Rubblebucket is a Brooklyn band with its roots in the South. You could pick John Brown’s Body, or a house party, as their starting point. Trumpeter/singer Alex Toth and singer/bari-saxist Kalmia Traver (she also goes by Annakalmia) found work right out of college touring as members of John Brown’s Body. But a year later, they met up with some other musicians at a party and jammed on some of the ideas that Toth had brewing in his head. A year later, the Rubblebucket Orchestra, as they were first called, self-released a debut album that was good enough to get them positive attention from the music press. At some point along the way they stopped calling themselves an orchestra; now, they are just Rubblebucket. A small band with a big-band sound.
Friends and fans of the group may know that last year, Kalmia was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Naturally, Rubblebucket canceled dates while she recuperated. Kalmia completed chemo last September, and the band went back on the road the week after. She admitted to a reporter that perhaps being on the road was not the best idea at the time, but the experience seems to have left her none the worse for wear. Now, with all that behind them, Rubblebucket is touring the country in support of their latest, Survival Sounds.
- Friday, October 17, 2014, 8 p.m.
2501 Kettner Boulevard,
With the now-romantic couple of Toth and Traver as the principal songwriters and the band’s front persons, the remainder of Rubblebucket is Adam Dotson on trombone and percussion, drummer David Cole, and Ian Hersey on guitar. Their sound? Indie pop, with the extra muscle and soul punch that a couple of horns (trumpet, trombone, and that baritone saxophone) can bring to the table. Add Euro-pop keys/synths, straight-ahead rock guitar, a sturdy drum foundation, and jam-band psychedelic poly-beat-and-key weirdness and you have a band custom-built for the two-day festival experience.
Rubblebucket and Royal Canoe: Casbah, Friday and Saturday, October 17 and 18, 8 p.m.