Humbly unstoppable

Jumbalaya Blue

They don’t look like a mulleted bunch. Judge for yourself.

They don’t look like a mulleted bunch. Judge for yourself.

Photo By David Robert

Jumbalaya Blue will release a new CD near the beginning of September. For more band info, visit

Warning: This profile contains musicians who are also in other bands. Causes allergic reactions in people who have limited musical tastes. Please do not confuse Jumbalaya Blue with the other not-quite-so-talented projects of its members, like acrylic and The Electrosonics. Use sparingly and avoid heavy machinery.

Jumbalaya Blue is a rock band. Mostly. While the name “Jumbalaya Blue” may be new to some people, it’s not exactly new to the Reno scene. Everyone in Jumbalaya Blue is a veteran of too many local bands to list here. As such, their sound is about 100 yards to the left of eclectic, hence the “jumbalaya.” They’re all also drunken musicians with nothing better to do than be in bands, hence the “blue.” Between Sam Minaie’s jazzy bass lines, Steve Larkins’ pop melodies, Justin Kruger’s crazy beats and Jess Arcularius’ aggressive lyrics and guitar beatings, Jumbalaya Blue has a sound that blooms around itself. But they swear it’s a rock band.

The lineup includes Arcularius on vocals and percussive guitar, Larkins on backup vocals and lead guitar, Minaie on bass, and Krueger on percussion. They recently lost their keyboard player, Dan Rostrup, in a mix-up with Spinal Tap at the airport. This lineup has attracted fans for almost two years. Unfortunately, losing their drummer in this tragic twist of fate has postponed many of Jumbalaya Blue’s performance dates.

“Dan leaving the band really hurt the whole band, set us back,” Arcularius says. His sincere statement is echoed by the other musicians in this tight group. According to the band members, Rostrup was the backbone of their style. However, after minimal deliberation, the search for a replacement is on, and they’re currently taking applications to find a keyboard player to break in. Even losing a member won’t stop the rest of the band from attacking the local music scene head-on.

Since bad news comes in threes, Jumbalaya Blue was also one of the bands affected by the fire at Sierra Sonics, and the production of their spring recordings has been set back. Fortunately, the recordings include Rostrup’s fingering of the keys and are going to be mixed later this summer.

The last piece of dire news, something they might not consciously be aware of, is that the band members all are known to proudly sport the mullet. Please don’t hold it against them; they are fine professional musicians with a lot of talent and dedication. They aren’t supposed to have that much fashion sense. But they are loyal.

If you listen to the group at length, reeking of beer and whiskey, they are each the biggest fans of their bandmates. If Rostrup was the backbone, the rest of the band members are similarly essential organs in the entity known as Jumbalaya Blue. Beneath the insults, jokes and pranks, they each thinly hide a sincere respect for the musical talents of their peers.

They say the plan is always to party like rock stars, make a scene, steal your girlfriends and get kicked out of the bar. Unfortunately, they all have girlfriends, loudly talk about music like nerds, and leave a nice tip. Whatever. Buy the CD when it comes out, it’s a slice of Reno music that you might not hear for a while.