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The story goes that the Big Wu, bound for rock stardom, sold their souls for a case of Old Style beer one thirsty night long ago. The legend and the band live on. Still rocking their powerful, moving, and energizing original music for the fans. A jam band with a unique style and presence, the Wu combine strong, free-flowing improv and vocal harmonies, with finely crafted songs for all tastes. Oh, and their fans are famously friendly.
“The current lineup of Chris Castino (guitar/vocals), Terry VanDeWalker (drums, vocals), Andy “Padre” Miller (bass/vocals), Al Oikari (keyboards/lapsteel), and Mark Joseph (guitar/vocals) are a well-oiled machine. They predict the next musical move made by the others and expertly react in a way that moves the music forward. Their unique sound includes well-executed harmonies, rich guitar tones, driving bass lines, well-placed keyboard melodies, and driving, subtle drums.”
- Jason DeMoe (musicinminnesota.com)
“Music is still music, folks.
Yep. Turns out that its NOT a different world. Its the same old one. Sure, everybody has a dream. And everybody has a song to sing. And it seems everyone has a way to record that song in their studio apartment. It's all good. But a real, veteran rock band like this can easily go unnoticed in the internet vastness. If you’re not paying attention you might miss The Big Wu, and that would be a down-right shame.
The Big Wu came by their Rock credentials honestly having played over 2000 shows across the globe. They went to school on the dark, dank stages of all those clubs… coast to coast...night after night. Now they come primed and poised to deliver the real thing. Soulful. Spirited. Sometimes thundering, and sometimes soaring; the band can be many things. But always carrying the torch of live Rock n’ Roll.
It’s Neo-Classic Rock, in some ways. Its not your parents Rock music, but born from it. The original songs that have defined The Big Wu for over 20 years feel both fresh and familiar. That's because they consider themselves a part of a lineage that is American to the teeth.
Its not really a surprise when you consider where they've been. They have shared bills and stages with Little Feat, The Doobie Brothers, Jimmy Herring, Umphree's McGee, Sam Bush, Peter Rowan, Derek Trucks, Jon Cleary, George Porter Jr., The Guess Who, String Cheese Incident, Phil Lesh, Leftover Salmon, Yonder Mountain String Band, Robert Randolph, and so many others.
The year 2018 saw the release of their album "We Are Young We Are Old". This record shows exactly where The Big Wu is at. This is their brand; a subtle reformation of the very same influences that first congealed to make Rock n’ Roll. Its got that gravy. And this recipe continues to produce very strong, fan-favorite, original songs.
Their first 15 years saw the steady rise of the band followed by the exit of original member Jason Fladager, and a retooling as a 4-piece version of The Big Wu. But things have begun to grow again with the addition of guitarist and vocalist Mark Joseph in 2010. Original members Chris Castino (guitar, vocals), Terry VanDeWalker (drums, vocals), Padre Pienbique (Bass) and Al Oikari (keyboards, and lap steel guitar) are providing a sound that comes from the camaraderie of the road and the many experiences that have bonded them.
It takes time to achieve any real status. Consider these dues paid. Come hear it for yourself. The Big Wu is coming to your town. And they're ready to rock. “
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