Big Mama Shakes performing. (Photo by Craig Zirpolo)
Clear your calendar, Richmond rock fans: Big Mama Shakes return to The Broadberry on Saturday, Aug. 20. They'll headline a bill boasting several beloved area acts, plus debut fresh music and their made-over sound. These papas have got a brand new bag.
"What’s going to make the show so awesome," says manager and drummer Chandler Matkins, "is it’s the first night VCU [students] come back. A rush of at least 15,000 people will be coming into the city that night; we thought it would be great to share our new music with all of them."
Big Mama Shakes have been shaking up Richmond audiences with their energetic, riff-heavy brand of rock and roll since 2013. The five-member band has gained a following for its effervescent yet easy sound, which calls to mind Bruce Springsteen in his Steel Mill days. Indeed, the five list The Boss as one of their musical influences, as well as master bluesman Muddy Waters, roots rockers Creedence Clearwater Revival and "Brown-Eyed Girl" Irish crooner, Van Morrison. Matkins says their sound has evolved naturally over the past few years, leading the group to rebrand what they play as Southern Americana Rock. Whatever they call it, their sound is fresh and fun.
Big Mama Shakes (photo by Luis Cabrera).
"Our first album ["As She Does," May 2015], was very sporadic. Don’t get me wrong — we were very proud of it, but it was a little all over the place, sound-wise," Matkins says. "So, as we’ve progressed as a live band, and we're hearing people’s opinions and going back to listening to that first record, it has really helped develop our own sound ... When it’s all said and done, people like to know that a band has a certain sound."
Although they just released an EP, "If I Try" in April, the Aug. 20 show will give locals a taste of the band's fresh style and brand-new songs, which Matkins believes the city is waiting for.
"We feel people getting antsy for new music; we play in the city so much, so we’ve gotta keep it fresh."
Big Mama Shakes wrapped up their last tour in May. They'll hit the road again in the weeks following the Aug. 20 show, playing to audiences all over the Commonwealth, in Washington, D.C. and in North Carolina.
Big Mama Shakes performs live at The Broadberry, Saturday, Aug. 20 (2729 W. Broad St.); doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 pre-sale and $12 at the door; purchase them here. For more on Big Mama Shakes' evolving sound and their new music, visit their website.