TUFA and The Pride —7 August 2019 on Rocket Shop Radio Hour
On Wednesday, August 7, Tufa and the Pride prowled into the studio for an evening of rock, reggae, and a little funk. Tufa (Andrew Myers) led the ensemble with his guitar and microphone, supported by Casey Little on guitar, Jake Patkin on bass, Ian Roulat on drums, and Chris Mroczkowski on the keys. This Burlington-based band brought three original songs with them, including their galvanizing opener, “Witchcraft Woman.”
Reminiscent of The Guess Who’s “American Woman,” but with a dash more funk, “Witchcraft Woman” immediately introduced Rocketshop’s crew to Tufa and the Pride’s rock and roll roots. The song tells the story of a young boy adventuring where he shouldn’t, and falling into a forbidden love. It’s a common tale of youthful audacity, filled with spite and love.
Audacity and youth are two common characteristics amidst the band members. The pride hails from up and down the east coast. The northeast, Georgia, and Florida are all represented in this group, and all of them came to Burlington with musical aspirations. The band itself is young, having only just formed in late May. The band came together at a Magic Hat Show at Magic Hat Brewery. Casey was booked to play, and wanted to bring some friends with him. The friends came, and a band was born.
The band’s name begins with Andrew’s spirit animal: the lion named Tufa. This band obviously isn’t a one man show, so the band’s name should represent that. What better way of doing that than by calling them “the Pride?” There aren’t any better terms for describing a collection of animals (except maybe a murder of crows), and these wild five want to let you know that they are “definitely a bunch of animals.”
The band’s second song, “Home Away From Home,” dictates the narrator’s feelings about moving from Florida, and leaving behind the comfort and warmth of home in Florida for the cold and unknown north.
The band’s songwriting process is a group process, usually opening with a jam session. Each member brings a different style of songwriting to the table. Chris brings a classical background with his piano, which means sheet music and a little music theory. Casey enjoys strumming away on a quiet beach as the sun descends behind the Adirondacks. And the words flow from Tufa's mind like water from a faucet, or some days like a trickle from a leaky hose. Either way he creates lyrics during the jam sessions, layering them in impressively off the cuff, just as every other band member improvises behind his words.
Not every Tufa and the Pride song is an original. The band jives with covers, picking a wide array of rock and roll favorites. “Half are songs we really like,” says Tufa. “And half are songs everyone will freak out about!”
“And they do!” shouts Ian.
Not everyone is a fan though, as the noise complaints would indicate. Loud and rockin’ weekly practices may have rattled a few neighbors.
“That’s just rock and roll,” jokes engineer Tom.
Tufa and the Pride capped off the night with an original reggae jam, titled “Enjoy the Ride.”
Like the perfect vacation, the band doesn’t have anything set in stone for the future. Any upcoming shows will be posted to the group’s Facebook page, along with word on their tentative album, which they plan to record in September.
Photo by Bob Colquhoun.
Text by Luke Vidic.