With less than a month until Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, SF is gearing up for the quintessential city music experience. Those of you not content to wait until October need only hold out until this Friday at the Milk Bar for a fine Hardly Strictly supplement in the form of Blisses B.
The quartet is known for their inclusive live performances that bring their music from the stage and directly to their fans. Opening for Appeal favorite The Grownup Noise last month, the band turned the Hotel Utah into their living room for a polished jam session that got fans moving and chanting to “Fine and Dandy,” a slow-moving upbeat track that builds towards collaborative play between instruments and voices.
“The band’s kind of a family affair and we like it that way,” frontman Noah Libby tells the Appeal. “Ben’s brother [Graham Keegan] does all of our artwork and Nick [Testa] went to school for music engineering.”
Testa, a former bassist with the quartet, is reuniting with them to record their upcoming LP. Blisses B takes pride in the communal effort they exert to bring their music to the masses, whether it’s self-releasing albums or sitting down and parsing songs, moving an initial idea to a full-fledged composition.
The process is democratic: Libby takes a piece and brings it to the band, who add their own bits of flavor, whether it’s a distorted bass line or a mandolin riff. You can hear both those things along with a dizzying drumbeat and Fender Rhodes piano on upcoming track “Tenne”.
“It’s the amalgamation that we come up with that makes it special. We all come from different backgrounds: Ben has been playing for years and James plays in bluegrass bands and also plays clarinet. Those three are much more well versed in theory than I am. I’m a little bit of smoke and mirrors though,” Libby explains.
Now they’re seeking the help of their fans to fund their next LP with a Kickstarter launching just a day before their Friday night show at the Milk Bar. After three years of silence, the band is looking to lay down some tracks. Rewards range from advanced digital downloads to a full Blisses B concert at your home.