When Rubblebucket Orchestra performs‚ everyone in the band is intensely into it. The 10-piece ensemble sways back and forth‚ eyes closed‚ a lot of times letting the pulse of the music ignite uncontrollable movement. Their foundation begins with a groove. The horns blaze in and out‚ while guitar ripples and organ comps flavor and fill the air. Everyone in the band adds their complimentary part to the train of sound; it's all psychedelic and Afrobeat‚ making you‚ hopefully‚ shake your ass and let your mind wander. Take a look up at the band: Yep‚ nobody onstage is worrying about how they look. Beautifully stoned‚ their youthful exuberance is matched with skill‚ and immediately they remind you‚ or inform you‚ that it's all right let your guard down and leave your snarky baggage at the door.
Their debut album‚ Rose's Dream‚ strongly carries their spirit. When David Sleininger starts to build his guitar solo on "Red Line Beat" it sounds so refreshing‚ not only in originality-part jazz phrasing‚ part acid rock exploring-but also because there's only one‚ maybe two other moments on the album where he becomes the center of attention. That's what makes this band so spirited: for a ten-piece ensemble‚ they play great together as a unit. They epitomize the sum being greater than its parts‚ as nobody is out in the spotlight too much. When "Kuma" begins with the beautiful sound of Craig Myers' n'goni‚ it's only moments later that you hear lead vocalist Kalmia Traver come in‚ step up‚ dig deep and lay it all out. It feels like nine other people are urging her with full support to take it to the next level with a call-and-response chorus.
There's not a bad song on Rose's Dream. The band feels like musicians playing for only the sake of playing. You feel that spirit. If anything‚ listening to Rubblebucket is a moment in time when you feel like everything is going to work out-one of those small reminders that give you faith.