energy. “Mess You Make Me” has a more measured feel, but there’s a soulfulness there that resonates.

What: Blue Light Bandits
When: 8 p.m. March 19
Where: Michael's Cigar Bar, 1 Exchange St., Worcester
How Much: Free - WORCESTER TELEGRAM & GAZETTE


Blue Light Bandits
Demo
Independent Release, 2014

From Worcester, Mass, comes the Blue Light Bandits. A trio of of players who perform music that feels like the first day of Fall, or the last day of Winter. A welcome change. And in this case, a change from the never ending tedium of faceless, uninteresting, monotonous music everywhere vying for your attention.

Opening with “Sarah,” it slips into a deceptively sexy groove, as the band susses out what it is about the song’s namesake that makes her so compelling.

“Lesson” shows the band stretching out. There’s a more driving rock beat here, which paired with the soulful vocals of Dan DeCristofaro, feel like 1971 Stax soul with Issac Hayes behind the board.

The Blue Light Bandits dabble with enough jazz to avoid some obvious rock 101 moves, and be musically distinctive and interesting. Their roots are planted firmly in soul and classic pop songs, the sort you know every word to, even if you don’t own a copy yourself. The way keys dance against the crisp chick-chick of the hi-hats and sweet bright guitar chords fill in the spaces in between is heartening. No one playing this is expecting to compete with the current crop of radio inanities disturbing the airwaves. No, the Blue Light Bandits have made something they expect will last. And it probably will.

By jrivera - INDIE MUSIC


We’d like to introduce you to our most recent Evensound artist, Blue Light Bandits. Hailing from New England, they expertly combine their incredible musicianship with interesting stories and compelling melodies. Their authentic sound is soulful, timeless, and not without a fair amount of funk.

Their story is an interesting one as they’ve grown and evolved over the years into the well oiled machine that they are today. Playing nearly 200 shows a year while holding down full time jobs, Blue Light Bandits not only put the “fun” in funk, but they prove that hard work and perseverance pays off.

Although they’re keeping a nearly impossible schedule these days, they were able to answer some questions for us here at Evensound.


How did you guys come together and form the band, where did the band name come from?

Dan and Ethan met in high school and started the band as a cooperative effort to escape from formal music training and begin creating. Over the years of playing as an acoustic duo, they met Mike (drummer) and finally became a rock band. Recently, the group found Ricky playing solo in some of the same places they played in Worcester and swept him up to complete the group. The band name is a combination of a memorable blue light visual at one of their first gigs and the movie Bandidas, which was viewed as part of a Christmas time movie ritual.

How would you classify your sound? Who are your influences ?

We would classify our sound as a soulful combination of Rock, Pop, and Funk. Some of our most profound influences are John Mayer, Kings of Leon, Jimmy Hendrix, Robert Glasper, and Coldplay. We are always finding new influences and searching for music that changes us and inspires us to create something new. This is what keeps us close together and on the same page, even as it turns.

What is your songwriting process?

Most of the time the music comes first. We all seem to indulge in the therapeutic nature of the sounds we make, so we tend to play what we feel. Someone creates an atmosphere or a motif and then we sit down and explore it together. Once the main parts are created and we have said what need to say musically, the words just seem to fall into place with the environment that was already created.

How is the new record coming along? How did you get hooked up with the Converse Rubber Tracks ?

Ethan: Slow but steady – we’ve found that studio time needs to be as comfortable and pressure-free as possible in order to end up with something we like. It’s a hard thing to find the time and resources for with each band member balancing a full time job along with 3-4 late nights each week gigging. But we’ve got two tracks in the oven that need final touches on mixing and mastering and we’re pretty excited about how they’ll turn out. Each provides a nice entry-level look into what we’ve been up to musically.

While I was an undergrad in Syracuse University’s Music Industry program, I met Fader Magazine & Cornerstone Agency co-founder and fellow ‘Cuse alum Jon Cohen. Jon was hugely instrumental in working with Converse to get the Rubbertracks project off the ground a few years ago. Jon encouraged us to apply for studio time in January of 2015 as Rubbertracks was just beginning to take root in Boston. We were accepted and ended up doing two sessions at Q Division Studios in Somerville, MA (one through RT and one on our own) and worked with Matt Beaudoin, an excellent engineer and producer who’s worked behind the board for the likes of Ryan Adams, Fountains of Wayne, and Howie Day. It was an incredible experience we’d recommend to anyone, and gladly do again. We even scored free shoes and plan to continue working with Converse as they move to impact the Boston music scene in larger ways with each passing year.

What’s the plan for the release of the new record? New England – National tour ?

We don’t have any finalized full album plans yet, but we do plan to release a couple new songs that we have been working on before the end of the year. Now that we have finally found a permanent guitarist, we are starting to plan some short “mini tours” down the east coast for next summer, as well. All the while, we have weekend residencies in both Worcester and in Boston and play a consistent circuit of shows all across New England.

How was your Audiokite experience ?

Dan: Great! Audiokite definitely exceeded my expectations. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I purchased my first report, but I was very impressed with what it had to offer. We used Audiokite to get some feedback on some new songs we are working on. The feedback we received was thorough and straightforward and highlighted some simple ways in which the songs could be better received. The presentation of the data was clean and everything was very easy to understand. I found it invaluable to have random ears critiquing our sound and not our friends and family because some of the most brutal comments offered the most insight. In addition, it was nice to hear some praise for our work and see who (demographically) is really into it.

How do you feel the music industry is handling the changing distribution model and new independent artists?

Ethan: I am definitely a fan of the direction music consumption has been headed. I find subscription streaming to be an extremely convenient and efficient way to consume music, in that it is eliminating compact disc clutter and is making song file piracy obsolete and unnecessary.

