Northern California band brings funk rock awesomeness to Carson City
It’s been a minute since Frobeck played a Carson City show. It worked out this year they get to stop back Saturday for the Levitt AMP Concert Series hosted by the Brewery Arts Center.
If there is one thing Alex Scammon remembers about the Carson City crowd, it’s that the city loves its live music.
“In the two events we’ve played there, it felt like the entire town turned out and got down,” the saxophonist said. “It was a tremendous reception. That’s what we look forward to coming back there. It’s been the one show we are really excited about through our entire festival season. We’re really looking forward to getting up there again because it’s been too long.”
The eight-piece band describes themselves as “funk rock awesomeness.” Scammon says it’s a combination of funk and rock music that gets people up and dancing.
“We pull from a bunch of different genres, but it still presents something that is fun and dance-able and interesting to listen to,” he said. “There’s something for everyone, whether it’s great singing, amazing saxophone solos, really good guitar solos — it’s the whole package.”
Some bands and singers Frobeck looks up to are: Tower of Power, Stevie Wonder and Sons of Champlin (Bill Champlin sang on a Frobeck record). Scammon said funk luminaries James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone, Earth, Wind & Fire, Chaka Khan and The Meters all inspired the band.
“All of those influences are in our music,” Scammon said. “We’re telling different stories, but with the same sounds.”
This summer, Frobeck started the process of changing their name to The Big Fit. Scammon said the original name was a mash up of two band members’ names who are no longer in the band. He thinks the new name represents the band better.
“It made it clear that we are a big band — we come with eight people and horns and organs and all sorts of stuff,” he said. “We just wanted a name that made it clear to people so they knew what they were getting when they come to The Big Fit show.”
The name is fitting for a group that has a rich history together. While the band has been around since 2005, various members have been playing together much longer. Scammon and keyboardist/vocalist Spencer Burrows had a band together in Boston. Bass guitarist Ben Burleigh and guitarist Jackson Allen were playing together in high school. Burrows and vocalist Callie Watts sang in school choir together. Scammon and trumpet player Cayce Carnahan were in neighboring schools and had played in various concerts.
“You realize you have this whole long heritage from when you were children,” Scammon said. “It feels random but it also feels meant to be. These people you grew up with and played music with at an early age, you’re back on the road with a decade or two later. This band really feels like family for all of those reasons.”
It’s like everything fits together. The band has new material they’ve been playing throughout the summer and they hope to get into a studio this winter and release an album early next year. It will be the band’s sixth album and it will be the first under the name The Big Fit.
The Big Fit returns to the area on Aug. 22 when they play at Valhalla in South Lake Tahoe (booked as Frobeck). The band opens for George Clinton at the Sausalito Art Festival in San Francisco on Sept. 1.
“If people come to Carson City and like what they see, they can get another taste of us later in August,” Scammon said. “And if they want to make the trip they can come to Sausalito and see us with George Clinton, which will be an amazing experience. A funk extravaganza for sure.”