BC and the Big Rig ~ Do You Remember How to Rock and Roll?
BC and the Big Rig ~ Do You Remember How to Rock and Roll?
By Tonya Little
Tulsa, Okla. – New music with new sounds is what you can expect from BC and the Big Rig’s sophomore album, Do You Remember How to Rock and Roll, which was officially released January 13. The band, which is celebrating its second year together this month, doesn’t want to be confined to a certain genre or sound. They want to explore all the musical possibilities that tickle their fancy. Their first album, Day Late and a Dollar Short, came out in September 2015 and was mostly built around the “shred dirt” kind of sound, a mix of southern rock and red dirt. However this new album clearly breaks out of that box and brings us back to a good old fashioned rock and rock vibe.
“Our musical influences on all 5 of us are so different, so it’s really a lot of everybody’s influences finally coming to the forefront of things,” explained Brandon Clark. “I can hear so many different bands that have influenced all 5 of us on the new record.”
The band is made up of Clark on guitar and vocals, Sam Naifeh on lead guitar, Ryan McCall on lead guitar, James Purdy on drums and Chris Bell on bass guitar. Every member of the band also sings and gives backing vocals, as well as collaborates to write all of the songs. Each of these musicians brings great talent and skill to the band, each one a phenomenal musician in their own right. Which means when mixed all together it just makes the sweet sounds swell exponentially. They all had equal input in to the entire album, helping to write and create the songs as a whole unit instead of as individuals.
“We did the entire thing ourselves. We wrote, arranged, recorded, mixed, everything. It really is our sound and we are proud of it. All of us worked hard on and put in the time to make it something special for us,” said McCall. “We all work very well together so our ideas flow very nicely. We really feel like a ‘band’, because we are. We aren't just hired guns, and that's a really great feeling.”
The album was recorded at their own studio, The Shack Studio, located at Bell’s house in Sapulpa. The songs were mixed by Naifeh, and mastered by The Sound Lab at Diskmakers. The album features 9 songs, 8 of them were written and arranged by the band and one of them is a Randy Crouch cover, which also features the Oklahoma musical icon on vocals. In fact the song “High as the Price of Gas” was recorded in a kitchen at a party in Tahlequah during the Testicle Festival.
“We hadn’t been able to get Randy in the studio with us here in town, so we set up a mobile unit and took it to that party,” said Clark. “We actually set it up in our friend’s kitchen and while the party was going on we stole Randy for about an hour and he came into the kitchen and recorded that vocal part.”
The album starts off strong with the title track, setting the stage for the rock adventure that the album is going to take you on. It’s a toe tapping, guitar shredding, drum pounding song that gets you in the spirit to move and rock with lyrics that remind you how to rock and roll, just in case you had forgotten. Clark’s vocals are strong and spirited and help move it along with the engaging lyrics. “Opinions (Sorry for Partying)” is an in-your-face, ironically non-apologetic (even though ‘sorry’ is in the title) tune that paints a true picture of life on the stage in the music biz and some of the inevitable things it comes with. “Diggydiggybumpbump” is a fun, fast paced rocking ditty tinged with a bit of funk and groove. The greasy grooving guitar solo is piece of shredding work and there’s a Cain’s Ballroom mention thrown in there to pay homage to their Tulsa roots. “The River” opens with some simple but effective guitar licks that lead into a rocking ballad filled with interesting lyrics and layered sounds, instruments and vocals giving it a fantastic level of depth and character. The rapid fire drumming towards the end of the song builds the tension and leads into a powerful sizzling guitar solo before wrapping up on a slowed down beat. “Flood” is a leisurely paced bluesy tune filled with a bit of funk and groove but also clearly tinged with basic rock elements. It’s a little over two and half minutes of mostly an instrumental song with just a bit of almost haunting backing vocals that wrap it up with an uplifting message. “Recipe” is a thundering paced song with brassy and growling vocals that demands attention and is impossible not move along to. The drum and guitar solo are almost whimsical and playful, building up to a break neck speed ending with Clark all but screaming the lyrics, in your face rock and roll. “The Sauce” is a slow and funky tune filled with bluesy riffs and grooving guitars, a three and a half minute jam song with spirit and soul. “Mississippi” is a bluesy, seductively paced rocking song filled with intensity and bite, it has head banging drum beats and a funky guitar solo that pull it all together. The lyrics and vocals are bold and in your face. “High as the Price of Gas” featuring Crouch, wraps it all up nicely. It’s a fierce yet fun song, and Crouch’s earthy and scruffy vocals interspersed with Clark’s lend the perfect dynamic mix to the rocking and brazen anthem.
There’s also a lot to be said about the cover art for this album, which adds some humor and flair to the whole thing as well.
“I think the cover is hilarious. I think it just shows how not serious we are about everything,” explained Clark. “It’s our Saturday morning cartoon. We picked our own characters. Well, mine comes from an old Mercury Lounge poster.”
Although they started with a whole different concept, they scratched it when they thought it might be considered political in some way when that wasn’t what they were going for. What they ended up with was something much more interesting and fun.
“When we were deciding on album artwork, we wanted to do something different. We didn't just want the train track album cover. So we went wild with it. We picked outrageous character versions of ourselves,” explained McCall.
McCall chose a guitar super hero, Purdy picked Ram-Man from He-Man, Naifeh is a Lebanese warrior and Bell is a wizard. Artist Ian Robinson, who has created numerous Mercury Lounge posters, created and painted the album cover based on their descriptions. It was all hand done, nothing was computer generated, and the wooden painting now hangs in their studio at Bell’s home. Clark says you can count on those same cartoon characters to return for subsequent albums in new and interesting ways. In fact he says they almost have enough songs ready to go for the next one.
“We’ve been writing some crazy, groovy, funky shit, so get ready,” said Clark. “There’s no telling how it will turn out, but it’s going to be good. We might just fall flat on our face but at least the five of us will like it.”
You can find the new album on Itunes, Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify and more. You can also go to the band website, www.bcandthebigrig.com for more information. The band will be on the Rocklahoma music festival again this year, as well as at Sturgis, keeping them anchored in the rocking scene.