Since their inception in 2009, Boston based funk band Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket has blazed a groove-laiden trail across the indie/underground music scene. The ten-piece band made their debut slugging out long sweaty sets of their all-original trademark funk in the beer-soaked, dimly lit music clubs of Boston’s most notorious boroughs. And wherever Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket was playing, the club was sold-out. Nobody in the place sat down, and the band never stopped playing as all eyes were fixed on the stage--each pair of feet shuffling to the music wherever they stood. In the year to follow they stole the ears and hearts of festival goers from Northern Maine to the Southern coast of Massachusetts with captivating late-night performances. By the end of 2011, Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket had built a dedicated following throughout the New England and Tri-State areas—and that’s a noteworthy accomplishment because the band didn’t even release their nationally distributed debut album until June of 2012.
Then again, Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket is hard not to notice; their size, showmanship, and dynamic power commands an awe-striking presence that’s not soon forgotten by those who experience it. The band even caught the attention of funk legends “Clip” Payne and Michael “Kidd Funkadelic” Hampton, of Parliament-Funkadelic. So powerful was Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket’s groove that Hampton was compelled to join the band on stage for a jam session, sitting in on guitar as the band performed “Photonic Amplifier People.”
Fronted by New Jersey native Sarah “Lil Shrimp” Seminski with support from Boston-bred emcee Lord Micah (a.k.a. “Big Daddy Disco”), the vocal work is at the forefront in the band, creating a very unique hybrid of classic funk/Soul and modern Hip Hop/R&B. Seminski’s powerful voice soars across each song with a soulful resonance that is equally spicy and sweet, while Lord Micah raps with the rhythm and rhyme of a machine gun. Beneath the superb vocal work, the sonic space is held by the tremendous, nine piece ensemble, featuring a full compliment of horns and percussion, that undulates with a pulse and pop that recalls the hard-hitting deep funk grooves of the 60’s and 70’s.
Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket's musical influences are evident in several tracks from their debut album, and they run the gamut of the Funk genre and it’s many diverse, yet unified sounds. The album’s opening track, “Photonic Amplifier People”, smashes through the gates with a hard-hitting urgency reminiscent of Earth Wind and Fire’s “The Getaway”, as a steady up-tempo beat is punctuated by horn stabs and propulsive basslines. “Light That Spliff” is sure to draw comparisons to a James Brown number with it’s signature “chicken scratch” rhythm, as guitarist Ryan “EZ money” Green sings about the harmless virtues of a good toke. “Chuck” is a standout track on the album with a distinct riff-rock/Funk hybrid sound that almost pays homage to mid-70’s Funkadelic, complete with tongue-in-cheek lyrics and a blazing guitar solo that could set fire to steel. The title’s closing track “All Night Long and Once in the Morning” could’ve easily been pulled from the Ohio Player’s lost studio vaults. Keyboard swells and blasting horns create a distinctly 1970’s dance-club backdrop as the entire group shares vocal duties on the songs main call-and-response hook over a heavy dance groove. Though the band has clear and defined influences in their sound, their overall sonic signature, presentation, and song writing is wholly original and cuts out a distinctly modern urban sound, while still retaining the swagger of classic funk and soul music. "Mic Smoke" truly captures that essence with it's Hip Hop roots and hard driving groove, where Lord Micah's rapping tells the true story of Soul legend Smokey Robinson sharing inspirational words with a young Michael Jackson.
Upon the long-awaited release of their first studio album in April of 2012, Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket’s “Beantown Sound” gained international kudo’s, garnering positive reviews by music journalists in The United Kingdom, Pakistan, Brazil, and Japan while seeing album sales in Eastern Europe and Canada as well. International publications based in the U.S. took notice also, with High Times magazine putting their album review to print in the January ’13 issue, while the bands fan favorite “You Make me Feel (like dancin’)” was listed among The Boston Herald’s top songs of 2012, outranking several internationally recognized pop acts. Additionally, the Boston-based funkateers ranked #14 on the December ’12 radio charts as listed by jambands.com in The January/Febraury issue of Relix magazine.
In this age of “auto-tuned” vocals, where the music industry cranks out homogenized electronic sounds filled with vapid content, seemingly regurgitating “hit” songs for a “target audience”, Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket is at the forefront of a return to good popular music—made by human hands and souls, performed by real people, and meant to be enjoyed by all.