HCM comes home: Lafayette band continues to find success

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Tobias Schwartz

Photo courtesy of the Hoochie Coochie Men

How do you build an avid Lafayette fan base in just a couple of years? A fandom so enamored with your music that they show up 300 deep to B.B. King’s legendary blues club in New York City?

You play music that is, according to Alex Musso ‘13 of the Hoochie Coochie Men, “Ray Charles, playing Bob Dylan, backed by the Allman Brothers.” The Hoochie Coochie Men began in the basement of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity house in 2011 when Musso (lead and fly guitar) and Zach Gold ‘13 (vocals, acoustic guitar) split from their antecedent groups and coupled up to start a band that was more in line with their artistic direction. The duo was soon joined by Joey Tumulty ‘14 (vocals, keyboard), Grant Kempski ‘16 (base player, backup vocals), and Brian Duke ‘16 (drummer).

Within just a few months they were mainstays at local mic nights, frequenting Easton bars like Pearly Bakers and Rivals. It is these performances, as well as appearances at Lafayette’s Earth Day, College Day and Fall Fest, that Musso credits with the band’s burgeoning grassroots popularity.

If ever there were a time for the band to focus on its promising future, it would be now. With their first EP on the way, recently recorded at Brooklyn’s Mission Sound, and a jam-packed summer ahead with a two-and-a-half-month tour along the East Coast, the band’s future has never looked so bright.

“Hey, we’re just fans of music doing what we love,” Musso said. This Saturday is a big day for the band. They’ll be making their newly-christened EP [extended play] available for download on their Facebook page as well as returning to Lafayette to play a concert with the band Echo Bloom.

This is one step closer to the day when all Hoochie Coochie listeners, new and old, nod their heads and sing along, saying, “Yeah, I went to school with the Hoochie Coochie Men!”

 

The Hoochie Coochie Men will be performing this Saturday, February 22 at 8:30 p.m. in Farinon Student Center. Shawn Hogan ‘17 will be filling in as bass.