A fever for the flavor

Massive Delicious fuses reggae, soul, funk and jazz to craft a big sound and tight community

Massive Delicious drummer Josh Rosato has, apparently, done something technologically nefarious with the rest of his band.

Massive Delicious drummer Josh Rosato has, apparently, done something technologically nefarious with the rest of his band.

Photo By shoka

Catch Massive Delicious on Wednesday, October 31, at 10 p.m.; $10; at Harlow's Nightclub & Bar, 2708 J Street; www.massivedelicious.com.

Massive Delicious isn’t just the name of the band—it’s a moniker that describes the group’s scene and its sound. This is an act that blends reggae, soul, funk and jazz into big, tasty dubtastic grooves for large crowds of cute and costumed dancers—creating a mass of delicious energy, rhythm and movement.

The genre-defying group may also be one of the hardest-working bands in Sacramento. Along with troupes such as Zuhg and Arden Park Roots, the band’s part of a local live-music scene that exemplifies a DIY ethic—one built upon artists that are young, produce their own music festivals and, perhaps most importantly, seem to understand that part of making a living as a musician is paying attention to the “business” part of “show business.”

Massive Delicious, indeed.

Of course, sometimes everyday life gets in the way of show business and art. The band tours constantly—it recently embarked on an 11-state, 30-shows-in-35-nights trek with Zuhg that culiminates Wednesday, October 31, at Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub (2708 J Street)—so much so, that even its own members can’t always keep up.

Josh Rosato, Massive Delicious’s drummer, for example, wasn’t able to join bassist Andrew Conn and singer-guitarist Dylan Crawford on the current tour because his straight gig as a music teacher kept him at home.

It was weird not heading out on the road with this band, Rosato admits, but it also felt good to have time off after a tour-intensive summer.

“We’ve gigged almost every day from April to August. Then, [the rest of the band] went on a five-week tour,” says Rosato, who will, however, be onstage for the band’s homecoming show.

With nearly an album’s worth of material ready to record, Massive Delicious is also set to return to the studio in January.

On the road, Zuhg drummer Russell “Rooster” Lundgren filled in for Rosato—a natural fit, as the two bands have integrated their members ever since Massive Delicious relocated from the East Coast to Sacramento in November 2011. In addition to Lundgren’s substitute percussion work, for example, Conn and Crawford also play in both bands.

“We played some shows with Zuhg, and they needed a bass player. Then Dylan sat in with them, and everybody really dug it, and now it’s a big orgy,” Rosato explains. “There’s just three of us in Massive Delicious, so we can keep the jam open for other musicians to jump in.”

So how, exactly, did three college kids attending Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music wind up endlessly touring and smashing festivals?

It’s a classic story: Three guys form a reggae jam band. Things start to go well, and the three guys decide to move to Los Angeles. Things don’t go so well there, however, and the trio ends up in Sacramento, because that’s where the bass player grew up. Then, things start going well again.

It’s also a classic phrase: “Ended up in Sacramento.” As if most people who move here have no plan or no choice. In this case, that underlying reason may be true, but it’s proof that sometimes “settling” also means making the smarter, more advantageous choice.

Sacramento, Rosato explains, may not be as high-profile of a music city as, say, Boston or Los Angeles, but it’s one that takes care of its own.

“I’m very happy that we ended up here. [There’s] more of a community here than a competition,” Rosato says. “All the bands [in Sacramento] support each other a lot more. It’s very refreshing.”