Roster McCabe


Roster McCabe shares Denver’s musical ADHD, and also helps to cure it

:: Roster McCabe ::
:: Hodi’s Half Note :: February 8 ::
:: Shug’s :: February 9 ::
:: Cervantes’ Other Side :: February 11 ::

By Brian Turk

Musical ADHD has been plaguing the Front Range for some time now. The endless choices of music to see, talk about, and keep up with continually baffles minds.

This ailment can pull apart groups of friends, and even families, as the sick writhe through the streets, looking for a band that can somehow blend together all those different sounds that bounce around in their headphone-wearing heads.

Roster McCabe just might be one of the remedies for this rampantly spreading, and serious, affliction. This five piece band out of Minneapolis plays what they have defined as “Funky Reggae Dance Rock,” which I will translate into, “An irie and soulful blend of pop, rock and jam that puts the funk in disco and electrifies R&B.”

The Marquee recently caught up with Roster McCabe’s main songwriter and lead guitarist Michael Daum while the band was taking some time off of the road. “What we are doing now is trying to get new material ready for tour. We tour constantly, so it is very rare that we have some time off to make it up here (a practice house in northern Minnesota). It sounds relaxing, but a week up here can be very stressful. We only have a week to get a few more songs ready for tour. Since we play so many shows our fans quickly ask for new material,” said Daum.

According to Daum, Roster McCabe spent 270 days together on the road last year and played 180 shows. No wonder they needed to get away from it all. “The vibe up here is really positive. We are away from all the distractions. It isn’t remote, but it is in the very northern part of Minnesota,” said Daum. “We are in a big house, and are able to set up all of our equipment downstairs. Our drummer is also an amazing recording engineer. We have everything mic’d up and we record it all and talk about it.”

The band takes a collective approach to its functioning, and everyone gets their hands dirty in some facet. “The music and the lyrics I write a bulk of, but definitely not all of it. The last studio record we did, I was responsible for 65% of everything. Meaning 65% of everything that got pressed to that disc was something that popped into my brain,” Daum said. “We all have different roles in the band, and I decided a while back that since I am not the best singer, I should probably write the best songs. Songwriting is my thing. It’s what I think about the most and worry about the most.”

It is this attention to the deeper meaning of the music that may help Roster McCabe stand out in the jamband scene. It is one thing to be able to hoop, twirl and bounce to a song; but for it to have lyrical depth as well is a rare commodity. “What we hope is that when people actually get their hands on our music, they take time to go and listen to the songs and the lyrics. I try to approach songs from a lyrical and poetic standpoint. For me, this band is similar to a jam band in the way we move through genres, but we have what you might want to call pop vocals over it. If you were to peruse the lyric book of the CD and you actually see what we are singing, it’s all laden with metaphors, poetic devices and thought,” he said.

Daum said that while the band is from Minneapolis, their taste is straight out of Colorado — that ADHD-fueled musical diversity that is found in few other locales. “Our group listens to everything you guys listen to in Denver. Things from Medeski, Martin and Wood to Chromeo. You know what people’s iPods look like in Denver.  It’s got instrumental jam, dub step like Skrillex, an acoustic set from Phish, and some Lotus.”

Additionally, beyond shared interests, Daum said that the Colorado shows he’s played rank in his all-time favorite gigs. “Personally, for me — and I am not just telling you this because of where you’re from — but that Cervantes’ show, opening up for Kyle and Kang, was my favorite show that I’ve ever performed in my life,” said Daum. “All of a sudden we were opening up for members of String Cheese. I have always been a huge fan of SCI and especially Kang’s lead playing.” Cervantes’ must have had a fond memory of Roster McCabe as well, because their trip to Colorado this month finds them headlining Cervantes’ Other Side. “We are very honored to be having the Ragbirds doing that show with us. I don’t know how we got so lucky to have that all work out…but it did,” said Daum.

:: Roster McCabe ::

:: Hodi’s Half Note :: February 8 ::

:: Shug’s :: February 9 ::

:: Cervantes’ Other Side :: February 11 ::


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  1. So glad to hear you guys like playing in Colorado! I saw my first show in Vail last year and spoke with Alex about the music and formation of the band! These guys are the real deal and I’m looking forward to the show again on the 10th! I don’t get much of a chance to make it to the front range, but Roster McCabe is definitely worth the trip when the time’s available! Love the music and keep it comin’ guys!!!

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