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Keeping local music alive

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI

KEYSTONE – About a year ago, there were at least 10 Summit County bands for bar owners to hire. Now there are only a handful.

“Summit County needs to keep its music scene alive because it seems like it’s falling apart up here,” said Tim Johnston, guitarist and vocalist.

That’s where Big Slick, Summit County’s newest local band, comes in.

Three leftover elements of AKA, Punk Whitey and Funky Discharge – all of which disbanded mostly due to the transient nature of the county – make up the band. Bassist Ricardo Ochoa and drummer Dave Duart are recent transplants in the county.

“Everyone seems to be committed and everyone likes to practice – we practice four nights a week – which is hard to find in Summit County,” Johnston said.

Big Slick doesn’t have the hard edge of AKA and Punk Whitey or the jam-orientation of Funky Discharge. Instead, it has more of a funky, psychedelic flair.

“It’s mostly original, progressive twang, funk, porno jazz with a rock edge,” Johnston said. “Stick around. You’ll eventually hear something you like. The Big Slick is a pretty darn good opening hand in poker.”

“I wouldn’t call it a jam band, but we do have a couple songs where we jam,” guitarist Bob Roeland said. “There’s a lot of ’70s radio rock influence.”

Guitarists Roeland and Johnston drive the band – Roeland with a heavier sound and Johnston with a jazz influence.

“Between the two of us, it makes for a pretty cool influence,” Johnston said. “And we have a driving percussion section. Hopefully it will keep people dancing.”

Big Slick plays Saturday at the Goat in Keystone.


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