The Big Mess
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The Big Mess

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"The Big Mess: A refreshing sound on the Nanaimo music scene"

Want to hear something completely different? Check out THE BIG MESS: a father-son duo featuring the beautiful sounds of master trumpet and flugelhorn player Marty Shepard and his son Kyle Vox-Man Shepard. As a solo act, Marty has enjoyed a loyal following in and around Nanaimo over the years. He’s been heard on the Port Theatre stage as well as various restaurant and lounges.

Recently, he added his son Kyle to the mix-a young man with an amazing talent at vocal beat boxing. Kyle pushes the limits of vocal abilities and sounds, at times he sounds like an entire percussion section-it boggles the mind. The Big Mess offers tunes from many different eras but Kyle adds a wonderfully refreshing twist on songs like SWAY, FEED ME from the Little Shop of Horrors (two of my faves) plus Latin, blues, rock and jazz standards. Kyle’s stunning vocal range mixed with the very professional sound of Marty’s horns plus the lush digital back-up orchestra bring a new meaning to beat box or track-accompanied music. I’ve always been a die-hard fan of live music and shunned the idea of track music as a back-up band, but Marty and Kyle do their thing with such creativity and respect for the music, they really bring a new meaning to canned music. They are moving along with the digital times and doing so with flair and imagination-I can’t knock that!

At the time of publication, The Big Mess is booked on an ongoing basis at Nanaimo’s ACME restaurant but if their act continues to attract attention the way it has been lately, I would not be surprised to see this duo take their act on the road. Catch ‘em while you can! - Kritik.ca


"Family Duos share concert"

Published: March 16, 2011 11:00 AM
Updated: March 16, 2011 11:57 AM

Family bonds link performers in a double bill concert at Headliners in April.

Award-winning singer Joelle Rabu joins her son, Nico Rhodes, on stage for the first half of a concert, followed by The Big Mess, featuring trumpet player Marty Shepard and his son, singer-beatboxer Voxman Kyle.

Rabu’s intimate concert will feature songs from her international hit show Tonight Piaf, as well as an eclectic assortment of tunes drawn from her jazz, torch, European cabaret and musical theatre influences.

Rabu will be performing with her son, an award-winning pianist who has recently returned from a highly successful tour as music director-pianist of both the Chemainus Theatre and the Vancouver Arts Club productions of A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline.

The Big Mess is musicality, theatrics and comedy. Shepard is well known locally for his trumpet and flugelhorn playing. VoxMan Kyle, Shepard’s 25-year-old son is an unconventional and funky musician. With charismatic blending of beatboxing, scatting and lyrical singing, at times he can sound like an entire rhythm section and a variety of vocalists.

The Big Mess, Rabu and Rhodes have been known to spontaneously join each other on stage for a rousing musical happening.

The April 2 concert at Headliners starts at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets $20 from Headliners. Please call 250-753-2323.

Gabriolans will also get the opportunity to see the concert the following evening, April 3, 7:30 p.m., at the Phoenix Auditorium. Tickets for the Gabriola Island show are available at Artworks. - Nanaimo News Bulletin


"Father-son duo keeps crossing the genre lines"

Father-son duo keeps crossing the genre lines
Derek Spalding, The Daily News
Published: Thursday, September 29, 2011

Members of the Big Mess have been making quite a name for themselves in the past year. The charismatic fatherand-son duo captivates their audiences wherever they go, whether it's at local lounges, outof-town festivals or during trips to Mexico.

Marty Shepard and his son Kyle return to their favourite stomping ground tomorrow night at the Acme restaurant, where regulars quickly came to love the dynamic musicians who came together by a bit of a fluke. The challenge is on to find someone who can describe what these two do when they perform, according to Marty.

The question about what genre these two fit into comes up regularly. Marty has had a life-long love affair with the trumpet, which doesn't seem all that unusual until you hear it played along side Kyle, whose innovative stylings incorporates beat box, scat and singing.

Whatever it is, though, people are loving it and, if everything goes right, these two will take their show anywhere.

"Both Kyle and I are trying to make this our lives, which - for musicians - that's a really lofty goal," said Marty. "One of the things Kyle and I love about being the Big Mess: we leave people smiling and feeling better about life and that's a really nice thing to do. It's a good job."

