Subdudes to bring unique blend of genres to Riverfront ParkPublished 9:58pm Thursday, July 15, 2010
By AARON MUELLER
Niles Daily Star
Tim Cook tried to give up music, but it just wouldn’t let him.
He grew up in South Bend, playing in local bands in the 1960s. But in the mid-1970s his band Low Rent had some of its songs ripped off through some shady dealings with a record company.
So Cook moved to Fort Collins, Colo. and swore he was giving up on music.
But it didn’t take long before he felt the itch to play again.
“It’s just a love for music,” he said. “It’s addictive. I missed sharing music live. It’s a feeling I can’t describe.”
It was also in Colorado that he met the band the Subdudes in the late 1980s. He made an instant connection with them.
“I was digging what they were doing,” Cook said. “It was a genuine friendship we started.”
He began jamming with the band and helped the group as a manager and producer.
“Those guys are the most instrumental people that got me back seriously into music,” he said.
In 2002, he officially joined the Subdudes, a band that will bring its New Orleans soulful brand of music to Niles Sunday at the Riverfront Amphitheater.
Cook said it’s hard to describe the band’s music.
“It’s such a unique blend from soul to country to folk to jazz to blues to gospel,” he said.”But it definitely leans toward a New Orleans soulful feel.”
The Subdudes are made up of Cook (bass, percussion, vocals), Steve Amedee (tambourine, percussion, electric mandolin, vocals), John Magnie (organ, accordion, vocals), Tommy Malone (electric and acoustic guitar, lead vocals) and Jimmy Messa (bass, guitar, vocals).
The Subdudes have built quite the repertoire of tunes in the 11 records they have released over the years. The band has been playing since 1987 with a hiatus between 1996 and 2002.
Part of what makes the Subdudes unique, according to Cook, is they write many of their tunes corporately.
“John and Tommy are like our Lennon and McCartney,” Cook said. “One of them will bring an idea and we will bump heads with them. But everybody contributes something. When we get together and write, it’s just a blast.”
The Subdudes’ music takes them all over the country, but one moment stands out in Cook’s mind. They were playing at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, and Crosby, Stills and Nash were backstage watching them perform.
“We had one of those special sets where were just connecting,” he said. “And Crosby, Stills and Nash watched us the whole set and were loving us.”
At one point, Malone broke a string on his guitar, and Steven Stills gave him one of his guitars to finish the set.
“Tommy just looked at him like he was Santa Claus,” Cook said.
Cook is hoping to make more memories when he comes to Niles on Sunday for a homecoming of sorts for the South Bend native.
“It’s a big thrill for me to play so close to my old stomping grounds,” he said. “I will be meeting up with old family and friends. It makes me a little nervous.”
Lonesome Meadow will open for the Subdudes at 6 p.m. For more information on the Subdudes, visit www.subdudes.com.