Sacramento blues rock band The Outcome blends new-age stylings for an untraveled sound
Surprises come in all shapes and sounds. In the case of The Outcome—a dynamic new-age blues-rock band from Sacramento—the jolt occurs in collaboration.
The Outcome combine creative flows to come up with a sound that “stretches” toward different genres, as guitarist Quinn Hedges puts it. Once he and multi-instrumentalist Jesse Sizemore share melodic and lyrical offerings, drummer Andy Dibben and bassist Mike Strickland add a rhythm the other two often don’t expect.
In other words, Sizemore likens the group’s process to a painting, groupthink-style.
“Now that the picture of a landscape looks like what you intended, what you didn’t intend is this majestic moose drinking out of the river right here,” Sizemore says. “Now that the majestic moose is there, this picture is way more freaking badass.”
What emerges is a sound that smoothly meshes mellow with invigorating, but pinning down their musical style is an exercise in variation. “Well-rounded” and “grooving” are the descriptions The Outcome say they most often hear from fans. Their unique mix of rock, blues and soul plays right into Sizemore’s vision for the band.
“I want you to be totally musically clueless and absolutely love what we do,” Sizemore says, “and I want someone who just graduated with honors from Juilliard to come watch our show and go, ’Woah.’”
That blend of raw and masterful is apparent on their debut release, I’ll Take It. The four-track EP was showcased at Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub last fall, and it’s a terse but terrific offering that begs repeat-play.
The best track is “Wearing Thin”—a winding and willful tune that overlays a pop-jazzy piano riff on a soundscape akin to an overhead cloud. Downpour comes in the form of a crisp and gripping guitar solo, and soulful lyrics connect with anyone who has experienced inner struggles.
“It was the first time we melded ideas,” says Hedges.
Therein lies the origin of their name. They’re the surprising result of Dibben marrying Hedges’ sister, working with Sizemore at Apple and staying friends with Stickland since meeting him at Valley High School.
Musically, the band’s a different flow than each brings on their own. Hedges has put out four records as a solo artist, and Sizemore has fronted several bands, while Dibben and Strickland have previously been more laid back with their musical endeavors. But, with this group, they want to explore a new sound together.
“Everyone has an equal voice,” Strickland says. “We all understand that each of us brings something unique to the table.”
Hedges and Sizemore, who share singer-songwriter responsibilities, each have degrees in jazz. Dibben and Strickland criss-cross between blues and hard rock. Together they make for a live show that elicits echoes of Led Zeppelin.
Since forming The Outcome, the group has played local venues like Shady Lady, Powerhouse Pub in Folsom, Harlow’s and—regularly—Torch Club. They rocked Raley Field for a River Cats fireworks night in May and performed at the outdoor, all-local music weekend First Fest this year.
But The Outcome’s future plans are to go with the flow, creative surprises and all.
“We have a good thing going now,” Strickland says. “Let’s just roll with it.”