Blues and Lasers is a band formed in late 2007 from Burlington, VT. Their sound focuses on the tradition and roots of Delta blues and rock & roll music contrasted with an experimental edge (i.e. the lasers). Blues and Lasers is comprised of Scott Tournet (vocals, lead guitar, harmonica) Matt Burr (drums), and Bryan Dondero (bass, Moog, Theramin) of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Benny Yurco (vocals, lead guitar) of the Turkey Bouillon Mafia, and local Burlington drummer Steve Sharon. While drawing obvious comparisons to the Allman Brothers for their use of two drummers and dueling lead guitars, B & L have forged a sound all their own that is both recognizable and new. “We wanted something heavier, bluesier, and riskier,” states Tournet. “The force of Led Zeppelin, the swampy groove of the Delta blues, the guitars of the late ’60’s and ’70’s, juxtaposed with the sounds of our generation… like blips and bleeps and weird noises and feedback swirling around.”
While much of 2008 was spent dedicated to Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, B & L still found the time to put out their self-titled debut Blues & Lasers in late August. The album was recorded live in a vacant club in downtown Burlington in two days. They decided to test their philosophy of old vs. new as they recorded to a 2 track tape machine with room mics, while simultaneously multi-tracking all the instruments to Pro-Tools. After the two day session they spent a couple weeks in the studio and went a little OK Computer on what they had previously recorded during the two day session. It turned into a 5 song, 40 minute monster complete with inspired improvisation, arranged sections, and sheets of sound.
Blues and Lasers perform Saturday night (1/17) at Sullivan Hall in New York City.
Widespread Panic filled Sunday night’s setlist with surprises and threw a bunch of jams into their Capitol Theatre finale. ScottyB shares his take along with Adam McCullough’s photos and pro-shot video of the entire show.