The social aspects that Apple and Spotify have added to their services enhance the experience even more. But streaming is not without its issues. It’s nice to see songwriter royalty streaming injustices being taken to court lately, as I feel the extreme decline in songwriter royalty payouts was a horrible and largely unprecedented side effect of the shifting model of distribution.

Another thing that worries me is the importance of advertisements throughout digital streaming services. Just last week I was informed that my long-standing Google Chrome extension AdBlock was no longer effective for stopping YouTube ads. I worry that it won’t be long before the premium cost of ad-free streaming services does not fully eliminate advertisements. It doesn’t take too vivid an imagination to picture the future of digital interaction as a constant and hypnotic series of advertisements with a small bit of content sprinkled in.

I understand that the issues of ads in streaming and artist/songwriter paychecks are connected; one would assume that an increase in streaming payouts to artists and songwriters would likely result in higher premiums or more advertisements in the streaming market. That balance will prove extremely interesting to watch play out as music distribution technology improves.

I do think it’s an exciting time in history to be an independent artist. Programs like Converse Rubbertracks are very encouraging for independent musicians like us looking for a foothold. Online services like BandsInTown and SonicBids have been a big help at landing us some great opportunities. The perspective the internet has provided into how the music industry works has been important for us too – it’s much easier to avoid situations in which artists could be taken advantage of than I imagine it used to be. But regardless of today’s opportunities vs. yesterday’s, I hope our most useful tools as musicians will be hard work, networking, and a high bar for professionalism, all of which are timeless qualities in all forms of business.

What advice would you give to a new indie band just starting their journey?

Make small attainable goals. Be business minded and be professional. NETWORK. Continue to listen and be a fan of music (very important!). There is no formula or perfect way, just grind and make it happen for yourself.

What music are you listening to right now?

In the past couple of weeks we saw one of our new favorite local bands called Oh Malo and went to see Thundercat at The Middle East in Boston. We have been constantly grooving out to both of these groups for the past two months. Funk has hugely influenced us as a band these last few years so new jazz/funk crossovers like Hiatus Kaiyote and Robert Glasper Experiment have not left our listening cues. We have also been listening obsessively to Blanko Basnet, a band we were lucky enough to find during some random YouTube exploration.

Being from New England… Any comments about deflate-gate ?

Dan: Deflate was hilariously blown out of proportion. I personally believe that Gronk deflated the balls with his pre-game ball spiking ritual, but who really knows….

Ethan: I see and hear a nation of sore losers at every turn of this conversation. Tom Brady is the GOAT and Belichick is a wizard. - Evensound


Songwriting - 9.0 || Music - 9.5 || Vocals - 10.0
Web: www.bluelightbandits.com
Location: Boston / Worcester / Providence
Genre: Indie-Pop / Alternative Soul

Blue Light Bandits have one of the best albums, in this case - demos - I've heard all year from an indie pop band. Their latest release, THE BLB DEMO (Demo), is a collage of pop, jazz, soul, funk, and hints of rock for added spice. Not to easily placed in the proverbial "box" that many people refer to when describing limitations, BLB is anything but ordinary, and so far from contrived they're on another planet from most indie-pop
artists/bands in the game today. Heavy on smooth and soulful vocals, Fender rhodes, and jazz/funk guitar solos, BLB has sang their way into my Top 10 indie bands of 2014.

DEMO offers 10 amazing songs, draped in masterfully played instruments. This release is filling the gaping void left by the scores of talented singers who have abandoned true music for the contrived commercial sounds of Top 40 radio. BLB have made it my pleasure to have heard their music and of the songs on this project, these select tracks truly resonated with me: Sarah, So Mine, Lonely, City, Lesson, and What I Have Is What You Need. All of these songs contain the essential elements of pop, funk, soul, and jazz music, and don't believe anyone with a true ear for music can listen to BLB's music and disagree with my assessment.

Overall, the Blue Light Bandits is an awesome band, and their release - THE BLB DEMO - is a masterpiece. If you like great vocals, amazing musicianship, relatable songwriting, and catchy melodies then you don't want to drag your feet on this one. Comparable to great bands/artists like Dirty Loops, early Maroon 5, and Jon B, the Blue Light Bandits really are worth the time and money you'll spend on their music. I'd recommend them to anyone and I hope to feature their music on The Miews podcast sometime soon. You can check them out at the website link above. Go...now!

Reviewed By: Shaine Freeman, host of The Miews podcast (Twitter - @ShaineFreeman) - I AM ENTERTAINMENT


A short documentary about Six County, Inc, a mental health provider in Muskingum County, and surrounding counties, which uses a holistic approach to help its clients live fulfilling lives. This film features intimate interviews with clients, as well as with the visionary director of Six County. Other footage shows the dedication of staff, and efforts to introduce the work of Six County to the community at large. Featuring music by Blue Light Bandits -


Interview is in Chinese - Kanjian


The road-trippers try their hand at spinning molten glass with glassblower Jessica Schimpf. The world isn’t looking for you, she says, you have to go out and find it--she left a big-time welding gig to follow her dreams. In Texas, the team interviews Austonites on the street and goes for beignets and palm readings in New Orleans before hitting crowd-powered T-shirt purveyor Threadless in Chicago. - Roadtrip Nation


New England’s duo, Blue Light Bandits, have a much bigger sound than the trio setup suggests. Sprawling percussion, bursting guitar riffs and exceptional vocal command all spring the seven-track EP The BLB Demo into new comfortable spaces among the jazz – pop – rock fusion world.

Did I mention the tight songwriting?

It’s pretty easy to fall for the lovely track, “Sarah.” The vocal harmonies have Jason Mraz, a little Sam Smith, the charm of Harry Connick Jr. and a lot of soul comparisons paving the way for a magnificent little tune. The sweet guitar riffs are bright and coincide with the easy to hum along ‘oh…oh…oh…oh.” The song’s bridge feels multi layered (not too complicated and certainly not forced). It’s a fun song!

