The Boogie Monsters
Is this a comedy routine or a jam-band? The Boogie Monsters, a Reno-based rock and blues band, are both. Drummer Brian Judkins starts rattling off jokes immediately after the band is introduced. The lead guitarist is having some minor technical difficulties, but never fear; Judkins shouts out, “Drum solo!” and pounds his drums, eliminating any chance of an uncomfortable silence. Wayne Evans fixes his guitar, and the band is ready to rock. And rock they shall.
The Boogie Monsters believe humor is an important aspect of music that keeps listeners’ souls smiling (and feet tapping). Don’t expect these musical monsters to play a song, stop, quietly discuss which song to play next and then move on. Oh no, there are jokes flying left and right between (and during) songs. The Boogie Monsters’ original songs are hilarious. A must-laugh-out-loud blues song bashes the super-size option at McDonald’s—and don’t forget the Diet Coke.
But don’t get me wrong, their sense of humor is easily matched by their musical virtuosity and energized stage presence.
Whether you’re the modest type who taps your toes to a blues beat or you’re out twirling on the dance floor, you’re going to have a tough time keeping your composure when this trio takes the stage. But The Boogie Monsters don’t want to play to a timid crowd. During a recent show at Williams Back Door Blues Club at Bill’s Casino in Stateline, the first swinging couple on the floor got a hug from Judkins. That hug, and the smiles on the couple’s faces, encouraged the rest of the packed audience to get off their hineys.
These blues monsters might try anything to get you twisting to their beats. It’s obvious they’re having a lot of fun, and if the band is having such a hoot, then the audience members will inevitably be inspired to shake their moneymakers, too.
They’ve got an anti-formulaic formula that’s hard to beat: strong musicianship and entertaining shows. The lead guitarist has a pleasant voice with a rustic tone. The drummer is incredibly animated, waving his arms around and making silly faces. Bass guitarist Alex Sefchick, though more reserved then the others, could very well still join the Headbangers’ Ball (not that that’s probably his life’s dream).
From cover songs like Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Pride and Joy” to a Boogie Monsters original, “Psycho Hosebeast,” these guys play a rockin’ style of blues. It’s difficult to call some of what they play, “cover songs,” although the song’s originators are easily apparent. Suffice it to say, the band takes anything they play and makes it their own.
After three years together, Judkins says, “The end is not in sight.” And why should there be an end, if they’re having such a good time?
To play hard and work harder—it’s an ethic displayed valiantly on their first album, Live From Yo Mama’s Kitchen. This melodic mayhem is conveniently compacted into a shiny disc for your listening pleasure. But take it from me, the best way to enjoy The Boogie Monsters is in a live setting, preferably near a big dance floor.
“We are really into growing the music scene in the Reno community,” Evans says.
As a solid blues-rock band, bolstered by the efforts of the Reno Blues Society and the growing support for live music in Reno, they’re off to a running start.