Q&A: Delicious Bass raise funds for new LP at (SCENE)

By Rich Tupica
Delicious Bass. Courtesy photo

Local American, roots-rock band spans Hank Williams and the Black Keys

Thursday, Feb. 27 — Delicious Bass (as in the fish) isn’t just a notable line from “Napoleon Dynamite.” It’s also a local roots-rock band with a knack for casting lines in the Great Lakes.

On Friday the band plays (SCENE) Metrospace in East Lansing to raise funds for a new album. The band is made up of Ryan Shadbolt (resonator guitar, harmonica, vocals) Ed Lutz (lead guitar, vocals), Nathan Smathers (bass) and drummer Will Jurkiewicz.

A smattering of country and blues-tinged artists influence Delicious Bass, and it reflects in its throwback sound.

“We span everything from Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and The Eagles to more contemporary musicians like Amos Lee, Ray LaMontagne and The Black Keys,” Shadbolt said.

“The two lead vocals and the metallic twang of the resonator guitar stand out and distinguish our sound from other bands playing a similar style of music,” Shadbolt added. “What we do would probably be classified as Americana, roots rock or country blues.”

The upcoming record is a follow up to the band’s self-recorded 2013 debut, “Songs from the Pond.” Here’s what Shadbolt had to say about the band’s past and future.

Where did you get the idea for the band name?

We struggled with a name for months and mostly avoided the decision until we started playing gigs and it became a necessity. Folks in our open-mic circle were calling us the Rock Bottom Band for a short time. My wife and I were watching the movie “Napoleon Dynamite” one evening and a line from the closing scene gave us a chuckle. “I caught you a delicious bass.” The key there is that it is bass, as in the fish. It is a nod to the movie, but also to our state and surrounding Great Lakes. Fishing is a hobby for many in the band. Many people wrongly assume our name refers to low frequencies or our bassist, Nathan, in some way. However, when you see our artwork around on flyers or album covers, you’ll notice that often the art includes a fish.

What bands did you guys play in before this one?
Ed and I were in Afterglow. Before that Ed was in Epicenter and I was in 10center. More recently, Will was in The Elevator Conspiracy and he has a side project called The Sweet World of Arthur White. For Will especially, there are many other bands that extend back many years.

What’s up with the fundraiser at (SCENE)?
We are excited to begin the recording of our second album on March 1 at Elm Street Recording in Lansing. Over the past year we set aside a percentage of our earnings to go toward the upcoming album recording and production. However, we are still short of what we estimate will be needed to see the process through from start to finish. Our show at (SCENE) on Friday will help us cover the remainder of the anticipated recording cost. The standard cover will be $5, although additional donations will be warmly accepted, and a few remaining copies of our first CD will be available for purchase.

What’s it like playing in a band in Lansing these days?
Lansing is still home base for us, although our drummer, Will, did relocate to Traverse City last August. We tend to play a lot of microbreweries, farmers markets, art events and festivals. Such a schedule means we play out a lot during the warm half of the year and then retreat with the cold season to write, sip hot cocoa and snow blow our driveways. We tend to come out of hibernation and get restless by mid-winter, which led us to record in March of 2013 and again now in March 2014.

Delicious Bass - album fundraiser

@ (SCENE) Metrospace

110 Charles, East Lansing

Friday, Feb. 28