“So Mine” is an equally fun pop track. I felt like this had much less of a rock vibe. I loved the acoustic guitar scratch, with the subtle piano peaking its keys thru at opportune times. This is a song that makes you feel like holding hands, embracing that special someone and smile.

Another thing that I really enjoyed about “So Mine” is the way the song circle backs to the first stanza.

“Lonely” has an infectious hook, as do “Night Light” and “City.”

“Lesson” is a bit sultry, a bit more bite to it than the “Sarah” track. Vocals feel quicker, the heart feels more fierce. This is standout track and has such a full sound. I loved the play on words “No lesson is going to lessen the pain.” It felt dramatic and tumbled over with rock, soul, and grit.

Bonus track “What I Have Is What You Need” is heavier than “Lonely” and “So Mine.” It’s a bit like early Maroon 5 tracks. The percussion took a bigger role next to the crunchy lead guitar. The organ bridge cascades in a semi-60s vibe meshed nicely against quick drumming. Like most jazz renditions, I have a feeling this song erupted out of an impromptu jam that the band didn’t want to stop.

Overall, the Blue Light Bandits have a solid product – their The BLB Demo is right on. Solid A. Fans of Luke McMaster, Maroon 5, Gavin Degraw, Jason Mraz, and even jazz music. - HOT INDIE NEWS


Classic bluesy soul. That’s the dish of the day from the Blue Light Bandits, with a generous side order of funk.

Blue Light Bandit’s music is smooth and stylish, shown firstly with ‘Sarah’, a smoochy love number littered with all the funk-soul elements you would expect. As the track progresses, it becomes clear that there are also hints of acid jazz to the found here, in the vein of Jamiroquai or Maroon 5. ‘So Mine’ takes a more acoustic approach that leans towards Jack Johnson and is all kinds of summery with its shuffling drums and evocative harmonies, while ‘Lonely’ is more melancholic in tone but no less inventive in its production, with layers of instrumentation working well together.

Listen – https://soundcloud.com/bluelightbandits/sets/the-blb-demo

Blue Lights Bandits’ sound is varied, with tracks like ‘City’ bathed in a rich and wide reverb that conjures up a sprawling urban late night landscape, while ‘Lesson’ goes down the classic rock road with gritty organs and some classic bass runs.

There are some truly delicate moments, too. ‘Known & Loved’ is stripped back and filled with a sense of care and attention, and although ‘What I Have Is What You Need’ is more upbeat, the arrangement has a similar careful feel, with the instrumentation all sitting in the right places and the vocal performance drawing the listener in.

This collection of demos shows a band that is well on its way to greatness, with strong songs and great performances, the Blue Light Bandits are the ones to watch for those looking for a blend of soul, funk, and blues.

http://www.bluelightbandits.com

By Chris Marsh - Skope


Sarah is a soulful track that has an intelligent array of instruments and soulful singing that is in the vein of John Maher or Jason Mraz. Blue Light Bandits (BLB)’s vocals pull double duty in that they progress the narrative side of things while further bolstering the instrumental backdrop present during tracks like So Mine. The same sunny disposition first heard in Sarah and SO Mine is marked through the entirety of The BLB Demo. Lonely is a touching track that showcases how hard it is to not have someone to love, linking together a mock-falsetto with a Santana-esque guitar line. The rapid-fire vocals that are present here match well the guitars that gradually increase momentum before dropping off.946159_602398926446141_778064453_n
The production of this EP ensures that the band will be able to garner some serious college and pop radio play; the honest and earnest sound presented here by the Blue Light Bandits is refreshing. What I Have Is What You Heard is one of the most complete sounds on The BLB Demo, as guitars and bass are punctuated through punchy drum beats. The sultry sound crafted by the band is reminiscent to Pharrell and Robin Thicke is a nice twist for the later registers of The BLB Demo. Known & Loved (featuring Joel Ansett) is a tender and slower indie-rock track. The cozy feel of the effort will resound with listeners long after the title ceases to spin.
Make sure to visit the band’s Facebook or Twitter about the latest in news and music; the BLB demo is soulful, catchy, and is a perfect piece of music on a hot summer night.
Top Tracks: What I Have Is What You Heard, Known & Loved (featuring Joel Ansett)
Rating: 8.7/10
Blue Light Bandits The BLB Demo / 2014 Self / 10 Tracks / www.bluelightbandits.com/ / www.facebook.com/bluelightbandits - Neufutur Magazine


