Kate Rice


Lately I’ve been going through a Rock phase. But sometimes “today’s” rock hits; sometimes not. 

Two of the artists I’m digging are Big Head Todd and the Monsters and Jocelyn and Chris Arndt. Rock/Blues with a splash of funk.

Colorado band Big Head Todd and the Monsters has been around for over three decades.

Back in the day, I jumped on board with 1993’s “Sister Sweetly.” And 1997’s “Beautiful World” has a fab cover of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom.” Nice, but to be honest, they’ve kind of drifted in and out of my radar over the years. Not long ago, I stumbled on one of their live albums, and I swear it was like listening to a whole ‘nother band! 

“Live at Red Rocks 2015” has some hard-hitters; right now, I’m obsessed with “Hey Delilah.” “Sister Sweetly” gets a pretty great delivery, as does “Bittersweet” and…well, the entire damn collection. 

For those of you who don’t care for live albums (which I just don’t get, but…), they have 13 studio albums to choose from. Still, I’m a fan of the live stuff, including great covers like Cream’s “Sunshine of your Love” (with Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo) and the Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s so Heavy).”

Siblings Jocelyn and Chris Arndt have been rockin’ for a bit under a decade, and these Harvard Grads really know how to friggin’ bring it! Chick-fronted vocals and strong guitar work sprinkled with the occasional harmonica and ORGAN!

The song that reeled me in (once again, thanks to Wyoming Public Radio’s “Morning Sounds”) is “Sugar and Spice.” From the opening guitar licks to Jocelyn’s powerful vocals (and some screamin’ organ!), this song is a banger.

Other great tunes are the blues-tinged “Where’s the Rain,” the polished-yet-passionate “Kill in the Cure,” and a sweet cover of Fred Neil’s contemplative “The Dolphins.” And “Because of You” has almost a smoothed-out, Santana-like moment. 

Their songs sometimes veer a little too close to “generic,” but then a vocal track or guitar sneak attack or unexpected sound/vibe’ll bring it back from the generic abyss. 

If you wanna rock, search Big Head Todd and the Monsters and Jocelyn and Chris Arndt on YouTube or Spotify, or take the plunge and order their tracks from Amazon or downtown’s Sonic Rainbow.