‘Fascination’ Funk | VailDaily.com

‘Fascination’ Funk

Ted Alvarez
Special to the DailyLittle Hercules hosts its CD release party Monday, a celebration which doubles as the Minturn Saloon's infamous Halloween costume party.

MINTURN – After nearly 10 years as a band, Minturn’s Little Hercules is just getting warmed up: They’ve recently released their fifth disc, “Fascination,” they’re preparing for a busy winter touring season and they plan to unveil an exciting new visual component to their bouncing live show. Fans can get a glimpse tomorrow during Little Herc’s CD release party, which doubles as Minturn’s annual Halloween bash. “This year’s theme is ‘SNL and S&M;’ we’re supposed to combine the two, so each guy is doing his own take on that,” bass player Cristian Basso said. “But as far as production goes, we’re introducing a strong visual element. I think everyone will be surprised – technology and software have come a long way, so we’ll be bringing out a visual onslaught.”For “Fascination,” Basso and Little Hercules sought to capture the raw energy of their live shows – to accomplish this, they recorded live instead of tracking each instrument, as many bands do. Instrumental solos and vocals were dubbed in afterward.”The main goal was to achieve that raw, live sound,” Basso said. “We love to feed off of the audience and give to them as much as they give to us; the last record didn’t contain that vibe. In hindsight, it was still a great record, but we wanted to try something new and keep our sound growing.”To stay on their toes in the static studio environment, Little Herc (which also includes guitarist/vocalist Scott Kabel, drummer Brian Loftus, and keyboardist/electronics guru Jeff Armistead) often recorded the first thing they played, including warmups and noodly experiments.” We like to record the first thing we play because it captures the magic and the spontaneity,” Basso said. “A lot of (those songs) stem from sketches we wrote in the studio – you’ll hear a lot of that and a bit of New Orleans stylistic similarity.”

One of their strongest connections to New Orleans comes from legendary funk progenitors The Meters, as Basso and co. have both performed and recorded with Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli. Through their collaboration, Nocentelli has become a musical advisor to the group as well as contributor.”Leo and the Meters have been an influence for a while, and we’ve been really lucky to continue playing and working with him” Basso said. “He regards Little Hercules as an up-and-coming group he likes to mentor – whenever we need some feedback, musical or otherwise, it’s great to have him by our side.”Despite committing to the road for weeks and even months at a time in order to spread the funk, Little Hercules are always happy to come home to the valley. Even the transient lifestyle of many Vail residents lends itself to a band eager to spread its fanbase, and may even be integral to the band’s ten-year run of success.”To have a community to call home is really important, especially when you’re on tour, and coming back here is an awesome experience that we’re very thankful for,” Basso said. “We drum a up a new fanbase from the transients who come in every year. They leave, and the next year we get to start all over.”==========

Funk for FreaksWhat: Little Hercules CD Release show/Halloween Party.Where: The Saloon in Minturn.When: 8 p.m. Monday Cost: $7 at the door.==========

Arts & Entertainment writer Ted Alvarez can be reached at 748-2939 or talvarez@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado

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