Blue Light Bandits have been making quite the name for themselves in the Boston alternative rock scene. I love all the songs on their self-titled album Blue Light Bandits, especially the single Sarah. When I recently had the pleasure to interview Dan DeCristofaro and Ethan Bates, I asked them the back story behind the song.
Dan DeCristofaro answered that question: “Sarah was the most jaw-dropping woman that a 21-year-old could meet in a bar. She was the bartender at the bar where we played our first local shows. We developed an amicable work relationship.” Then Dan laughed, “There was an unfortunate cap on that. She became a friend and a fan and inspired the song.”
Ethan and Dan met in high school. Ethan shared that story: “I was in tenth grade; Dan was in eleventh grade. I was playing classical cello and getting burnt out on the classical timeline. Dan had been taking piano lessons for a few years. We ended up in a music theory class together, and we were some of the only guys in the class. Dan had been writing songs and he invited me over one day. I brought my bass, which I’d just started learning how to play. We tried out some things we’d been working on. There was a click right away, a really exciting feeling that came from both having untapped talent and potential for music creation. We haven’t stopped playing or writing together ever since.”
What a wonderful story. I love when people meet and there’s immediate chemistry.
Dan then explained how he met drummer Mike Braz: “I was studying molecular biology in college, and our drummer Mike was studying mechanical engineering. At about the same time, I’m sure we had that gasp moment in junior year, ‘What are we doing with our lives?’ We loved music and we realized that we’d love to have it be our job too.”
Dan DeCristofaro
Dan continued: “Both of us ended up applying to Berklee College of Music in Boston. We knew each other from a mutual friend. We contacted each other, but he was in Rhode Island and I was in Massachusetts, so it didn’t really happen. We both signed up for our Berklee interview on the exact same day, same time. We were in the waiting room, and I turned to my right and saw him. I said, ‘Nice to finally meet you.’ We both decided not to pursue Berklee, because they decided to not accept us. We contacted each other again and decided that we should play together now. So, he came and jammed with Ethan and I. We became friends, which is awesome, because that’s how Ethan and I started.”
Ethan added: “Another click of musical chemistry. I felt it right away. We started playing with guitarist Tim Clark back in January of this year. Dan had met him through a show the previous year. We brought him up to Massachusetts from Maryland. He played a couple of shows with us, after learning a majority of our original and cover songs that we play at our gigs. He’s also a really awesome guy to hang out with. We had no problem inviting him to spend the summer and, now, into the fall of this year playing with us. He’s a Berklee guitar player.”
Both Dan DeCristofaro and Ethan Bates have quite extensive music backgrounds. Dan’s music history started with drums: “I started playing drums, when I was too young to know what I was doing. I ended up quitting. Everyone is my family is a pianist. I used to listen to them practice, and I used to go up to the piano after they practiced and try to play what I heard them playing. At that point, my parents decided that I should start taking piano lessons too. I started playing piano when I was nine. It just caught fire and I loved it. By the time I hit high school, I’d been studying jazz piano for seven years. In high school, I picked up the guitar, dropped jazz piano studies and immersed myself in songwriting and listening to the best singer-songwriters on the radio. I got obsessed with writing music and lyrics and creating melodies.”
Ethan Bates has been playing classical cello since age four: “In middle school, I started seeing myself less as a cellist and more as a musician. I picked up a bass guitar, took a couple lessons and continued to teach myself how to play. I also started singing. I hadn’t really sung before, but I had enough experience with music that I was quick to figure out how to keep up with the choir and other vocals. When I met Dan, we took our interests and things outside our musical beginnings and ran with them.”
Ethan Bates
Ethan Bates
Both Dan and Ethan have parents that like to sing. As Dan explains, “Ethan played cello and I played piano. Both are instruments with a lot of expression. We both picked up vocals, just because we are fans of music. We were listening to a lot of really good singers and singing along. We never really received vocal training, but when you are passionate about singing and trying to sing, you just kinda learn.” Ethan added, “Vocal harmony is at the root of all our songs, from the very first song we wrote together to the songs we’re in the process of writing right now.”
Who are Blue Light Bandits music influences? Dan smiled when he told me this story: “In high school, Ethan told me that you have to check out John Mayer. I rolled my eyes, ‘John Mayer, that’s who all the girls listen to.’ I ended up being a huge fan. I think we shifted to Coldplay towards the end of high school. We’re huge fans of Coldplay. Then, we got into Kings of Leon.”
Ethan continued, “We’re really into Young the Giant right now and have been for a couple years. The Robert Glasper Experiment is a really interesting jazz group we discovered in the last few months that we haven’t been able to put down. James Blake, he’s also one of our big favorites.”
How does Blue Light Bandits use social media to connect with fans and get the word out about their music? Dan told me, “Our three most prominent accounts are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We have our own website as well. At first, we just followed the bandwagon. We’d go to a band’s Facebook page and do what they did. We’ve been really lucky to have good friends who are into marketing and social media. I want to give a shoutout to our roommate Matt Nollman. He has taken it upon himself to run a lot of our social media pages. It’s nice. We all have day jobs; we try to focus all our free time on music, writing and performing.”
Ethan shared an exciting social media campaign that Blue Light Bandits have going on: “We have a good friend Sherry Berger, she runs the Red Rock Grill and Bar in Upton, MA. She’s invested so much of her time and money into letting us play there, and she plays our music during the day. Right now, her personal mission is to get us on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show. She started a social media campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #FallonTonightBandits. She’s trying to blow up Jimmy Fallon’s Twitter feed, so he might take an interest in us, check us out and invite us on the show. It’s a lofty goal, but we’re going to go with it, because it’s the most interesting thing happening in our network right now. We’re joining into some gorilla marketing.”
Blue Light Bandits recordingDan advises other artists: “The thing that’s made it for me is that it’s my favorite thing to do, hands down. Somebody could say ‘Here’s some money to play a show’ and I’d say ‘Great!’ Next day, somebody could say ‘Want to come play a show for free?’ and I’d say ‘Absolutely!’ I’m so passionate about it. Ethan is too. We all are. If it’s not your favorite thing to do, it’s going to feel very hard.”
Ethan offers a second piece of advice: “Look to friends and colleagues who have spent time in the music business. A lot of people will tell you at a show or after a show or after they hear your album what they think you should be doing. Those people are a dime a dozen. We’ve been lucky to make some connections with real industry professionals. Those are the people that I would recommend to anyone interested trying to make some headway in this business.”
What’s up next for Blue Light Bandits? In January, they will be recording with a professional studio for the entire day in Boston. Ethan gave me the scoop: “Converse is doing this awesome project to get independent bands some free studio time with a professional engineer in their Brooklyn and Boston headquarters. We applied for that time and received it. In mid-January, we will go into the studio and record as many songs as we can in one day. Those will be new songs we release in the spring.”
Next year, Blue Light Bandits hopes to get into some local festivals and shows that carry some weight. The goal is to reduce the number of shows and increase the notoriety and attention attached to each one. They also want to expand their tour routes.
Blue Light Bandits have a lot of great things happening. I definitely want to keep in touch. - Cynthia Kahn


The Blue Light Bandits produce bluesy rock for the listening masses.
Simply put, the Blue Light Bandits are made up of a group of men with soul. For them, music is about passion or, more specifically, an emotional release. They are influenced by, listen to and play a wide plethora of music, but it all centers on one important concept: the ability of the music to relate.

