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New Orleans weds Brooklyn

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 12, 2009 7:20 AM

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mp3 sample: Rubblebucket

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On the surface, Rubblebucket is a nine-piece, Northeastern U.S. band. But digging a little deeper reveals the Afro-beat, high-energy dance-rock experience, which lead vocalist and tenor sax player Kalmia Traver described in detail.

“Someone recently said we sound as if New Orleans and Brooklyn had a love child, it would be Rubblebucket,” she said. “It really gets to the huge, big, old, brassy, funky, rough sound of New Orleans meets the more rock-edge-indie, modern Brooklyn sort of thing.”

Rubblebucket hopes to fill up the Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St., at 9 p.m. Friday. Admission is $7.

Rubblebucket has been recognized for its unique style of music, and the newspaper Seven Days Vermont awarded the title of “Best New Band of 2008” to the group. Previous titleholders include Grace Potter & the Nocturnals and Phish. Rubblebucket also claimed a victory at Relix Magazine’s Jam-Off competition in July 2008.

The band also experienced success locally in its participation in Camp Euforia this past summer.
“When we played Camp Euforia, that was like the best thing ever,” Traver said. “I think people started to catch on, and they were impressed, and they enjoyed the music.”

Rubblebucket is back for another round, and it will be as exceptional — or even more exhilarating and entertaining — than the group’s last visit. With eight or nine (depending on the night) band members on stage, the group creates a party. The members make sure to interact with their fans, leading stretches, going crazy in the crowds, and conducting phenomenal dance frenzies and clapping convulsions.

“We love to bring a dance party, and we love to see people dance. It just makes us so happy, and it really helps our energy,” Traver said. “We really really love to try to interact with the audience and do call and responses and clap your hands, and sometimes we even run out into the audience.”

Rubblebucket released its self-titled album on Oct. 1, a soulful, spunky, flourish of funk and tranquilizing tunes, giving Iowa City even more to tread and twist to than on its prior visit.

The band may have added more tracks to its setlist, but Traver is as excited as ever to come back.

“We just really got a good taste for the Iowa crew,” she said. “And we know that they like to get down.”

— by Alissa Rosen


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