THE BLUEBERRIES


Block Island, Rhode Island, Spring 1992 (Photographer unknown)

Formed in Providence, Rhode Island, 1989.

Bill Long, Justin Ferren and Tylor Durand first performed as The Blueberries in 1990 at an art opening at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Woods Gerry Gallery. Born out of the basement jam sessions that began at their house at 377 Hope Street, the fledgling band put together some skeletal riffs and came up with a few working song titles. They played their signature song, “Boogie Chillin,” twice that night while their fellow students mopped up the free wine and cheese.

Soon the band was playing the local college party circuit–keggers, back-yard barbecues–any place that offered the prospect of free beer and a change to play in front of college girls. Sometimes they would simply show up at a party with their shitty instruments and demand a stage. The first gigs were raw, entirely improvised affairs.

“The Kiss Party,” an early party gig captured on cassette, is the essence of the early Blueberries sound and attitude–start a jam in E, see where it goes and keep it as real as possible. The Kiss Party was a typically strange and surreal evening. Local punk rockers watched the band struggle through its set, only to become excited by The Blueberries version of Black Sabbath’s first album classic track, “Black Sabbath.” This show has recently been unearthed and is available for download from the band’s music section.

Over the next year and a half, The Blueberries would play countless parties and entertain jam sessions in their basement with a wide variety of friends, musicians and just about anybody who wanted to pick up an instrument and make some noise.

Bill, Justin and Tylor would switch instruments regularly to keep the music spontaneous, often improvising lyrics as musical threads took shape. These jams were long, sometimes lasting up to an hour. “Mailman,” a surreal tale of postal aggression, was one of the first improvised songs put to tape.

In the fall of 1991, Bill left for a semester in Italy and the band recruited fellow RISD student Dave Horowitz to man the drum kit. With the addition of Horowtiz, the band focused more on performing original material and exploring the limits of their improvisational talents. By this time Justin and Tylor had moved to Allen Street and set up a sound proof studio in the basement. Fred Poison from local Providence favorites Big Heart Little Brain soon joined on harmonica, and the band focused on recording it’s first set of original material.

The Blueberries first recordings were done at the RISD Sound Studio and would form the basis for the cassette-only release, Blueberry Pie.

By the end of their stay in Providence, The Blueberries were a RISD favorite. Their live performance at the RISD Tap Room in the spring of 1992 has become legendary and can be heard in its entirety in the band's album section. They became a fixture of the Providence music scene until their departure for the Pacific Northwest in the summer of 1992.

The Blueberries (1989 to 1990)

Tylor Durand: Drums / Vocals / Bass / Guitar
Justin Ferren: Guitar / Bass / Drums
Bill Long: Bass / Drums / Guitar / Vocal / Saxophone

The Blueberries (1991 to 1992)

Tylor Durand: Vocals / Bass / Guitar
Justin Ferren: Guitar / Bass / Vocals
Dave Horowitz: Drums / Vocals
Fred Poisson: Harmonica

The Blueberries remasted catalogue is now available on bandcamp.


Click here to email The Blueberries

© 2007 King Of Beef