"We pick music to listen to based on a full spectrum of everyday human experience and emotion. We strive to put that spectrum in our own music from our acoustic, easy listening tunes all the way to our heavy, emotional rock songs. We want our listeners to see and hear themselves in our music," says the band.

From the soul, passion and emotion, comes the creative impulse, but creation doesn't happen in a vacuum. It depends on what came before. It is a process, that each and every musician is apart of. They acknowledge those who have come before, their own personal growth, and even those who will come after thanks to them.

"Musical creation is something that's been given to us," they say. "We've spent many years sharing and indulging in music that inspires us and stirs indescribably fulfilling emotions within us. Such inspiration led to our own development of musical creation for the purpose of inspiring ourselves and others, which is becoming more of a reality every day." They continue.

"When inspiration leads to composition that develops into a piece of art that leads others to do the same thing, we feel like what we are doing has fulfilled us on the deepest and most important level, and simultaneously reminding us that we only stand at the beginning of such an endeavor."

The band is made up of Dan DecCristofaro, Ethan Bates, Mike Braz, and Joel Ansett, and they all have New England roots. Dan and Ethan specifically grew up in Central Massachsuetts, meeting and beginning to play together in high school. They perform often in the area and the band considers Worcester their musical home base.

What they Sound Like and Where they Perform

The music that usually ends up coming from their own personal creative process is "bluesy" rock and R&B, perhaps with a little funk thrown in. You'll find the band has a knack for finding catchy melodies that turn into fresh but listenable songs. They strive for clever but coherent, and once again relatable, lyrics.

A listen will surely remind you of modern alternative pop artists like John Mayer and Jason Mraz, with some Mumford and Sons and Coldplay thrown in. Fans of those bands will certainly find something to like in these young upstarts.

A few of the band's favorite places to perform in the area are the Lucky Dog and Funky Murphy's in Worcester, Guiseppe's Grill in Northborough, Dusk in Providence, and the Middle East Upstairs in Boston.

The Future

The band has some very specific plans, dreams and goals for the future. A few of them rather quite unique, including how they plan to release more of their original material.

"By the end of this summer we will have recorded a substantial number of our original songs," they say. "We plan to release them in a unique, non-album format that will involve coupled songs based on complementing theme and sound, distributed over an extended period of time. The best part: all will be free for download online."

As a result of this plan, there will surely be plenty of opportunities to be exposed to their music in the near future. They also currently have a number of small releases you can get a hold of if you so desire.

As for their dreams for the future, they state,

"We plan to take this project as far as it will go, whether or not success comes tomorrow or years from now. However, a few specific milestones we dream of experiencing are a headline show at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado, a televised performance and interview on the Ellen show, and a free concert at York Beach, ME, where the band name originated and the band returns each year to plan the next."

In short, the creative process will continue, driven on with high aspirations, but they will always keep in mind why they do it all in the first place, their passion for the art. Staying grounded is ultimately what will lift them to great heights.

For more information on the Blue Light Bandits and to hear some of their music please find them on Facebook or visit their website - Go Local Worcester


http://www.rockwired.com/temporarysite/rockwiredprofiles502.mp3 - ROCKWiRED MEDiA LLC


Launching their musical association as a vocal harmony rich duo back in high school, Dan DeCristofaro (keys, guitar, vocals) and Ethan Bates (bass, cello, vocals) – founders of the dynamic, soul driven alt pop band Blue Light Bandits – scored their first lounge gig in Worcester, Massachusetts the summer after they graduated.

Over the years, as they expanded to a trio (with drummer Mike Braz, who also makes beats and plays guitar) and now a quartet with the addition of electric guitarist Tim Clark, they have played numerous clubs, bars and restaurants around New England.

They’re grounded in bluesy rock but there are elements of reggae, funk and indie rock – all tied together with an infectious, relatable poppiness. “We all share the same obsession,” Dan says, “so we have a blast hanging around each other. All of us have our own unique musical signature that developed from our individual learning experiences growing up. It’s our passion for music and our ability to learn from one another that has allowed us to mesh together into one eclectic, yet unified sound. We are all constantly searching for new inspirations, challenging each other to play outside of our comfort zones, and growing together as brothers. This allows us to incorporate the creative abilities of every member and put them together into a refreshing blend. We believe our new songs exemplify the variety of inspirations that have fueled the latest collection of tunes. The new EP really shows our energy and our growth as a young, aspiring band.”

Blue Light Bandits will be releasing their new 7 song EP, The BLB Demo, – whose title is a playful misnomer since it’s a fully produced set capturing their dynamic multi-faceted sound- on June 23rd. - FindMySong


Worcester Massachusetts is often eclipsed by big brother Boston. However, there is a band that has been making a lot of waves in their hometown and in our White Room at The Edisons headquarters. Blue Light Bandits are a 4 piece groove band whose strong melodic direction, and dynamic musicianship deliver impossibly catchy hooks, song after song. They recently won a Worcester Music Award for ‘best up and coming act’ with other nominations in The New England Music Awards and Limelight Magazine. Blue Light Bandits will be playing with New Politics on April 23rd, 8pm at WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute). Check it out if you are in the area!

