The music, recorded last fall in a barn in Sparta, “finds Big Dudee Roo moving into slightly spacier and more rock-driven territory,” according to an article written for revuewm.com by Nolan Krebs.
Krebs wrote, “The origins of Wayland’s Big Dudee Roo read like something you might hear in a folk song. Years ago, in a small town on the banks of the Rabbit River in Allegan County, three string-pluckin’ kids tapped into their love of old-timey tunes with the help of their next door neighbor on skins.
“Almost 10 years later, some things have changed and some remain the same. The lineup still consists of the same members who got their start playing at the Wayland High School senior talent show eight years ago: Max Lockwood, Justin Dore, Nate Wagner and Kurt Rizley.
“The dudes also still take the better parts of ‘90s grunge and stitch them into country-tinged folk rock. Their first records, Germination! (2010) and Listen To Your Discontent (2011), featured Lockwood’s sister, Aurora Lewis, on lead vocals, but after Lewis left to pursue a career in dance, the foursome tipped the scales slightly in favor of, as Lockwood puts it, ‘a lot of loud guitars and drums.'”
Lockwood was reported as saying, “When we shifted to the four-piece setup, we decided to go back to our grunge roots a little. We came up listening to a lot of Neil Young, Pearl Jam and My Morning Jacket … so it felt good with this record to explore that side of the band and have fun with it.”
Lockwood added, ““We’re also excited that this record will be our first release as a member of the Earthwork Music Collective, a group we’ve long admired for the great work it does promoting community, sustainability and social justice in Michigan.”
Lockwood handles most songwriting duties and the EP features three original songs, including an alternate version of “I Know You Know,” a cut from his recent solo record. “Heavy Dudee” also features a cover of “Republic County” by songwriter L.A. Fahy, who Lockwood said he “found out about when I was playing bass for the Ragbirds and he opened a show of ours there a few years back.”
Big Dudee Roo will play a couple different release shows for the new album, including Friday, March 6, at Watermark 920 in Muskegon with The Carboys; at Founders in Grand Rapids March 7 with The Carboys and The Fever Haze; and at Bell’s in Kalamazoo on Thursday, March 12, with Ben Daniels Band.
The group also will open for Donna the Buffalo at the Intersection in Grand Rapids on Friday, March 27. The dudes also plan to go on tour throughout Michigan in the spring and summer.
To keep tabs on on the band, go to bigdudeeroo.com or check them out on Facebook.
PHOTO: The four members of Big Dudee Roo in a promotional visual.