A Sound From "the Backwater of Old Dominion"
The 80/20 Burger Bar has gained a cult following for their tasty food since their opening in December 2012 That following is now growing because of the bar’s fondness of local music.
This past Saturday, about 70 people gathered at the burger bar to witness the unique sounds of two energetic bands, The Muckrakes and Spirit Gun.
Spirit Gun is a new band that has been performing together since August. Guitarist and lead vocalist, Pete Overstreet , bassist Julian Birch, and percussionist David Glenn Allen teamed up after becoming reacquainted with each other at an open mic. Inspired, Birch and Overstreet were able to create seven performable songs within a week of meeting each other.
“I looked up Spirit Gun to make sure no one else had the name,” Overstreet said. “It ended up being from the anime, YuYu Hakusho which was a weapon used to cast out dark and demonic forces and I figured that’s what I wanted to do with my music.”
Although the band is young, the self-proclaimed soul-punk band has already had gigs at VA Live Entertainment in Chesapeake and been featured on the radio station 88.7. The trio has yet to release any type of EPs or recordings, but have merchandise available at the shows. Future plans for Spirit Gun include a feature sets at Gallery 410 in Norfolk on Nov. 29 and the Norva on Dec. 13.
“We want the college kid to be in love with the local music scene. It’s thriving, but it’s still sort of underground,” said Birch.
By the time The Muckrakes took the stage, a few couples were out of their seats and dancing. The five piece band has had its fair share of changes to the lineup and sound since its start, but the current members include front man Jon Owings, Billy England on keyboard, Mike “Spider” Turner on guitar, John Tingley on bass, and Dave Jugenheimer on drums.
While the band mates have been familiar with each other since 2009, they turned to Craiglist to form officially.
Billy England, who graduated from ODU in 1993, best describes The Muckrakes sound the as Americana Rock and Roll, but admits that it takes on all kinds of forms.
“It would be easier to name who isn’t an influence. Even if it’s bad, we learn not to do that,” said Owings.
The collective has a total of four albums and has about four songs prepared for the upcoming album. The two most recent releases “Grandophonia” and “Pill Shaped Void” were available for sale at the show. For the next year, the band is starting to book shows around Hampton Roads, Richmond, DC, and Maryland.
The Muckrakes’ music can be found at the muckrakes.com .http://themuckrakes.com