Get your tickets here: http://soccomm-lpc.ticketleap.com/spring2016/

In the meantime take a listen to the track ‘Sarah’. We’ve had it on heavy rotation here at The White Room. - THE EDISON'S


[...] The Blue Light Bandits, which had won the Best Up & Comers Act earlier in the night, gave an energizing show that really blew me away. These are real musicians that I think could probably play any instrument you handed them. Hell, you could probably give them a spoon and a coaster, and they’d figure it out. [...] - PULSE MAGAZINE


Based out of Douglas, Blue Light Bandits is a young band on the verge of breaking big. They are arguably unmatched in momentum right now in the New England music scene. Over the course of the past two years, this self-described “groove band” has won Rhode Island’s Last Band Standing Competition, scored complimentary studio recording time and hosted their own album release party.

“We certainly feel good about where we are and where we could be headed if we keep it up,” said bass player Ethan Bates. “Good gigs have always led to good opportunities, and a year of playing three to four nights a week, both in public and private performance scenarios, has greatly sharpened our performance skills. We continue to strive for a balance of professionalism and recreation in everything we do as a band, and that balance is what we expect to fuel further success.”

But the success BLB has experienced didn’t happen overnight. The group’s origin goes back to Whitinsville Christian School in 2008, when Bates met guitarist Dan DeCristofaro in a high school music theory class. In college, they recruited drummer Mike Braz, and in 2015, topped off their lineup with singer and lead guitarist Ricky Duran.

Since then, BLB have had their collective foot on the accelerator, and the Rubber Tracks program provided a major boost for the burgeoning band. Sponsored by Converse Music, Rubber Tracks gives emerging artists the opportunity to win free studio time at one of the program’s community-based professional recording studios. In BLB’s case, they recorded at Q Division Studios in Somerville. The end product was “A Little Love” and “Mess You Make Me,” which they made public at their aforementioned record release party in March.

The members of BLB have also become no strangers to performing in front of a large crowd. Last August, they played to a sold-out crowd of more than 400 at Westport Winery in Westport as part of the Sunset Music Series. They have also opened for Sublime cover band Badfish at Syracuse, N.Y.’s, Westcott Theater.

Although they refer to themselves as a groove band, BLB are approachable for almost all listeners.

“Though our sound flows through many musical genres, the groove is evergreen, no matter the type of emotion we express in music,” said Bates. “We believe there’s something special and unique about being able to genuinely create a big sound in a live setting.”

But still, Duran stresses that BLB have a unique approach that’s all their own.

“I think one of the things that sets us apart from other bands is our individual versatility as musicians,” said Duran. “Each of us can stand alone and entertain an audience; we all can play multiple instruments and write music, as well.”

Keep an ear out for BLB as they perform at different festivals and events, including Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard in Little Compton, R.I., this June.

For more information, visit bluelightbandits.com.

By Jason Savio - PULSE MAGAZINE


Based out of Douglas, Blue Light Bandits is a young band on the verge of breaking big. They are arguably unmatched in momentum right now in the New England music scene. Over the course of the past two years, this self-described “groove band” has won Rhode Island’s Last Band Standing Competition, scored complimentary studio recording time and hosted their own album release party.

“We certainly feel good about where we are and where we could be headed if we keep it up,” said bass player Ethan Bates. “Good gigs have always led to good opportunities, and a year of playing three to four nights a week, both in public and private performance scenarios, has greatly sharpened our performance skills. We continue to strive for a balance of professionalism and recreation in everything we do as a band, and that balance is what we expect to fuel further success.”

But the success BLB has experienced didn’t happen overnight. The group’s origin goes back to Whitinsville Christian School in 2008, when Bates met guitarist Dan DeCristofaro in a high school music theory class. In college, they recruited drummer Mike Braz, and in 2015, topped off their lineup with singer and lead guitarist Ricky Duran.

Since then, BLB have had their collective foot on the accelerator, and the Rubber Tracks program provided a major boost for the burgeoning band. Sponsored by Converse Music, Rubber Tracks gives emerging artists the opportunity to win free studio time at one of the program’s community-based professional recording studios. In BLB’s case, they recorded at Q Division Studios in Somerville. The end product was “A Little Love” and “Mess You Make Me,” which they made public at their aforementioned record release party in March.

The members of BLB have also become no strangers to performing in front of a large crowd. Last August, they played to a sold-out crowd of more than 400 at Westport Winery in Westport as part of the Sunset Music Series. They have also opened for Sublime cover band Badfish at Syracuse, N.Y.’s, Westcott Theater.

Although they refer to themselves as a groove band, BLB are approachable for almost all listeners.

“Though our sound flows through many musical genres, the groove is evergreen, no matter the type of emotion we express in music,” said Bates. “We believe there’s something special and unique about being able to genuinely create a big sound in a live setting.”

But still, Duran stresses that BLB have a unique approach that’s all their own.

“I think one of the things that sets us apart from other bands is our individual versatility as musicians,” said Duran. “Each of us can stand alone and entertain an audience; we all can play multiple instruments and write music, as well.”

Keep an ear out for BLB as they perform at different festivals and events, including Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard in Little Compton, R.I., this June.

For more information, visit bluelightbandits.com.

By Jason Savio - Pulse Magazine


GARDNER -- The Blue Light Bandits, a pop, rock and jazzy R&B band deemed Best Up & Coming Act at the 2016 Worcester Music Awards, will take the stage of the Gardner Ale House tonight.

"The award was pretty cool, and it's a great organization," said Ethan Bates, bass guitarist and vocalist, referring to the competitive event held at Jillian's in downtown Worcester.

"It's been a great résumé piece for the New Year, and nice to tag that onto this year's projects as a band in the Worcester area," he said.

BLB, featured on CMJ, Hot Indie News and Boston independent radio station WXRV, was nominated for New Act of the Year at the 2015 New England Music Awards, after winning the Last Band Standing Competition for Rhode Island in 2015.

The Blue Light Bandits, usually a foursome, will play as a trio tonight at the Gardner Ale House. Clockwise from left, Ethan Bates, Mike Braz and Dan
The Blue Light Bandits, usually a foursome, will play as a trio tonight at the Gardner Ale House. Clockwise from left, Ethan Bates, Mike Braz and Dan DeCristofaro.

