Spins on Music’s featured “Local Spins Live” group boasts an impressive song catalog, terrific harmonies, a rich Grand Rapids history and a sense of humor.
Dave Marsh, Mark VanderKolk, Mary Rademacher and Pete Bardolph made it Lazy Blue Tunas Day on Local Spins Live.
The Lazy Blue Tunas even had me wondering.
In typical tongue-in-cheek fashion, the veteran Grand Rapids band teased fans online before this week’s Local Spins Live show by hinting that my “probing questions may expose long-kept secrets regarding the band’s shocking lifestyle and relationships.”
In a separate promotional e-mail, guitarist-singer Dave Marsh also suggested it might make quite the expose: “Which shocking rumors are true? What really happens at those long rehearsals? Can they sing this early in the day?”
I’m not sure about any “shocking rumors,” but these Tunas proved they definitely can sing in the morning: Their in-studio cover version of The Tremeloes’ “Here Comes My Baby” (penned by Cat Stevens) delivered Wednesday at
News Talk 1340 AM was spot-on, with fine four-part harmonies to boot.
Listen to the full podcast of this week’s Local Spins Live show here, and watch a video of the band’s performance below. (You can check out last week’s featured artist, Jimmy Dillon, here.)
Those harmonies and up-front vocals form the trademark of this lively, acoustic cover band with a dozen years of experiencing playing Grand Rapids-area venues, and a big reason why they’ve packed bars with a devoted audience.
But this is also a band that hasn’t stood still. Not content with the same-old, same-old, Marsh, fellow guitarist Pete Bardolph and bassist Mark VanderKolk earlier this year added a dynamic new singer to the fold: Mary Rademacher, an award-winning vocalist well-known in jazz, pop and cabaret circles.
Not only has that pumped up their sound, but it’s pushed Lazy Blue Tunas to expand and update their repertoire of songs – an impressive catalog, to be sure, including everything from The Beatles to Bonnie Raitt to Coldplay to Motown favorites to Sara Bareilles.
The collaboration developed after the Tunas approached Rademacher about the possibility of working on a side project, but that all changed after their first rehearsal early this year.
“I always secretly wanted to be a member of the Lazy Blue Tunas anyway,” Rademacher concedes.
Ah, that must be one of those long-kept secrets.
The band – with a name culled from three defunct groups in which its original members (including Scott Vander Ark) were once involved – describes its music as “eclectic acoustic,” Bardolph says, because nothing else really seems to fit.
But don’t assume from this label that the Lazy Blue Tunas are some staid, laid-back folk outfit. This is a band that pumps up its audiences and encourages sing-alongs, but still prides itself on making sure the lyrics can be heard.
Folks can hear that for themselves this weekend, with the Lazy Blue Tunas playing at 9 p.m. Friday in their debut show at Grattan Irish Pub in Grattan, followed by an 8 p.m. Saturday performance at one of their regular stomping grounds, Riverbend Bar & Grill in Ada.
For more about the band, and a full schedule which includes its popular Christmas shows at One Trick Pony and other area venues, visit the Lazy Blue Tunas official website.
But don’t expect to find any juicy gossip.
Lazy Blue Tunas on Local Spins Live 10/24/12
“Here Comes My Baby” YouTube
Used with Permission from John Sinkevics “Local Spins” www.LocalSpins.com
11/2 – 11/5