In Burque, rock bands come and go. Some start out as basement projects and bloom into national headliners. Others rise up from the night only to fade at dawn like a summertime cactus flower.
Though it's generally difficult to tell what path this or that rockin' musical outfit will take as they proceed through rehearsals and toward performance, it's easy enough to listen. Through that experience one might discern qualities that qualify a particular rocanrol ensemble for admission to the next level.
Such is the case with Badd Fish, a band I chanced upon while visiting friends and walking through the hood.
Badd Fish is a quartet, young and old, featuring veteran Albuquerque guitarist Mark LaCava, singer Gil Garcia and a rhythm section consisting of Vic Maese and his son (also named Vic).
They're puro Burque and wear their affiliation with this town and its music scene proudly upon their sleeves and in their hearts.
Vocalist Garcia has been playing around town for at least twenty years, fronting projects Jazz One, Latin Passion and the System. He brings a blue and bold tone to LaCava's intensely intricate picking style. LaCava worked the rounds about town as a formidable singer-songwriter who also lent his talent to Spellbinder, a long lost jam band popular at joints like Sonny's back in the day.
Little Vic Maese, a technically savvy drummer, learned the ropes from his father, who plays bass. A native of El Paso, the elder Maese played bass in a West Texas metal formation known as Lethal Tricks. After coming up north, Vic the bassman was part of Good Green among many other locally popular acts.
Badd Fish is a new band, yet their passion and history reflect an expansive staying power that augments their down-to-earth attitudes and supplements their ability to rock out, grandly and formidably in our present-day music scene.
As a combo, they're tight like sprung steel, melodic like a summer evening on the bosque and as solid as the Sandia mountains. It's garage rock in a grand sense.
After months of rehearsal, Badd Fish will play out this weekend, in a series of concerts destined to demonstrate the goodness and grace of a music community loaded with homegrown talent.
Friday night, August 21, they gig at Sidelines Sports Bar and Grille (9211 Coors NW) from 8-12 pm. Badd Fish follows up their premiere engagement with a set at Neds (2509 San Mateo NE). They'll jam on the afternoon of Saturday August 22, from 3-6 pm before pulling out all the stops at their show at the Barley Room (5200 Eubank NE) that night from 8-12 pm.
Listen: I hear and see a heap of local bands as part of the job I love. Some of those bands are good, are okay. But Badd Fish is badass, yo. If you cherish the local scene as much as I do, then do yourself a solid and check these guys out. I really believe Badd Fish is at the beginning of a journey that will see them reach great heights while providing local audiences with a sound that is groovy, groovy fun filled with acute musicianship and knowing nuance.