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The Big Nekkid
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The Big Nekkid's Profile
The Big Nekkid is a four piece rock act whose sound is the culmination of all four members’ upbringing on classic rock, blues, and improvisational music. In addition to their regular schedule, The Big Nekkid headlined the first annual Sewaneroo Music Festival at The University of the South in Sewanee, TN, and were finalists in the Red Gorilla Productions Battle of the Bands at Zydeco in Birmingham, AL, in 2009. The Birmingham based band has spent 2010 playing colleges/clubs, recording their first full-length album, and opening up for national acts such as Cowboy Mouth, Moon Taxi, Tonic & Coolio. During the course of a Big Nekkid set, one can expect inspired solos from all four members and an original four-piece sound that stems from their collaborative song-writing process.
Lead singer and guitarist Ben Brooks, bassist Will Sommerville, and drummer Roger Jones formed The Big Nekkid as a trio in Selma, AL. Taylor Garrett joined The Big Nekkid in 2009. Ben Brooks’ playing is heavily inspired by the sounds of Neil Young, John Fogerty, Jimmy Page, and more recent guitarists who have carried the classic rock guitar sound into the twenty-first century. Taylor Garrett’s lead guitar sound has developed out of his mutual affinity with Brooks for classic rock guitarists such as David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, and Eric Clapton as well as guitarists such as Umphrey’s McGee's Jake Cinninger and Brendan Bayliss, Phish's Trey Anastasio, and John Scofield. Will Sommerville’s appreciation for the work of bass players such as Les Claypool of Primus, and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin compliments Brooks' and Garrett’s sound. Drummer Roger Jones takes cues from Billy Martin of Medeski, Martin, and Wood, and jazz great Bill Stewart, among countless other percussionists in a variety of genres.
The Big Nekkid’s demo has been circulating around the Southeast since 2006. Their touring schedule consists of year-round dates in bars, clubs, and at universities across the Southeast. Currently unsigned to a record label, The Big Nekkid’s first full-length album, "Cosmic Baby," is scheduled to be released in June 2010.
January 26, 2008
August 8, 2010
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The Big Nekkid's Journal
Tue 2/16/2010 8:45PM
Solid songwriting with hooks, tasteful guitar playing, and a pleasing blend of rock styles!
The Big Nekkid - Birmingham Black & White
Tue 2/16/2010 8:37PM
The Setlist(Birmingham Black & White)
By: J. R Taylor
The Big Nekkid
The Big Nekkid would have been cowpunks or
jangly power-pop guys in the '80s, or opening
for the Marshall Tucker Band in the '70s. This
decade ﬁnds these Alabama kids stuck with a
dumb name and a jam-band scene that doesn't
know what to do with an inventive four-piece
rock act. The Big Nekkid has remained more
interesting than most of their inﬂuences, but it's
a good idea to see them before they add a bongo
player and sprout dreadlocks. (Friday,
December 11, at Open Door Cafe and Friday
December 18, Zydeco
Budding Bands: The Big Nekkid
Tue 2/16/2010 8:30PM
The Sewanee Purple
Budding Bands: The Big Nekkid
By Andrew Cotten
My mother used to tell me that there is a distinct difference between being naked and being nekkid. If you are naked, it is for cleaning purposes, but if you are nekkid, you are up to no good. And the Birmingham-based band, The Big Nekkid, most accurately depicts this truth with their Rock and Roll music corrupting youth all across the Southeast.
Our university has a close tie to this band through their drummer, Roger Jones. Jones graduated in 2007 from the University, and during his four years here in Sewanee, he was the drummer of the legendary student band Pequod. I, like most of the senior class, the last generation of Pequod-ians if you will, was completely enthralled by Pequod. Their shows were energetic, their musicianship was unequivocal, and their fan base was deeply entrenched, but as with all good things, Pequod faded into the fog. Despite what you may be thinking, this article is not a VH1 “Where are they now” expose or a nostalgic “Remembering Pequod” piece, but in fact, an article about Roger Jones’ other band, The Big Nekkid.