Sentinel and Enterprise staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.
The foursome formed and toured that summer. They performed at Carolyn's Sakonnet Vineyard's Alex & Ani Summer Music Series, a sold-out show at Westport Rivers Winery's Sunset Music Series, and headlined at the Black Potatoe Music Festival in Clinton, NJ.
Bates met Dan DeCristofaro in high school in music-theory class.

"I was a classical cellist, and he was a jazz pianist," Bates said. 'We were curious in trying out 'commercial' music. He's the principal songwriter. Everything we've done is based in tight harmony singing, our forté, central to our songwriting and performing process."

Each went off to college and played during summer breaks. DeCristofaro met drummer Mike Braz at an audition for Berklee College of Music.

Their first time playing together stuck.
"Dan's style comes from jazz/funk and employs tight grooves, which loosened up our high-school, acoustic angsty-ness and shaped our sound into what we're doing now," Bates said.

His parents filled his boyhood home with instruments. He began classical lessons at age 4 on a tiny cello.

Deciding to make music a career, Bates, DeCristofaro and Braz moved in together and crossed paths in Worcester with singer, songwriter and guitarist Ricky Duran.

"We needed a guitarist and invited him over to play and found instant chemistry, as well as a killer third voice," Bates said. "He was the last piece we needed to tie this band together, as we're rolling out a new album this spring that showcases our new, polished sound."

Bates studied music industry at Syracuse University; DeCristofaro biology at Grove City (Pa.) College; Braz, mechanical engineering at the University of Rhode Island; and Duran, guitar performance and music business at Berklee.

"The title of the project is under wraps, but it's in the final stages to be released late March, early April," Bates said of the album. "We plan on having it appear on Apple music and Spotify, a digitally tailored release, and possibly a short run of vinyl."

He thanked Converse RubberTracks for complimentary studio time at Q Division Studios in Somerville, which was instrumental in the release of the band's first single in February 2016.

BLB plans another busy summer of regional touring, along with the completion of its first full-length LP.

To give an idea of the band's sound, last year's dual-song release, "A Little Love," is described by BLB as "pop rock with a dash of reggae and a punch of blues," while BLB calls "The Mess You Make Me," written by DeCristofaro, "groovy" and "reflective."

Listen to hear the three-part harmony at #SeaAndTheMoon, and learn more at www.bluelightbandits.com.

BLB members note that their vocal tracking was done together in the same room for a natural feel.

At the Ale House, BLB will perform as a trio. Bates said Duran is in residency in Austin, Texas, exploring the world of Stevie Ray Vaughn and planting seeds for the band's future connections there.

"We call it our Taproom Trio," he said of tonight's incarnataion. "Wineries and breweries are some of our best performance spots. Our bar show is a great time, because it surprises a lot of people. We'll play cover songs from our list of influences, some Van Morrison, Frank Sinatra, even a little Snoop Dog and Dr. Dre. We always throw the fun ones in at Gardner. It's a great venue, and we have an awesome little crew from Hubbardston that comes to see us and dance -- and GAH (Moon Hill Brewing) has great food and excellent beer on tap."

During the day, Braz works as an engineer in Rhode Island, DeCristofaro at Boston Children's Hospital, and Bates at Music Worcester, an arts nonprofit, while Duran gigs for a living with BLB and as a soloist. All of the members are in their mid-20s.

The band's moniker originated after a first travel gig in York, Maine. Looking out across the bay at the blue lights floating, DeCristofaro and Bates reminisced about a movie they liked with bandits. But the name has taken on new meaning.

"There's this feeling that we get from being professional musicians, doing what we love -- it doesn't feel like work. Rather, it's this beautiful feeling like you're getting away with something, like a bandit," said Bates, who sneaks the cello into performances every once in a while.

Bates describes Blue Light Bandits as a live performance group.

"In the next couple years, we are going to hit the gas and go full time on writing, recording and performing, and if that brings us back to Worcester, we will welcome that," he said. "There is no stopping us ... touring, playing and making records, we want to be able to sustain this fun."

by Bonnie J. Toomey - Sentinel &Enterprise


Blue Light Bandits’ eponymous album released last October goes down easy. It’s a smooth piece of work, rife with some spectacular guitar work and a low-key sort of funk. Songs such as “Call of the Sirens,” “Mess You Make” and “Back in Town” have a gentle melodic quality that buoy the album’s clear, pop-ready vocals. All told, it’s a pleasant, expertly crafted album that shows off just what the band is capable of accomplishing.

What: Blue Light Bandits
When: 6-9 p.m. Feb. 3
Where: Wachusett Brewing Co., 175 State Road East, Westminster - Telegram & Gazette


Blue Light Bandits / Blue Light Bandits

There is a real treat coming out of Worcester, and it can be heard on the Blue Light Bandits’ self-titled debut album. The 10-song effort is something of a rarity these days: an LP that has barely any filler and begs to be listened to over and over again. It’s a perfect start for a promising young band.

The Blue Light Bandits know how to put a song together. The groovy pop rock and jazz-infused DNA of many of the tracks here give layers to each song and will surely gain the appreciation of other musicians while still satisfying the radio crowd. The production is crisp, clear and tight without feeling fake. It’s hard to feel any sort of dishonesty with these songs; the rising chorus and soulful vocals on “The Sea & Moon” showcases nice songwriting chops while the light punch and waltz of “Back in Town” shows they can stay in the pocket and in control.

It’s hard to imagine these guys having as much suave as they do for a debut album, but on the outro to “What You Started,” you can’t help but think you’re listening to some seasoned lounge lizards with years of experience to their credit. The sometimes bluesy and atmospheric world they create perfectly envelopes the melodic lead guitar work without suffocating it, especially on “Call of the Sirens.”

