Each member of BAS comes from a different musical world, and the resulting mix is what makes their music so special. Shredding guitar licks, soaring gypsy violin, a little ukulele and the thump of an old time bass bounce around with a jazz accordion and creative percussion to create a new sound. It is American Roots music with the edge of punk rock and the grace of chamber music.
This joyful chaos has defined BAS for the last four years of relentless touring, recording and rehearsing. They have crisscrossed the country countless times building a following the old fashioned way: by making connections with fans one at a time. From festivals to rock clubs, dive bars to house concerts, BAS has spread the word. And who is listening? Hipsters and hippies, punks and grandmas, kids and pickers, folkies and yuppies all "get it" where it matters: deep down in that place that defies description.
Speaking of defying description, what are people saying about BAS?
Guitar whiz Tommy Emmanuel says, "These guys are adventurous, entertaining, very original. I thoroughly enjoyed them."
Genre bending violinist Darol Anger describes them as, "The future of String Band Music on a silver platter."
Brian Johnson from Marquee Magazine writes: Somewhere along the way, when no one was expecting it, Boulder Acoustic Society flipped a U-turn on the musical highway on which they have been traveling, and the result is their latest CD, Caged Bird.
The band, which has become known and critically acclaimed for their avant-garde instrumental arrangements — even going so far as to win the 2007 Independent Music Award for Americana Song of the Year for their track “Does It Really Matter ” — has maintained their multiple genre roots, but has added into the fold a feel of country, Eastern European folk (think DeVotchKa) and back porch storytelling on Caged Bird
According to the band’s press release, a good deal of this sonic change is based on a new lineup. Aaron Keim, Kailin Yong and Brad Jones have been the heart of Boulder Acoustic Society since its inception, but the addition of Scott McCormick (accordion, piano, vocals) and Scott Aller (percussion) have helped push the band’s sound far beyond its previous studio work.
As is typical of Boulder Acoustic Society, just as listeners start to get comfortable with a certain sound, the band is apt to throw something else out entirely. That near-schizophrenic approach, though, is what keeps Caged Bird so interesting — and, for that matter, what has kept the band so interesting for the last four years.
Few bands can so easily transition between genre, style and vibe the way Boulder Acoustic Society does, either live or on this album. Their ability to do so has already set them apart and their commitment to continuing to stretch that sound is going to continue to turn heads.
With seven original songs and a Bob Dylan cover of “Maggie’s Farm” (a version that they call a “minor key acoustic punk version”), Caged Bird seems like it is longer than its actual 29 minutes. But that half-hour packs in more fun than most double-CD releases. It may be short, but it certainly isn’t loaded with any fluff.