Artist Profile- The Big Takeover

Artist Profile- The Big Takeover

Ok ok, so maybe I stalked The Big Takeover a little bit.  As soon as you hit a link below and press ‘play’ you are going to know why.  And if you don’t, then I just don’t know if there is anything I can do for you!  Utica needs some of this sound and I am almost unable to contain myself at the thought of getting some of this shock wave splashed all over me in my home base!

“We work hard and do what we do because we have a great desire to make people dance and escape through music.”  NeeNee Rushie

What a coincidence, NeeNee, that’s pretty much what the festival organizers are all about, too!  Match made in heaven, soundtrack provided by some rock-steady angels.  You may have heard some of The Big Takeover the last time I was around town, since I made my friend blast it out of the windows while I enthusiastically called out ‘See them in September!’  Yeah, really.  But, only a couple of times.  So in case you haven’t heard, let me talk to you about this.  The energy and power in the sound of this music is unlike most of what I’ve heard before.  The Big Mean Sound Machine, an instrumental fusion group in the Ithaca area, is the only other group that springs to mind for me that I could compare that energy too (gotta drop fest artist Swift Technique‘s name on that point, too, though!).  Maybe it’s the horns and the incredible tone of Rushie’s vocal, which is pointed and precise at all times.  What I’m saying is, it sort of does something to you.  NeeNee called it a “10 man army” and that feels really appropriate.

More about that army and the history of their battle cry- “Sam and Rob (drummer and bassist) grew up together always sharing the dream of playing reggae music. When I met Sam in 2005, he introduced me to Rob as the front woman of their future reggae band…haha!  It took us a while to find a guitar player (about 2 years), then it started to come together. Sam invited his cousin Andy (trombone) to one of our jam sessions, and he immediately fit in. Then one day, the right guitarist (Jon Klenck) auditioned, and from there we knew that we had found something special. Two shows down the road, Chas (sax), an old friend of Andy’s came by to jam with us and almost 400 shows later, I look to my left and he’s still there.  We would write songs that sounded like reggae, but weren’t quite reggae because we all came from different backgrounds such as jazz, blues, rock and roll… We would all put our own stamp on each song and it worked.”

Even the full band listing is impressive: Rob Kissner- bass, Sam Tritto- drums, NeeNee Rushie- Lead Vocals, Andrew Vogt- Trombone/Flute/Backup Vocals, Chas Montrose- Saxophone, [Jon Klenck- Guitar, orginally].  Additional people in the mix are:  Billy Trimarchi- Guitar, Jose Lopez- Guitar, Lora Cohan- Keyboard, Gusatvo Brasil- Percussion, Paul- Trumpet.  Though the band played their last show with guitarist, Jon Klenck, this year at Mountain Jam, they have been experimenting with a lot of guest sit ins and colors to their sound.

NeeNee and the band had a great time on the Mountain Jam stage and (thanks to a great audience energy- hint, hint, Utica.  Show them what U got.) and on August 12th, The Big Takeover is looking forward to opening for Black Uhru at The Chance in Poughkeepsie.  And then, they are coming at you!  “We’ve never been a part of a festival like UMAF before. We’ve done street fests and music fests, but I think UMAF combines both aspects, and we are looking forward to being a part of this.”  And, they’re happy to come back to visit again soon if you’d like to have them.

Don’t miss these guys!  Here are the details on when you can see them:

Celtic Harp  9/15 @ 6:00 p.m.

Varick Street Stage (Greens Fest!) 9/17 @ 1:30 p.m.

Sample the album title track, Tale of My Life here! 

If nothing else, these shoes should convince you!

TBT on the www platform:

Official Website

The Big Takeover on Myspace

The Big Takeover on Facebook

Buy your weekend pass to the UMAF!



About MLW

Buzz Machine/buzz saw, Semi Professional Mouth, and Freelance Writer. Extreme enthusiast of the Utica Music and Arts Festival, a yearly event held in September in Utica, New York. I'm not an A&R girl, but I play one on tv. Let's collaborate!

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