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Bigelf wears old-school badge with pride

Bigelf_by Henry Diltz

Anyone who knows anything about instruments would be impressed by the vintage gear that Bigelf brings on the road: a Hammond C3 organ, a Mellotron keyboard and Gibson and Fender guitars from the 1960s and 1970s.

“Yeah, it’s quite a haul, but it’s the only way,” says singer/keyboardist Damon Fox. “These instruments are unique; they give off a special sound. That’s why we use them.”

One thing the Los Angeles-based rock quartet does not use when making its complex, progressive music is Pro Tools. Bigelf is proud of its strictly analog stance.

“Technology is a double-edged sword — it’s very complicated,” Fox says. “Digital recording and user options have exploded beyond imagination. Unfortunately, the digital juggernaut has its consequences. Abuse of these advancements has left the music biz in peril with weak product packed with shoddy musicianship played by cookie-cutter bands. Hopefully, some real bands will step forward and take the music back from executives and producers and make it what it once was.”

Alicia Keys is one contemporary musician who gets a thumbs-up from Fox; he played on her As I Am album.

“She’s ridiculously talented, kinda like a female version of Stevie Wonder,” Fox says.

Fox is open to working with Keys again; in the meantime, Bigelf continues to tour behind the band’s latest album, 2008’s Cheat the Gallows.

— By Chris M. Junior

Photo of Bigelf by Henry Diltz

Bigelf on tour (schedule subject to change):

* Feb: 15: Mercury Lounge — New York
* Feb. 16: Fletcher’s — Baltimore
* Feb. 19: Diesel — Pittsburgh
* Feb. 20: Peabody‚Äôs — Cleveland
* Feb. 21: Double Door — Chicago
* Feb. 23: The Stonefly Brewery — Milwaukee
* Feb. 24: Saddle Creek Bar — Omaha, Neb.
* Feb. 25: Riot Room — Kansas City, Mo.
* Feb. 26: Larimer Lounge — Denver
* March 5: Key Club — Los Angeles