Some shows have contradictory titles, and the Des Moines Music Coalition is no exception. This Friday, at 6 p.m. in Hotel Fort Des Moines, the coalition will host their sixth Little BIG Music Fest.
This event is dedicated to combining the sounds of modern rock and jam bands with classic bluegrass and acoustic groups.
“Des Moines has a thriving music community full of talented performers. Little BIG Fest is able to shine a light on the jam, blues, folk, and alt-country genres,” said Jill Haverkamp, the creator of On Pitch, a music marketing company.
In order to do so, there are eight bands at the concert. Though they are from different genres, all share a passion for music and are from the Midwest.
First, there are the groups that are inspired mostly by rock themes. This includes Workshy, Mooseknuckle, Rebel Creek and the Big Wu. The first three groups are four member bands, while Big Wu has a fifth addition. Each group has their own different interpretation of rock itself. Workshy is based on funk, while Rebel Creek is a jam group. Mooseknuckle players all have jazz backgrounds, and Big Wu is all about the classic rock-n-roll feel. Yet each has a love for the sound of guitars, bass, keyboard and drums.
Then there is the opposite end of the music spectrum. From acoustic to bluegrass, the other four groups vary just as much from one another as they do from the rock bands. For instance, Mr. Baber’s Neighbors is a bluegrass group that focuses on simply enjoying themselves, yet Omega Dog is a psychedelic band that attempts to create a multi-sensory experience for listeners at every concert. The bluegrass inspired Lightnin’ Ridge has over 100 years of experience between its five members, whereas bella soul prides itself on a “kaleidoscope” view of music. These groups vary in instrumentation as well as style with Mr. Baber’s Neighbors featuring a dobro, which is a resonator guitar, and one of Omega Dog’s musicians playing flute.
While this may seem like a wonderfully diverse group, Jill admitted, “It was difficult to narrow down the bands to eight. There are a lot of solid musicians out there.”
In fact, five of these groups are favorites of the Little BIG Fest, but Lightnin’ Ridge, bella soul, and Rebel Creek are all new additions. This concert is not only an experience to enjoy your favorite genre, but also a chance to have your own music heard. If you are inspired at the concert to join the Des Moines Music Coalition, or simply motivated to put your music out in public, you can mail your CD and any additional information to the company at 1620 Pleasant St., Suite 248, Des Moines, IA 50314.
That is the point of Little BIG Fest. With so many options, listeners can open themselves up to new concepts of melody, phrasing, and balance. “It’s inspiring,” Jill said, “to see everyone come together to celebrate the talent.”
This is not only the goal of Little BIG Fest, but of the Music Coalition itself — to create a music community in Des Moines that is not only independent and progressive but also able to work together and support each other. If you wish to be a part of this goal, go to http://www.desmoinesmc.com/ for upcoming events and opportunities.
The concerts start at 6 p.m., and while you will have to choose between two bands, this gives you more freedom as to what you want to hear. Tickets are $15 at the door, but if you purchase them early on Midwestix.com, they are only $12.