The Big Hat
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The Big Hat

Band Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Big Hat at Fat Baby"

When The Big Hat began tuning for their show at Fat Baby, people began to migrate toward the stage from their comfortable banquets and barstools. Perhaps they confused the punchy, in-tune tuning for the opening song, or else had the intuition that the relatively empty club would fill once the band started. If the latter is correct, they were too.

The Big Hat is a Brooklyn-based hodge-podge of musical goodness, ranging from rockabilly to folk to blues to pop-rock. Their lyrics aren’t devoid of the occasional curse typical of a New York band but, like the band members themselves, are wrapped in a shroud of unassuming integrity. It’s rare to see an unheard-of show on the Lower East Side where the band mates manage to joke without being attention-driven, each member taking his turn at doing so. Drummer Dave Yim, guitarist Elliott Christ, guitarist Alex Penman, and bassist Tommy Van Stockum are silly but their music is not; yet it’s still not too serious to be a feet-tapping, hand-clapping good time.

One of the most striking elements of The Big Hat is their flexibility. Each member sang lead on a song and no one made a mistake in doing so. Seeing a drummer sing is kind of like seeing a catcher bat, though neither Yim nor his teammates struck out. Each time they’d switch lead vocals, their style changed too. Theirs is a kind of versatility that keeps the audience guessing, without the feeling of sporadic desperation for inclusivity.

Typical of this melting pot of talent, Christ’s guitar solo in their first song, “I’m Struck,” could have been the product of a steamy night between George Jones and Slayer. By the time they began “People Stop and Stare,” the crowd had taken its place in front of the low stage and the straight rockabilly beats set the usually-dance-weary New York concertgoers into a tizzy of booty shaking smiles. Another Big Hat signature became apparent in the third song when they invited a trumpeter to the stage who broke down the bridge of “It Ain’t Real” into the kind of groove that causes Charlie Parker to snap fingers from the grave.
Over their remaining five tunes (an eight-song set list, impressive for an unsigned band) they managed a cat-call-sounding guitar slide that broke down into swaying reggae blues that could fly on Beale Street, and country fit for the Grand Ole’ Opry. And it was apparent they were having fun doing it; after the guest harmonica breakdown of “Oh! Girl!,” one member couldn’t contain a “That’s sick!” to which the audience broke out into laughter, clapping in agreement. The fiddle interlude in their second to last tune, “Friend of Us All,” came storming out of the pretty, sweet accompaniment of the song, flying from guest Liz Hanley’s fingers as if she had been born in an Irish pub. By the time they finished their closing “Young Man Gray,” the floor was packed with people from the street and the upstairs bar who had made their way down to see what the commotion was all about.

After the show, the band chatted and sold their home-recorded, self-titled EPs (the sound quality of which is surprisingly good) but it’s apparent that their days of DIY production are numbered. If you’re in the mood for a fun band chock full of genuinely talented musicians, The Big Hat is not to be missed. Check out their Myspace ( for free songs and concert updates. - Lisette Johnson, Knocks from the Underground


First EP, "The Big Hat," released March 2009. Tracklist (with songwriter):
1. I'm Stuck (Christ)
2. It Ain't Real (Van Stockum)
3. Oh! Girl! (Yim)
4. The Treetop Ghost (Penman)
5. Young Man Gray (Christ)
6. Do People Stop and Stare? (Penman)
7. Lullaby (Van Stockum)



"...If you’re in the mood for a fun band chock full of genuinely talented musicians, The Big Hat is not to be missed." - Lisette Johnson for KFTU.

What happened was, we survived a traumatic hovercraft explosion and wound up on an island along with a shipment of musical instruments. Since there was nothing else to do, we played these instruments until we were not only emotionally rehabilitated from the crash's effects, but also really damn good. And so we play to this very day.

Okay, we're lying.

Basically we're an interweb of bands from The Basement Jam, The Pony Express, Panda Deluxe, Red Giant White Dwarf, and the Corduroy Boy. We got together to do a show in Tribeca, and playing together just felt so - so - so right, that we keep it up.