According to the band’s drummer Joe Miller, Dead Rose Pilgrims is what happens when musical worlds collide.
“I’ve played a lot of jazz music, bebop, and did some college jazz stuff. I also had some experimental jazz groups I played with, and played some hip-hop,” he says. “[Singer/guitarist] Sam [Nieburgs]’s done more folk, singer-songwriter and rock ’n’ roll stuff, so we come from diverse creative backgrounds.”
The band’s collective creative streak is painted with a very colorful brush on their “Rogue River Fire” demo track, which can be heard on their Soundcloud page. With a faded intro that features Miller’s lively drumming, Nieburgs’s groovy guitar and bassist Dan Alexander’s molasses-thick bass, the first minute alone is a tasty mix of jazz, blues and good old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll. When the song really kicks in musically and Nieburgs takes over with an unhinged, primal vocal, it evolves into a left-of-center take on Americana and country.
Within a span of five and a half minutes, this trio, which formed late last year, gives you a glimpse of how broad of a palette they are playing with. And this is just one song. When the band plays live, the rules pretty much go out the window.
“For saying it’s just three guys, it’s a fairly complex sound,” Miller says of their music. “I’m all over the place with my grooves; Sam’s got some real gritty stuff coming out of his Telecaster, and then Dan adds a lot of stability to the mix. It’s like we’re pulling from three different directions, but it fits together pretty well.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6 at the Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.