The Big Dirty
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The Big Dirty

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | INDIE

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Rock Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



""Cherry Soda" Number 3 on International Chart"

DATE: 10/04/2010
ARTIST: The Big Dirty
CIN: 20100416410
Dear The Big Dirty,

The International Association of Independent Recording Artists, IAIRA, recognizes and honors artistic achievement, technical proficiency, and overall excellence in sound recording by monitoring chart activity as published in various reporting charts from around the world. According to our research, on 10/04/2010 the above referenced release; Cherry Soda, by The Big Dirty, had attained The Number 3 Position on at least one of the charts monitored and verified by IAIRA. On the basis of that research, IAIRA has qualified the aforementioned release as eligible for Certification as an International 'Top 10'.

On behalf of the entire IAIRA staff and the Recording Arts Community at large, please accept our most sincere Congratulations and Best Wishes for your continued success!

IAIRA Research Team

IAIRA continues its rich legacy and ongoing growth as an important outlet for honoring achievements in the independent recording arts and supporting the recording arts community at large. IAIRA extensively researches various credible reporting charts and certifies the position attained by specific works. IAIRA Certifications are published in the IAIRA REPORT. IAIRA Certification is issued without regard to advertisement, political prowess, subjective interpretation, or personal opinion. ™ IAIRA is the registered trademark of The International Association of Independent Recording Artists and is protected under international trademark law. All Rights Reserved. - International Association of Independent Recording Artists (IAIRA)

"Will Bernard and The Big Dirty"

Grammy-nominated guitarist Will Bernard brings his band to Williamsport, PA on Friday, March 7. Jeremiah's Listening Room (upstairs at Bullfrog Brewery) will play host to this musically mindblending event. Bernard has just finished recording an album with John Medeski, Stanton Moore, and Andy Hess; while his most recent release, "Party Hats", is widely recognized as one of the top jazz albums of 2007.

Supporting Will Bernard, fresh off the release of their first full-length album "Move!", is The Big Dirty. TBD is a furiously funky, painstakingly unique quartet ready to inject the night with a lethal dose of groove.

The show starts around 8:00pm. Presale tickets are available through Will Bernard's online home is, while more information about TBD can be found at - Press Enterprise

"On The Rise / CD Sampler"

Relix December CD Sampler (2010) ?Track 6: "Professor Cot" - The Big Dirty

Since their emergence from Pennsylvania's coal region in 2007, The Big Dirty has been continually creating and refining their own brand of soul-jam music appropriately described as "Filthy Funky Groove." They weave elements of psychedelic funk, rock, blues, and jazz with an eclectic and improvisational stew of sounds but always bring the beat home. - Relix Magazine

"The Professor Speaks"

On various Thursdays during the summer months, The Big Dirty has been presenting their unique brand of funk groove experimentation at Zeno's in State College. During a late June appearance, The Big Dirty (Todd Troutman on guitar, Russ Nahodil on bass and vocals, Nick Merena on sax and vocals, and Mike Barata on drums and percussion) mixed elements of funk, rock, soul and jazz into an eclectic and improvisational stew of sounds; along the way joined by Erik Dressler with turntable accompaniment. Much of their performance was original material, including numbers from their recently-released CD, "Move!" The group also included a couple of select covers, including a feisty read of the Grateful Dead's "Mr. Charlie" and the night-ending instrumental jam rendition of the Motown classic "Just My Imagination." The Big Dirty kept it interesting with creative, adventurous grooves and frequent solo displays. Todd showed a knack for effects, using various floor pedals to get a variety of interesting sounds out of his guitar. The Big Dirty returns to Zeno's August 7th and 21st, and will perform at Bethlehem's annual Musikfest August 9th. - PA Musician

"Review: The Big Dirty ~ Move!"

There's something about Pennsylvania that seems to breed a wide range of musicians. Perhaps it’s the music clubs that have flourished there even in the wake of recessions; maybe it’s the rugged nature of large portions of the state. Whatever the catalyst, it seems the home state of Christina Aguilera and Perry Como has birthed another musical group that will undoubtedly garner good buzz.

The Big Dirty, four guys whose photos indicate they'd be perfectly home bellying up to a bar in any of the mining communities in rural parts of the state, have taken their love for Herbie Hancock, Parliament Funkadelic, Stevie Wonder, and other four-star musicians, and created their own brand of funk/R&B with pop influences.

