BUH BA BA BA is the first full-length recording from Shagg, a band originally formed in Brooklyn in 1997. Shagg's award-winning songs combine catchy pop/rock with a 1970s funk and soul aesthetic -- think Al Green fronting the Dave Matthews Band.
Shagg started humbly with apartment jams and coffeehouse performances. As the band added members and acquired new fans, their writing evolved from folksy, roots-based songs to full-blown compositions borrowing liberally from jazz, funk, soul, and world music. (The song "Between Words" dates back to those early jams.)
The band recorded their first demo in early 2000 with producer Stephen Shirk (Marc Ribot y los Cubanos Postizos, Michael Maxwell), who was eager to bring a little studio magic to Shagg's homegrown sound. Those sessions resulted in the Peach EP, featuring "Shade of Melancholy" and "Just Ain't Enough," both finalists in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest that year. Updated versions of these and other songs like "Peach" and "Your Golden Rule" appear on BUH BA BA BA.
After a string of New York City club dates, the band returned to the studio with producer Joe DeVico (Joe Elefante, Dave Murphy), best known for his work with jazz ensembles. The goal was to make a record that captured the band's live sound, with a minimum of overdubbing. The result is BUH BA BA BA, 12 songs ranging from the exuberant funk of the title track to the aching "Shade of Melancholy." The album art represents the seven musicians who collaborated to make each song a unique performance.
Based on rough mixes from the BUH BA BA BA sessions, Shagg was selected by the editors of CMJ to compete for the Coca-Cola New Music Award, which is the unsigned artist category of Dick Clark's American Music Awards. Shagg didn't win, but they knew they were on the right track.