Nearly two years after their farewell performance, Boston's power trio Who's The Fat Guy? is getting ready to play a reunion show. Picking up right where they left off, WTFG? is playing Bill's Bar in Boston on Friday, May 21, 2004.

In September of 2002, a month after WTFG? played their "final" sold out show at Bill's Bar, keyboardist/vocalist Mark Ross left Boston for the sun, smog, and celebrity of L.A. His band had spent the previous three years building a loyal following, writing music, and recording an album of original funk rock. Ross, bassist/vocalist Kurtis Shakemore, and drummer Brad Cumberbatch created a unique sound somewhere between the space groove of Medeski Martin & Wood and the alternative rock of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

What set Who's the Fat Guy? apart from so many other bands in the jam band genre was their ability to write well-crafted songs. While other bands focused on the art of jamming, looking at the song as a launching pad for the jam, WTFG? put the melody first and let the hot jams follow. Catchy choruses and intricate harmonies were placed on top of thumping bass and heavy hitting beats, to create a sound few could resist dancing to.

Over the course of three years, WTFG? went from playing for a handful of friends at the Cantab Lounge to one of the most popular club bands in the northeast. In 2000 and 2001, WTFG? focused on building their fan base by playing over 60 shows a year. At home in Boston, their live shows progressed from the small club days of Wally's Jazz Cafe and the Cantab to showcase slots at Bill's Bar and Harpers Ferry. They split bills with national heavyweights like ulu and Merl Saunders. Outside of Boston, the band built a solid following in Portland, ME, Cape Cod, Hartford, NYC, and Philadelphia. When they weren't on the road, they were hard at work on their debut studio album, 14 lb. Ball, Please.

By 2002, Who's The Fat Guy? proved to be one of the most powerful up and coming bands on the scene. In February, the studio CD 14 lb. Ball, Please was released. The CD received praise from the Boston press, with glowing reviews in the Boston Herald Online and Metronome magazine.

In the summer of 2002, the band announced it would play its farewell show. The performance at Bill's was a night to remember, with two high-energy sets of original music. Underneath the disco ball and above the giant subwoofer, WTFG? transformed Bill's into an all out dance party for the last time. Now they're gearing up to do it again. The songs and the grooves that we all know and love will live one more time, on May 21. Don't miss your chance to check out this amazing band, who knows if it will happen again.

JamBase | Boston
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[Published on: 4/29/04]

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