The nine-track Move! is mainly instrumental with plenty of twanging strings, heavy beats, and horns. The sound is interesting, feelgood music in the path of Phish (another professed Big Dirty influence) or the Dead's offspring. The music flows easily enough to happily co-exist with major jam bands. -

"Some Kind of Jam"

It was that time again. The late night started off inside with the filthy funk of The Big Dirty. This relatively new group explores the new age of funk with their dirty grooves. Nick Merena (sax) set the tone with his tenor sax. Using an effects pedal, he created a unique sound that meshed perfectly with the other members. Mike Barata (drums) laid down the beat like a bricklayer with his heavy elaborate rhythms. His bobbing head was identical to the rest of the listeners in attendance. Todd Troutman (guitar) added great color to the band with his funked up rhythms and jazzy licks. Russ Nahodil (bass) could have played one bass line for hours and no one would have been bored because of his distinctive touch. Nick sang to us how he "is moving like a lawn mower, but just a little bit slower" in the memorable groove of their original tune "Lawnmower". Major props to The Big Dirty for keeping the funk alive and fresh. -

"Band of the Week"

The Big Dirty's name doesn't describe their music, which is funky rather than filthy. Saxophonist Nick Merena says they are a groove band, with "a rhythm that locks into the pocket."

Although their music is largely improvised, the group doesn't consider itself a jam band. Its gritty, urban sound has little in common with the Grateful Dead or Phish.

Like other jammers, however, they like playing at outdoor festivals. Guitarist Todd Troutman says The Big Dirty did 10 such events last spring and summer. "They let people find out who you are," he says. "We have played from northern Vermont to southern Virginia. The 16-hour round trip to Vermont was worth more than a lot of our shows that take an hour both ways."

The steady, insistent rhythms of drummer Mike Barata and bassist Russ Nahodil anchor the group's sound. Merena and Troutman both use effects, which lead a lot of TBD's jams towards fusion jazz. Shows include covers of songs by John Scofield and Bob Dylan, as well as traditional blues.

Merena uses a half dozen or so foot pedals that might have been designed for guitar or bass as well as woodwinds. "I can create harmonies with a delay, play on top of other sounds, or create a whole horn section," he says.

The Big Dirty formed in 2006 and recorded the CD "Move!" in 2007. It is available by download. Similarly, many Big Dirty shows are recorded and available to hear online at . - The Morning Call

"The Big Dirty is Plenty Smooth"

The four-man crew from The Big Dirty have a sound fit to match — funk and groove so smooth it's fly. Like "Superfly" fly — glorified cocaine, Cadillacs and handguns fly — with rhythms equally infectious and infamous as if they were culled from the blaxploitation-era movies of the 1970s.

Their bass lines run deeper than the Earth's mantle, complimented by guitar flicks and riffs that find a permanent place in your brain, drums crashing wildly but always keeping rhythm, and saxophone sounds from another realm.

And while they count Motown artists among their diverse collection of influences, The Big Dirty — Mike Barata, drums, percussion; Nick Merena, saxophone, vocals; Russ Nahodil, bass, vocals; and Todd Troutman, guitar, vocals — don't seek to replicate a bygone era of badass funk. To them, it comes natural.

"It seems like when the four of us get on the same stage, that definitely funk is something the four of us share a love of," Troutman says. Asked if it's almost too funky of a creation for four white guys from the southern-most coal lands of NEPA, Troutman laughs. "Maybe it is."

A rising jam band gaining notoriety among the festival circuit, The Big Dirty will save the overnight experience for another weekend as the crew will perform live at 9 p.m. Saturday, July 25, at Sarah Street Grill in East Stroudsburg. They've been to Sarah Street before, and seem to have a kind of semi-regular residency at Harry's in Bloomsburg where they're warmly received.

As evident as their individual and collective skills are during their energetic live shows, it's their familiarity with one another that seems most obvious. Improvisation is the name of the game among jam bands, and The Big Dirty is no different, shedding the script at some points of their songs for extended moments, or in some cases for the entire number. However, unlike some stereotypical jams that are too long in the tooth, The Big Dirty are never pretentious and never boring.

"It rarely sounds like a straight shot on the album," Troutman said of their live music.

Like many guitarists, Troutman isn't one to shy from the sound effects controlled by foot pedal. What stands out more, though, is Merena's use of effects with his tenor sax. As Troutman himself says, there aren't many saxophonists out there that use them.

"Nick's created some sounds that I personally never ever heard before, and from a saxophone," he says. "It's definitely ear grabbing."

The Big Dirty are prepping to record a follow-up to their first full-length, MOVE!, but aren't in any rush to do so. They'll visit a few studios later this summer and, as Troutman says, "see what becomes of it."

"We're more concerned with taking our time and getting it right."

You can hear their soulful funk at (not to be confused with a Canadian group of a similar name) or For more information on the show or directions, visit - Electric City

"Bands Raise Money for Hurricane Victims"

The Big Dirty and The Dave Holt Band performed at the Lancaster, Pennsylvania Elks Lodge last Saturday evening as part of their "re-New Orleans" benefit. 100% of profits raised went directly to Habitat for Humanity for victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana.

An exciting night of upbeat, jazz and blues inspired music set the tone of the evening as listeners danced and partied the night away.

One audience member remarked, "It's a beautiful thing when people can band together for a cause that directly helps good people in need".

