A Lafayette-grown band releases their latest album
The atmosphere of Cosmic Cup was pleasant and bustling this past Saturday morning at 10 AM. Johnny Cash music played in the background. Most bystanders could not have guessed that a Blues Rock show reverberated the dark walls of coffee shop only the night prior.
Alex Musso, who graduated from Lafayette in 2013, sat in the corner of the shop. As he sat in his chair, he chuckled and remarked how he played in the same exact spot in the cramped venue only hours before.
Alex is a guitarist for the band The Hoochie Coochie Men, a Blues Rock/Folk band formed at Lafayette in 2012. In addition to Alex, the band is composed of guitarist/vocalist Zach Gold ‘13, keyboardist/vocalist Joey Tumulty ‘14, bassist Grant Kempski ‘16, and drummer Brian Duke ‘16.
Each band member comes from a different musical background, giving their tunes a unique vibe. Zach and Alex are well-versed in country and delta blues. Joey grew up listening to jam band/soul, which is emulated in his velvety vocals. Grant lives for punk, while Brian is a fan of English Invasion artists such as Cream and Led Zeppelin.
The Hoochie Coochie Men were excited to be back on Lafayette’s campus to after the official release of their new album, “Big Blue Tree”, on Feb. 3.
The album’s mellow vibe, “aims to connect listeners with the soulful messages and melodies,” Musso said. Their lyrics are relatable, as many of the songs were written during the young band members’ tumultuous time in college. After the three older members graduated, they wrote newer songs that reflect the internal struggle between being in a band and handling the “real world.”
For instance, the fourth song on their album, “Living Alone” was written on the road as the young men toured the East Coast this past summer.
“‘Living Alone’ is about going your own way and doing what makes you happy,” Musso said. “For us at the time, that meant being on the road. Playing our music, sleeping in barns, meeting pretty girls…”
Meanwhile, other songs such as, “Here I Remain” focus on more serious matters, such as the human hardship of moving on and watching someone you love be happy without you.
“My favorite song to play, however, is Big Blue Tree,” Musso said. “The raw energy and power of its sound amps up the crowd and makes it a cool song to rock out to. We had a horn section from Nashville come in to record with us. It definitely filled in that missing piece.”
Being well-versed in music, the band aims to connect with their listeners by taking them to the same height they experience while playing. They achieve this through an all-inclusive approach, incorporating various sounds and subject manners into their songs.
Having enjoyed their performance at Cosmic Cup, The Hoochie Coochie Men look forward to returning to Lafayette on April 22 for an Earth Day event on the Quad. The band, in communication with a booking agent, anticipates a bright future of numerous shows and a summer tour.