Big Sid is on the loose in the Lansing area after being released by local band, Flatfoot. The band’s second album, The Legend of Big Sid, follows the theme of “rootsy” rock with influences from blues and country twisting through each song.
The album stretches the meaning of “rootsy” to its fullest extent. It covers a wide variety of styles from rock ‘n’ roll to acoustic, and of course the band’s trademark twang of alternative country.
The song “Jesse James” uses an old-time blues guitar and kicks off the album with a harmonica solo that draws listeners into the album. Later songs on the release go for a more acousitic, twangy feel. Some of the works even resemble some modern rock tones, according to band member and co-lead singer Aaron Bales.
Bales said the band’s defining song is the title track, Big Sid, describing it as high energy with a good story behind it.
“Everybody got to put their stamp on the song,” Bales said.
Despite the album’s many different sounds, the band has a few consistent points, which makes for easy transitions from track to track. The consistent harmonic singing by Bales and his fellow bandmates pulls most of the album together. Also, many of the songs on the album have dark undertones, according to Bales.
“We wanted to make it [this album] what we wanted it to be,” he said of the limitations the band faced on their previous album, such as time constraints and the inability to digitally master the raw sound from the studio.
For this album, the band was able to invest a good amount of time and create a much fuller sound than its predecessor. And it has paid off. Bales said the twangy influences of Elderly Musical Instruments, the blue collar workers and the wide variety of music in Lansing have allowed their band to flourish.
“We have never gotten a bad reaction from the crowd,” Bales said. “We can go and rock out the freshman at MSU and then play at Dagwood’s where 20 to 30-year-old customers will appreciate what we are doing.”
Sean Murphy, of the band Heroes Love Revenge and CD Warehouse employee, said that Flatfoot’s live shows are some of the best in the area. He does admit that it is hard to sum up the band’s complex and intricate sound in just a few words, but said that the album is very well done.
The most satisfying feeling for the band is getting a positive reaction because that means they are doing something right, Bales said. Although the band plays only about two shows a month, they really enjoy what they do and want people to have fun when they come see them.
The Legend of Big Sid is available at the CD Warehouse and Flat, Black and Circular, both close to the MSU’s campus, or online at +CD Baby. For two-minute samples of each song on the album, check out www.flatfootmusic.com.
Flatfoot’s next show will be at Mac’s Bar in Lansing on Dec. 7, with Anders Parker and Starlite Desperation.

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