Another listener was very impressed at the "genuine excitement" of both bands and their "obvious concern" for the victims, noting that "sometimes people need to be reminded of what's important in life, and there's nothing like a concert to direct peoples' attention".

After all was said and done, over $3000 was raised. Plans are underway for another fundraiser in the near future. - Fly Magazine

"Spreading the Jam"

The heat of the day has become unbearable. Although many of us would prefer to stay locked up inside the house with the air conditioner set at 68 degrees, there is just too much live music in the air to sit still for even a second. August sizzles with psychedelic sound bouncing through and around the state of Pennsylvania.

Catch a regional band on the rise when four-piece funk machine, the Big Dirty, descends on the Bullfrog Brewery. The band fuses jazz, funk, blues and psychedelia to produce a distinctly dirty, swampy blend of feel good, boogie music. The Big Dirty brings their wild, untamed musical explorations to Williamsport on Saturday night. - Shinbone Magazine

"Focus Band: The Big Dirty"

* What are the names, city of residence, how long they’ve been in the band and responsibilities of each member?

Todd Troutman lives in Lancaster and is one of the original members when The Big Dirty began back in 2005. He plays guitar and contributes vocals too. He is also responsible for designing and managing the band’s Web site, designing posters, and sending newsletters. He is aptly referred to as the "Exalted Ruler" by the other band members.

Russ Nahodil resides in Shamokin joined The Big Dirty in August, 2006. He plays bass and contributes vocals too. For obvious reasons, he is often referred to as "Russbeef".

Nick Merena – simply called Nick (that’s with an "N") – of Shamokin, has been with the band since March, 2007. He plays the saxophone and contributes with some vocals, too. He is also responsible for maintaining TBD's MySpace page.

Mike Barata, another original member, is from Freeland. He plays drums and other assorted percussive instruments. The band refers to him as, "the fat guy behind the kit."

* Give us a brief history of The Big Dirty.

TBD was born out of prior band that featured Todd Troutman and Mike Barata. When TBD's first bassist abruptly left the band, they asked fellow low-end man, Russ Nahodil, if he was available. His first exposure to the band consisted of a 2-hour practice in the morning and a gig later that same night at The Bullfrog in Williamsport. He has been thumping away ever since. Nick Merena was a regular guest musician of the band but after the departure of TBD's original keyboard player, he was onboard full-time.

* What is one of the craziest experiences that you have had since the inception of The Big Dirty?

There are so many, but one crazy experience that validates the drive, literally, of TBD dates back to last summer when the band accepted an invitation to play a music festival in Ohio. The band left Shamokin at 9 a.m. and arrived at the gig in OH at 6 p.m.; unpacked; setup and started playing at 9 p.m.; broke down; packed up and started the trek back home at 10:30 p.m. arriving home at 7:30 a.m. the next day. Needless to say, we all got to know each other really, really, well that day.

* What are some of the strong points and weak points that you come across in your local music scene - or the PA scene in general?

The strong point we come across is that there are people who dig the music we are playing.

Weak point – there is no local scene.

* What are the future plans or goals for The Big Dirty?

Our debut studio album entitled, MOVE, will be out sometime at the end of February or early March. We are also booked for this year’s 25th Anniversary Musikfest in Bethlehem and have accepted offers to play other festivals this summer – including some new places we have never played.

Our goal is to get opportunities to put our music in as many ear holes as possible. - Shinbone Magazine

"The Big Dirty Wins Asbury Park Battle of the Bands"

Pennsylvania based funk quartet, The Big Dirty, placed first at PhanPhest's Battle of the Bands at The Saint in Asbury Park, New Jersey on July 3rd.

The win guarantees The Big Dirty a performance slot at PhanPhest 4.0 in Kempton, PA this August.

The Big Dirty outscored three very talented New Jersey based acts in this competition: The Green Apples, Amber Blues, and Proof Rock. -


Champagne Bidet (2011)
On The Prime (2010)
Move! (2008)



Enormous in-the-pocket grooves layered with sonic blasts of interplanetary psychedelia, held together tightly by spontaneous melodies that train the altered brain to dance it all away.

The Big Dirty delivers from a wide palette that finds a place among any audience that enjoys soulful, inspiring, fresh, and creative instrumentation. With each member utilizing a wide variety of effects and styles, and creative collaborations within the songwriting process, TBD continues to forge a signature sound that makes heads turn and bodies move. Regardless of what you call it, their filthy funky groove is unlike anything else.

Throughout the Northeast, The Big Dirty's reputation has blossomed into a late-night staple that regularly drops non-stop marathon sets that have endured well past sunrise. They have headlined coveted festivals and after-party slots, provided live film soundtracks, backed up hip hop emcees, hosted benefit shows...while continuing to collaborate with many amazing artists and fans along the way.

The Big Dirty has performed from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico, spanning the Atlantic coast to the Midwest. They have been fortunate enough to share stages with many world-famous acts and legendary award winners, while performing at some of the greatest venues and monumental festivals America has to offer.

Band Members