The Backyard Blues Boys are an exciting, fresh blues band tracing it's roots to Portland, Oregon. The BBBs got their start back in 2008, with a core of five members. Today, the band includes seven - each bringing unique musical influences to the mix.
Initially playing at school performances and local competitions, the BBBs soon gained a diverse local following. Astonishingly, for their entire existence, this group has always been in school - high school, originally, and now college - spread across the U.S. from Oregon to Massachusetts, Louisiana, Michigan and Washington. Consequently, their live performances have been limited mostly to summer months. And yet, thanks in no small part to a great blues community in Portland, the band's popularity has steadily grown.
The band counts among it's favorite experiences it's past performances at the Waterfront Blues Festival (2009, 2011 and 2012), in front of the incredible festival crowd. The band is also thankful to all the local venues who have given them the opportunity to perform these past few years. When not away at school or performing live, they've managed to release an album in 2011 (Tradin' Twelves), and are on track for an additional release in the summer of 2013 (Black, White & Blue).
The BBB sound is versatile - sometimes you'll get straight-ahead electric blues, played Chicago style, or perhaps a covered blues classic, delivered with a Reggae twist. They cover a number of blues favorites as well as their own original songs, with Lucas Biespiel and Samantha Hooper giving voice to the lyrics. Main song-writer for the band, Biespiel is also an exceptional violinist - perhaps not an instrument you'd expect in a blues band, but it definitely works. Bass player Louie Leager and Drummer Garren Epley lay down the foundation for each song - longtime friends, their rhythmic musical chemistry is potent behind the band. Reuben Unrau and Wade Hilts share guitar duties - Unrau often taking lead and fusing jazz-esque riffs into his solos, while Hilts' gritty, rhythm and slide guitar work connects Unrau to Leager and Epley. And keyboardist Jason Morrison is equally comfortable backing his mates, or soaring into the lead with high energy solos that often get fans up to the dance floor.
Listening to their original material, you will definitely get a feel for their broader influences, as they are not afraid to work interesting jazz, hip-hop, R&B and soul flavors into their songs. These are dedicated musicians who work on their craft year-round - collaborating across distances and looking forward to their next chance to perform together.
Attending far-flung music programs definitely brings a wealth of new ideas to the group, making them anything but predictable. And when the band is not performing together, you are likely to find them collaborating on other projects - performing, writing, producing or even promoting the work of others. Check their website and social media sites to learn the latest on what the band is up to.