THREE TIMES BAD is “a hot new string band born from the soundtrack to the critically acclaimed, transmedia novel badbadbad” (Hood River News) by group leader Jesus Angel Garcia. Based in Oakland and San Francisco, California, THREE TIMES BAD plays “dirty American roots music” (The Register-Guard) that’s both genre-defying and inclusive.
The band’s debut studio recording, AMERICAN SOJOURN, was released in May 2014 with an epic multimedia (music/dance/film) event at Slim’s, one of the Bay Area’s top venues. The CD was named “ALBUM OF THE WEEK” on Mike Morrison’s American Roots radio program. “It is a brilliantly conceived album,” says Morrison. “There is a mastery of their instruments and arrangements that enables them to roam at will through various old-time genres that contain not only a large slice of ‘hillbilly,’ but also folk, a little western swing, blues, jazz, all played in their own inimitably unique style.”
THREE TIMES BAD is nothing if not hard to pin down. Recognizing “a hint of ‘vaudeville’” in the group’s sound, Morrison says, “They are certainly not a bluegrass band,” while Music Junkie Press believes the combo is “breathing fresh new life into American bluegrass… with a variety of musical influences such as hillbilly swing, outlaw country, Gypsy jazz, honkytonk, folk songs, and much more… bring[ing] back that nostalgic feel for a time where music held a common thread that cemented friendships and bonds were forged.” The Good Men Project simply states: “This is Americana music, the kind borne of community. It’s real…. Their lyrics also carry the kind of weight you’d expect of reflective singer/songwriter music, and while they’ve got sit-by-the-fire humor, songs like ‘No More, No Less’ come out, and the words make you realize that you need to go back and listen to everything a little more carefully.”
Many of the lyrics on AMERICAN SOJOURN come directly from scenes in the novel, which trains its high beams on 21st century Americana, where sex, God and rock ‘n’ roll meet the social web. In his five-star review of the book, James Greer (Guided by Voices) wrote, “Garcia aims to unsettle your assumptions about class, about gender, about sex, about religion, about identity: in short, about yourself, and what it means to be human in an inhuman world.” THREE TIMES BAD carries on this artistic exploration with a Southern Gothic approach to songwriting and dynamic live performances in the family of the Devil Makes Three and Old Crow Medicine Show — with a nod to Americana forefathers Uncle Dave Macon, Jimmie Rodgers, and Bill Monroe.
Led by unrepentant freak preacher/transmedia artist Jesus Angel (on acoustic guitar, banjo, and lead vocals), THREE TIMES BAD performs in various configurations, from septet to duo, and often welcomes guest players on the stage. The current core bandmates include virtuosic mandolinist Doubting Thomas Romero, French Gypsy fiddler St. Jean-Pierre Duboucheron, American Heartland fiddler St. Claire Grinton, upright bassist St. Megan McDevitt, uke slinger St. Caroline Alegre, and the latest additions to the extended family: singer-stomper-dancers Cousin Casey Ann O’Brien and Sister Patricia Price. In the great American roots tradition, everyone in the group sings.
Performing throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and up and down the Pacific Coast, THREE TIMES BAD has appeared at a number of festivals, including all three days at the Ink n Iron Festival (with headliner Iggy & the Stooges), two consecutive years at the Humboldt Hills Hoedown (with Hellbound Glory, Pine Box Boys, the Brothers Comatose, Hillstomp, Dead Winter Carpenters, Hot Buttered Rum, and other world-class roots bands), and Bend Summer Fest (with Larry & His Flask). In the Bay Area, festival gigs include San Francisco Free Folk Fest, Mission Creek Oakland Music & Arts Fest, Brews on the Bay, Hillbilly Robot, and Beast Crawl. In the summer of 2015, the band will return to the Ink n Iron Fest in Long Beach and also perform at the inaugural Ink n Iron Fest: Nashville, showcasing “Legends of the Sun Record Company.”
Videos and short films are currently in production for all 15 songs on AMERICAN SOJOURN. “No More No Less” was selected as “VIDEO OF THE DAY” at Oregon Music News, “In Love with the Reverend’s Wife” premiered on DeliRadio in August, and “Resurrection Specialist” will premiere on Vol. 1 Brooklyn once we we finally finish production!