Bringing the Love
A favorite band in the High Country, as well as in its home
base of Winston-Salem, Big Daddy Love is about to bring its brand of Appalachian rock back to Boone.
The group will bring its mix of jam, Southern rock and bluegrass to Murphy’s Restaurant & Pub on Friday evening, Dec. 27.
The members of Big Daddy Love include Brian Swenk on banjo, Ashley Sutton on bass, Joey Recchio on guitar, Scotty Lewis on drums and Scott Moss on lead vocals and guitar.
Over the last year, Big Daddy Love has made a concerted effort to tour more extensively, trying to create a buzz outside of the Southeast.
“Man, I’ll tell you, we can burn through upwards of $200 in gas in a day or two,” Swenk said. “More money goes to gas than anything else. It’s tough, but you have to try and build up those audiences all over. Our experiences really run the gamut. We’ll play rooms with just a handful of people. Then, out West, we’ll go to some places where we are kind of well known, and we’ll see a lot of familiar faces. You never know where you will end up playing and have a great audience out of nowhere. Little places that you have never heard of before, like Evansville, Ind. We had never heard of Evansville. Then, at this one little venue, the lady (who runs it) loves us and started booking us, and all of a sudden, it is one of our favorite places to go now.
“It’s amazing to find the little pockets where you start doing good and making new friends and everything. It’s fun and exciting.”
Swenk describes the Big Daddy Love sound as “Southern rock with a banjo.” On the bluegrass side of the equation, Swenk did not get the bug to play the banjo until he was 20 years old.
“When I was 20, it hit me how awesome this instrument is and how amazing bluegrass is, and it all kind of hit me at once,” he said. “I had grown up around it, but we were more into what was happening on MTV and stuff like that when we were young. But sometimes, you get to that point in your life where something connects with you perfectly. When I was 20 years old, it hit me, as in, ‘This instrument is amazing.’ I went from pop music to heavy metal, and a lot of bluegrassers are closet metalheads, which is quite funny. Then, when I went to college, I started getting more into jam bands like the Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead. Then, I traced that back to what influenced Jerry Garcia to play bluegrass with the band, Old and In the Way. Then, I kept tracing the music back, and I got to Earl Scruggs and Ralph Stanley and John Hartford, and then I was hooked.”
Surprisingly, the term, “Appalachian rock,” has not been used much before Big Daddy Love latched onto the phrase to describe its music.
“I think our first singer, Daniel Smith, might have come up with that term,” Swenk said. “Somebody came up with it, and we liked it. We started using it and putting it on things. A lot of people will say, ‘What does that even mean?’ So, we’ll explain it, or they will listen to us play, and then they’ll say, ‘OK. That makes a lot more sense.’”
Big Daddy Love performs Friday, Dec. 27, at Murphy’s, located at 747 W. King St. in downtown Boone. The show starts at 10 p.m., and cover costs $5. For more information, visit http://www.bigdaddylove.com.