Their individual styles came together surreptitiously when they joined each other on stage during a show in Victoria.

They did it for fun, but the experiment was received well by audiences. They mostly cover popular songs and they put so much originality into the renditions that many of the songs are unrecognizable.

"People listen and they love it and they think they know it, until finally we let them have it and it becomes clear," Marty said.

Without revealing their set lists, he described a recent show where they slipped from a classic spaghetti western song and into a '60s rock anthem. But they have a small list of original music building as well, which could make their fans happy.

People at every show ask for CDs, but because the Big Mess was such an impromptu venture, Marty and his son have yet to figure out where they want to go. The possibilities, however, are appearing to be endless.

"I've told Kyle, I will go wherever the Big Mess takes us, anywhere around the world," Marty explained. "And based on the response we're getting, there is a possibility."

The show starts at 7 p.m. Check it out and see if you can peg these two.

" Derek Spalding is a reporter and columnist for the Nanaimo Daily News. You can reach him with ideas at DSpalding@nanaimodailynews.com.


© The Daily News (Nanaimo) 2011 - Nanaimo Daily News


Discography

Dual CD scheduled for release in 6/2012:
The Big Mess: Beauty
The Big Mess: Beast

Marty Shepard - "HalfLife"

Photos

Bio

The Big Mess:
VoxMan Kyle + Marty Shepard
Voice + Trumpet.
Father + Son
Eclectic re-composers of all things musical
Together, they make magic.

VoxMan Kyle, the ever-experimenting mad scientist of lyric & groove, is like a multi-dimensional Bobby McFerrin who escaped the zoo on a full moon with plans to storm Broadway while maintaining a nasty binge of the Blues. An impossible multitude of characters become his voice and body, all the while interjected, interrupted and augmented by deft bouts of beatboxing and scatting. VoxMan's vocal nature is a shapeshifter: snappy, sexy, liquid and lewd.

As yin to VoxMan's wild yang is Marty Shepard, aka Dad, a bluesy mage & jazzy sage. He plays his horn like a thousand years of oral storytelling blooming into a passionate kiss at the heart of a blazing dance party.

Together, The Big Mess coaxes audiences down the rabbit hole into a tantalizing world at once nostalgic & exotic, sultry & sweet, nutty & playful, and just a glimpse of the deranged.
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“Last night I saw the most amazing act… For all ages entertainment, audience rapport, stage rap and majorly cool tunes, they are as good as it gets.” –Barry C

“Your music gives me life, happiness and most of all, inspiration. I feel like dancing like a crazy mother$%#&er!” – P

“The last time I saw such sheer energy, raw talent & showmanship was k.d. lang in 1985.” –Sharon M.

“You have truly created a completely unique genre. It’s safe to say that you are currently my favourite band.” –D M.

“… in my humble opinion [you] were the best act at Diversity Festival. Please get famous, more people need to hear you and laugh with you!” -Vj K

“…they played incredible music together as none had before. People clapped their hands and danced; even the serious ones could not help but move their feet. They left them transformed: happy, light of heart and inspired.” –Briana & Will

“You’ve brought back the meaning of ENTERTAINMENT”
–Joelle R.

“I dare you to find another act like them – they are so unique, it won’t be long before performers will be imitating them! Mind-blowing talent.” – Anon.
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Kyle & Marty Shepard have dual citizenship in the USA & Canada.

Born in 1985, Kyle graduated from the University of British Columbia’s film department, specializing in audio design and scoring. He has gigged with improv troupes, played vocal and traditional percussion in the exotic heavy metal orchestra "The Living", and worked as a corporate entertainer in The Drum Café.
He shares his manner of beatboxing and voiceplay technique with the world in his traveling workshop “The VoxShop”, which was featured at the Vancouver International Children’s Festival.

Marty Shepard picked up the trumpet in his hometown of Chicago when he was the sweet age of 9. As one of the original members of REO Speedwagon, he opened for such groups as Iron Butterfly, Canned Heat & Three Dog Night. Since touring the West Coast with Planet Swing, he has performed with Brooke Maxwell’s El SuperBando at the Empress Hotel, Victoria, Joëlle Rabu at The Port Theatre, Nanaimo, BC & Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Marty produced an enchanting solo album entitled “HalfLife” in 2008.