Big Head Todd & The Monsters coming to Headliners

STAFF REPORT

Big Head Todd and The Monsters’ will be at Headliners Music Hall in Louisville on Sunday, Jan. 15.

The veteran Colorado band is on a nationwide tour at present. Sunday’s show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $20. Zach Heckendorf will open. 

The band’s ninth studio album – Rocksteady – has been out since mid 2010. The collection features founding members Todd Park Mohr (lead vocals and guitars), Rob Squires (bass), and Brian Nevin (drums), with keyboardist, steel guitarist, and backup vocalist Jeremy Lawton, who joined The Monsters in January 2004.

Rocksteady cuts across a broad swath of stylistic terrain.

“Beautiful,” the set’s first single, offers a sunny Caribbean vibe as does the band’s cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Beast of Burden,” long a concert staple. “Back to the Garden” and the homage “Muhammad Ali” pulse with a roots rock groove, while the set’s title track is based in the like-named, revved-up Jamaican style that preceded reggae’s arrival in the late ‘60s.

“I Hate It When You’re Gone,” dressed with a full horn section, is blazing old-school R&B, while a version of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning” is burning Chicago blues.

“It’s a soul/Caribbean record that rocks,” Mohr says. “We almost went out of our way to take all the rock out of it but it really rocks. It’s the very first album we’ve ever done that’s this cohesive and focused. That’s what makes it shine and stand out from our other albums.”

Their rock ‘n’ roll career stretches back nearly 25 years. Founded in 1986 by Mohr, Squires, and Nevin, then University of Colorado students, Big Head Todd and The Monsters became one of the region’s most popular acts through constant touring. After issuing two popular independent releases on their Big imprint, the band hooked up with Irving Azoff’s Giant Records for the platinum album Sister Sweetly (1993). The Monsters issued four chart albums on Giant and Warner Bros.

While Big Head Todd and The Monsters have worked with such well-known producers as David Bianco, Jerry Harrison, and David Z, the band found their sound refreshed by working essentially on their own with Lawton at the helm in his home studio, recording on their own schedule.

Tickets can be found at headlinerslouisville.com.

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About hoosierhits
The music blog of the News and Tribune, Jeffersonville & New Albany, Ind.

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