Local “Folkadelic” sounds at Trolley Stop

Nasty Bingo (top L-R) Scott Givens, Matt Byanski, Brian “Red” Baumgardner, Eric Reith.
(lower L-R) Steve Phelps, Ron White, and Khrys Blank. (Not pictured: Brian Spirk)

By Tim Walker

While recognized nationally mainly for its lo-fi and funk, the local music scene in Dayton is actually all-inclusive, being made up of a tapestry of styles, genres, and varying presentations of all forms of popular music. Pop, folk, punk, singer-songwriter, gospel, acoustic, blues, jazz, rap—look around a bit, and you’ll find bands of all kinds, performing live in a host of different venues, in styles as varied as there are musicians in our fair city. Residents of the Miami Valley are blessed to be able to enjoy such a vibrant and creative music scene.

With Nasty Bingo, however, you get something that’s just a little bit different. After all, it’s not often you can find so many different musical styles represented in a single band. “Folkadelic, that’s what we usually call ourselves,” says Brian “Red” Baumgardner, who plays guitar and banjo for Nasty Bingo and is one of the founding members. “It is a little bit of everything, actually.” The band will be bringing their folky, blues-inspired sounds to well-known local watering hole The Trolley Stop, located at 530 East Fifth Street in Dayton’s Oregon Historic District. The performance will be this Friday, Mar. 23. Show starts at 9:30 p.m., and there is a $5 cover charge. (In addition to hearing some great music, any trip to the Trolley Stop without getting yourself a bowl of their Dill-icious Potato Soup is simply a missed opportunity. Do yourself a favor.)

Nasty Bingo, which was started as an acoustic duo in 2006 by Baumgardner and Matt Byanski on vocals, kazoo, and harmonica, now features a bigger sound and more players than it did in those early days, with added musicians Ron White on bass, Steve Phelps on drums and percussion, Brian Spirk on mandolin, Khrys Blank on vocals, percussion, and Erich Reith on percussion rounding out the lineup.

“We started off acoustic,” continues Baumgardner. “That’s where the folk came in. We still do acoustic stuff—usually we’ll do the first part of the set that way. Maybe we’ll do a half hour, sometimes we’ll do a whole set acoustic. Then the second set, in the later half of the show, we’ll go all-electric, full band, and rock out. When we started in 2006, it was just Matt, the singer, and myself. We started playing, and writing some songs, and then we just started accumulating members.”

Since those formative days, Nasty Bingo has worked diligently to build up a strong local following, and in the last few years has played well-received sets at a number of local festivals, including the Yellow Springs Street Fair, the Sideshow Community Arts Festival, and Brews and Blues 2017. “At the Trolley Stop this week we’ll do a mix of covers and our own stuff,” Baumgardner says. “We’ll probably do 40 percent originals, and the rest will be covers. In addition to our music, we do some Grateful Dead, and we do a lot of blues. One of our favorites is ‘Got My Mojo Workin,’ the old Muddy Waters song. ‘She Caught the Katy’ by Taj Mahal. We’ve also been doing some stuff by The Doors lately, like ‘Back Door Man’ and ‘Alabama Song.’ Matt’s voice is pretty much perfect for the Doors—he’s been compared to Jim Morrison a lot.”

Keeping that mojo working, the band has also released two CDs of original music in the past several years. “Buttery Biscuits,” their first release, came out six years ago, and the most recent one, entitled “Take to Air,” was released in January 2016 and contains 11 tracks showcasing the band’s own unique hodgepodge of sounds and genres. When asked what songs on the CD he thinks best represent the band’s music, the guitarist says, “‘Begin,’ definitely. The first song, first track on the album. That one, actually, is a real fan favorite. Another one would be ‘A New.’ That’s a big one—our drummer wrote that one, and we all just sort of chimed in after that and made it our own.”

Citing the Doors and the Grateful Dead as early influences on the band’s sound, Baumgardner says he and band are excited to be performing at the Trolley Stop again. “It’s going to be a good show,” he says. “We really enjoy playing there. Sparkeeta is going to open the show for about an hour set, then we go on around 11p.m. It’s just going to be a great time for everyone who comes out.”

Having listened to the band’s songs, I have to agree. What could be more rewarding than a night out with some friends for a bit of Nasty Bingo?

Nasty Bingo, with special guest Sparkeeta, will perform this Friday night, Mar. 23, at The Trolley Stop, 530 East 5th Street in Dayton’s Oregon District. Show starts at 9:30. $5 cover. For more information, call 937-461-1101 or visit NastyBingo.com

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Tim Walker is 51 and a writer, DJ, and local musician. He lives with his wife and their two children in Dayton, where he enjoys pizza, jazz, and black T-shirts. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Walker at TimWalker@DaytonCityPaper.com

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