While the vocals are fine and match the music appropriately, “Wash (outro)” cements the idea you’ll have halfway through the album that, if they wanted to, Blue Light Bandits could put together a killer instrumental release and do just as well. Blue Light Bandits are worth getting excited about, and this first effort proves it.

For more information, visit bluelightbandits.com.

Jason Savio - Pulse Magazine


Blue Light Bandits / Blue Light Bandits

There is a real treat coming out of Worcester, and it can be heard on the Blue Light Bandits’ self-titled debut album. The 10-song effort is something of a rarity these days: an LP that has barely any filler and begs to be listened to over and over again. It’s a perfect start for a promising young band.

The Blue Light Bandits know how to put a song together. The groovy pop rock and jazz-infused DNA of many of the tracks here give layers to each song and will surely gain the appreciation of other musicians while still satisfying the radio crowd. The production is crisp, clear and tight without feeling fake. It’s hard to feel any sort of dishonesty with these songs; the rising chorus and soulful vocals on “The Sea & Moon” showcases nice songwriting chops while the light punch and waltz of “Back in Town” shows they can stay in the pocket and in control.

It’s hard to imagine these guys having as much suave as they do for a debut album, but on the outro to “What You Started,” you can’t help but think you’re listening to some seasoned lounge lizards with years of experience to their credit. The sometimes bluesy and atmospheric world they create perfectly envelopes the melodic lead guitar work without suffocating it, especially on “Call of the Sirens.”

While the vocals are fine and match the music appropriately, “Wash (outro)” cements the idea you’ll have halfway through the album that, if they wanted to, Blue Light Bandits could put together a killer instrumental release and do just as well. Blue Light Bandits are worth getting excited about, and this first effort proves it.

For more information, visit bluelightbandits.com. - PULSE


I’ve been trying to go to more concerts.

Unfortunately, while various “playing near you” features never fail to find events, I usually feel inclined to stay home. There are not many musicians I want to leave home for, pedestrian student that I am. Though I like plenty of artists, many of whom perform in the Boston area annually, I may not enjoy enough of their songs to want to hear them live (not to mention the fact that plenty of singers are renowned to sound better recorded anyway).

So, I utilize other methods to get close to music. I walk to school with headphones in; I study with my speakers on; I ballroom dance, sometimes. And, of course, I seize opportunities to review albums for The Tech. As can be expected, then, The Tech is how I discovered Louis Apollon and the Blue Light Bandits.

Both acts will play at Club Passim next week, a fact I was indifferent about — being a for-the-most-part concert naysayer — until I heard their music. Louis Apollon’s debut album, Free to Be, was far groovier than advertised. The Boston-based singer-songwriter has an uncanny sense of tune, picking out unpredictable, yet hummable melodies to whimsical words. (“Come with me,” sings Louis on the first track, “and we’ll cleanse our souls.”) He’s as comfortable with arrangements as he is with the acoustic guitar, sometimes expertly introducing a drum or a bass or a flute, other times sliding through a complex solo with the ease of John Mayer. Listening to his record, I found myself itching to watch Louis Apollon play. There’s some magic in the way he overlays a detailed rhythm with his smooth-as-sunrise voice and makes it seem simple, and I’d love to see that magic raw, free from studio perfection.

The Blue Light Bandits (also local — they’re from Worcester) are similarly powerful. The instrumental bits in their pieces are friendly, like city lights; the vocals, often chorus-like, always rise up at the perfect moment. The members of Blue Light Bandits are stellar lyricists; I was pleasantly surprised at the intricacies of their tracks. Their song “Homegrown / ‘Til The Day I Die,” for example, is less about the personality of a town than the character of a person, and contains satisfyingly rhythmic observations on humanity, like the lines “Nobody wants to die / but everybody’s gotta go.”

Blue Light Bandits are skilled musicians, too, readily handling solos at breakneck speed, or changing the tempo without missing a beat. They’ve got a wonderful funk, in addition to a toe-tapping optimism. It’s very, very hard to hear their music and sit still.

If I ever felt disillusioned about concert-going, I certainly don’t anymore, not after experiencing the debut records of these local musicians. I have no doubts that Lou Apollon and Blue Light Bandits are so, so worth hearing in person, and you shouldn’t either.

Club Passim, Mar. 14, 7 p.m. See you there. - The Tech


Discography

THE BLB DEMO

Released: July 8th, 2014 through CD Baby

Format: EP

Mixing & Production:  Bill Ryan for RMI Records and Blue Light Bandits

Key tracks: “Sarah”, "City", "Known & Loved"

A LITTLE LOVE/MESS YOU MAKE ME

Released: February 26th, 2016 through Reapandsoe.

Format: Single

Mixing & Production: Bill Ryan for RMI Records, Matt Beaudoin at Q Division, and Blue Light Bandits

Key tracks: “A Little Love"

BLUE LIGHT BANDITS

Released: October 27th, 2018 through The Orchard

Format: LP

Mixing & Production:  Matt Beaudoin and Blue Light Bandits

Key tracks: “A Little Love”, "Back In Town", "Sea & The Moon", "Homegrown"

Photos

Bio

Blue Light Bandits is a four-piece groove rock band from Worcester, Massachusetts serving a smooth combination of rock, pop, and R&B. BLB recently won the "Best Live Act" at the 2018 Worcester Music Awards and shared the stage with KC & The Sunshine Band, The 5th Dimension and New Politics on their latest New England tour. In October 2017, BLB self-released their debut LP which hit the NACC top 200 list on the national college radio charts. "It's a smooth piece of work, rife with some spectacular guitar work and a low-key sort of funk" - T&G. Their collective works have now accrued over 1 million streams on Spotify. BLB has accrued 1.5 million streams on Spotify and a has built a strong following in the northeast.

Band Members