The Big Nekkid started undressing in 2002, first as a three-piece, then four-piece jam band of friends in high school. After seven years of indecent exposure, the Big Nekkid finally found their missing link; guitarist Taylor Garrett. Before then, the Big Nekkid was a bashful, fig leaf covered, barely nude group of friends who played music together, but after Taylor joined the band, The Big Nekkid fully disrobed into their professional birthday suit. Over the past six months, the Big Nekkid has practiced religiously and performed relentlessly. Last year, the Mountaintop Musicians invited the Big Nekkid to play Sewanaroo as the headlining band and that show really opened up my eyes to how good this band actually is.
Drummer Roger Jones brings precision and creativity to the mix with seemingly effortless ease, while bassist Will Sommerville harkens the groovin’ and gallivanting styles of Les Claypool and John Lockwood of Medeski, Martin, and Wood. Lead Vocalist, Ben Brooks sings in that down home Southern draw rasp, but he can actually pull off a clear melody that does not just sound like a pack of cigarettes trying to talk. Lead Guitarist, Taylor Garrett brings a style to the jam-based jumble not to different from Jake Cinninger of Umphrey’s Mcgee;the pristine sound, the prog rock fusion riffs. The Big Nekkid’s style of music, in their own words are “Southern, tasty, energetic, eclectic, and funky,” and I honestly cannot think of a better stream of adjective to describe such a band. Last week, I interviewed Roger Jones about the band, and here is what he had to say:
AC: What separates the Big Nekkid from any other aspiring jam rock band out there?
RJ: We pull from so many different influences in our music-we all grew up listening to classic rock like The Allman Brothers, Cream, Hendrix, Zeppelin, CSN, etc., but our more contemporary influences vary widely. Roger pulls from more groove based, jazz bands such as MMW and John Scofield; Will listens to a lot of Les Claypool, Tool, Big Head Todd, and Umphrey’s McGee; Ben listens to My Morning Jacket, Drive by Truckers, The Whigs; Taylor is heavily influenced by many prog and jam bands such as Rush, Umphrey’s McGee, Dream Theater, Phish, etc. All these influences come through not only in our original music but also the covers we play. In any given set you can hear a song by the Allman Brothers, Ween, The Band, Phish, then Sugarloaf with an original or two in between.
AC: What is your repertoire ratio of covers to originals?
RJ: Right now it’s about 5:1 covers to originals, but we’re currently working on new material with the hope of playing all original shows soon.
AC: What do you enjoy more: playing bars of frat. houses?
RJ: Bars are always good to us, but they rarely match the energy of a frat party. We tend to feed off of the crowd’s enthusiasm, and fraternities have proven to be the most enthusiastic crowds.
AC: Have outlets like Myspace been beneficial or harmful for the Big Nekkid?
RJ: Myspace has been extremely beneficial to us as well as any other up-and-coming band just like Twitter, Facebook, Sonicbids, etc. Not only does it allow us to get our music out to our fans for free, but since it’s a social networking site, it allows us to get our music out to those who haven’t had a chance to see us in a live setting.
AC: As an aspiring band, do you find it difficult to sell your music?
RJ: No. People love free CDs.
AC: What has it been like now that Taylor has joined the band?
RJ: The Big Nekkid is doing better than ever. Since Taylor joined, we’ve gained the momentum we’ve been looking for in terms of writing new material and playing shows. We have become much more productive and disciplined in our practice routine with Taylor as well. Also, everyone seems to be a lot more confident about the future of the band.
AC: If you could be under any record label’s wing who would it be?
RJ: Anyone that would push us to develop our sound without trying to make us something we aren’t while still promoting us to as large an audience as possible.
AC: What are some of your favorite contemporary bands that are out there trying to “make it?”
RJ: Dexateens, Moon Taxi, The Steps, Honeybaked, Sommerville, The Selmanaires.
AJ: What is on the horizon for The Big Nekkid?
RJ: Currently working on material for an Album due out in the spring, pushing ourselves to get on the bill with some other larger acts and festivals, putting out more albums than Frank Zappa, becoming the Shenanigan’s house band, and, of course playing Sewaneroo in the spring.
Songs to look out for: “Crimson Blue” “Burned Again” “Bass dance” “As for Consequence
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