Combining dual sister singers and upright bass, a cajón slingin’ drummer, and the time tested trio of banjo, fiddle and guitar, The Blue Tail Flies have no trouble packing venues with a coordinated wall of their unique bluegrass inspired sound. Courtnay Field, one of the lead vocalists, describes their sound: “We say ‘Flygrass’, [because] we play such a variety of styles—between blues, bluegrass, and jazzy kind of swing. Plus, we have a bangin’ drummer, and she makes us a lot different than other bands.” The seven friends—all of whom met in Santa Cruz—try to have as much fun as possible at shows, feeding off audience participation. “We love the eccentric music fan: the guy that comes up to the front of the stage and hands you crazy juju beads … we’ve even got a tip that was a water bottle filled with flakes of gold. You never know what’s gonna come out of Santa Cruz,” says Field. After touring extensively and releasing an EP, the band is excited to enter the studio to record a full-length album. Their songs combine three-part harmonies, a robust rhythm section, and thought-provoking lyrics. “Every song tells a story,” says Field. “Some of them are progressive, some are just funny, but almost all the songs have significant lyrics and meanings.” “Give No Damn” is a particularly powerful ballad that condemns racism in both the Civil War era and today: “Two hundred years of slavery, then iron shackles freed … a black man in the office, they hate him for his race, they hide behind that southern smile, and target shoot his face.” With the addition of a fiddler, The Blue Tail Flies have earned them selvesa die-hard following. “Even though we haven’t recorded [many songs], people know the words,” Field says. “So far we’ve only offended a few hundred people.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.