MONTROSE – Although it’s almost Christmas, it’s not too early to start making plans for New Year’s Eve. For live music, one good bet is the Turn of the Century Saloon to hear The Last Bus, a Montrose group set to release a new CD next year.
Bass guitarist Josh Fabian said the band has been “rehearsing like mad” on new original songs it hopes to record in the spring, with a release date in the fall of 2010.
So far, The Last Bus, which performs almost all original music, has put out two studio albums and one live release, Fabian said, music he categorizes as “an original take on psychedelic, funky rock and roll.”
When the next CD is released, the band will hit the regional road, with hopes of reaching even bigger audiences.
“At the moment we’re a regional band, but … we’d like to have some notoriety on the national stage,” he said. “We just love playing music, and as long as we’re out there playing, it would be great if we could just make a modest living.”
They wouldn’t mind being the next Grateful Dead either, he said, but until then, they’ll keep their day jobs.
Fabian is an electrical contractor who owns solar installation company, lead vocalist and guitarist Rob Jones is a carpenter/contractor, drummer Mike Beck is a chef, and their other drummer, Kevin Vernon, works in a store in Ouray.
All the band members grew up in other places, and met in Montrose where they formed the band in 2003, Fabian said. Members ages range from 32 to 53, Fabian said, but that doesn’t “pidgeonhole” them into any age category.
“I’ve seen people in their 70s gettin’ down along with kids in their teens,” he said. “It’s pretty cross-generational.”
All the members except Fabian, who didn’t pick up bass guitar until he was 21, have been playing since they were kids. Having two drummers gives the band greater depth because of their diverse styles, Fabian said.
“It kinds of gives a tribal feel, and is real driving as well,” he said.
It’s hard to describe the music of The Last Bus, which has a progressive, sometimes jazzy feel, but some have tried. On the band’s website at www.thelastbus.com, Greeno Media describes their music as “whirlwind guitars with the rhythm of dinosaurs culminating into a sonic pleasure center … fresh, original sound that’ll have you getting’ down all night long.”
The band is also heavy on vocals, Fabian said, with all members joining lead vocalist Jones, who writes most of the material.
But after Jones comes up with an idea, it becomes real collaboration of the entire band, Fabian said.
“Rob primarily writes the music and comes to the band with song ideas and introduces it to the band,” he said. “We all add our parts, and it’s relatively painless. It’s not a dictatorship. Rob brings the songs, open to interpretation by each of us, and we add our flavors.”
That’s what makes the band “a formidable asset to the jam community,” according to Greeno.
Fabian said he hopes folks will form their own impressions and have a good time by coming to the Turn of The Century on Dec. 31. The show starts at 9 p.m.
“If everyone can make it out for New Year’s, they will see a new take on this band,” he said. “Come out and celebrate and kick off the New Year.”