A band called Bad Mothers might be a comedic choice to play Tulip Festival, a longtime local tradition that aligns with Mother’s Day.
It’s not lost on the Albany-based rockers, who are slated to play the festival Saturday. If anything, the band is looking to lean into the theme, donning shirts declaring “Good mothers love Bad Mothers.”
Made up of Brian Chiappinelli, Matt Dalton, Patrick Flores and Kevin Bohen, the band formed around 2015 at the music industry program at The College of St. Rose, where they all studied.
Initially, they were the Bonnie Masons, named after a friend of theirs, who was also a musician and artist. When domain issues cropped up, they had to change their moniker. Since the “BM” logo was already spray-painted on Chiappinelli’s bass drum, they kept the initials and became Bad Mothers.
Over the last few years, band members have juggled music industry jobs while managing the band.
The work has paid off as Bad Mothers recently won an Eddies Music Award for Metal/Hard Rock Artist of the Year and signed with Black Country Rock (Shooter Jennings’ record label) last year. The label helped release Bad Mother’s eponymous debut album, including the vinyl which just became available.
“They’ve been helping us with marketing and they distributed the album for us. They’ve been great to work with honestly,” Chiappinelli said.
The band’s sound is reminiscent of Soundgarden-era grunge with a grittiness similar to Royal Bloos. Lately, they’ve been focused on writing more rhythmically-driven songs.
“[It’s] still heavy rock music, but it basically makes you want to dance. It affects the audience like dance music would, but just with that heavy edge,” Chiappinelli said. “We’re trying to get to a place where more people can appreciate the music while keeping the authentic sound that we have. We’re trying to find the radio version of our music.”
Dalton is the main songwriter in the band, though recording and producing each song is a collaborative effort.
“He comes with a structure or a skeleton, and then we each take our role and produce it fully from there,” Chiappinelli said.
Bad Mothers took advantage of some downtime during the pandemic to record music and build relationships in the industry. While they haven’t gone back to performing quite as regularly, “the shows that we have played have been good shows,” Bohen said.
“I think you’re seeing more people that want to be out now and they realize the value of live music and entertainment, so you see them trying to attend a little bit more, which is nice.”
Saturday will mark the second time they’ll have played Tulip Festival, though last year’s performance was virtual.
“To play for our city . . . that’s going to be really nice. We definitely appreciate the fact that we’re on this bill and that we get to play for people who have seen us come a long way,” Chiappinelli said. For more on the band, visit badmothersmusic.com.
Beyond the music
Tulip Festival runs from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Washington Square Park. Besides live music, it promises crafts from nearly 100 artisans, a fine arts show, a KidZone and more than 140,000 tulips.
Free CDTA shuttles will run continuously to Washington Park from Eagle Street and Elk Street parking lots. Accessible parking is available at the Albany Medical Center lot at Robin & Morris Streets. A free, accessible CDTA shuttle will run to and from the Madison and New Scotland entrance to the park throughout the festival.
For more information and to see the full schedule of events visit AlbanyEvents.org.
Here’s a look at the music schedule:
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – Bad Mothers
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Welshly Arms, which performs a blend of rhythm and soul mixed with rock and roll.
4:30 – 6:00 p.m. – Parquet Courts, a Brooklyn-based band that combines deadpan post-punk with the raw rock’n’roll of the Stooges, blistering funk and early American hardcore.
1 – 1:45 p.m. – Hanzolo is a 7-piece band that totes an explosive and emotional sound that mixes soul, jazz, rock and funk. Its songs are dance-worthy with thoughtful lyrics, backed up by a bright horn section.
2:15 – 3 p.m. – Canella brings a Latin spice to her indie folk-rock style. With some pop influences, her songwriting is full of intricate melodies that tell stories of existentialism and share intimate thoughts.
3:30 – 4:15 p.m. – Freedom Stratton and B.Chaps bring hip-hop/alternative with a dose of jazz to the stage.
4:45 – 5:30 p.m. – E.R.I.E., an alternative rock quartet that came on to the Albany music scene in 2020, is known for its catchy songs and energetic live performances.
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – Taína Asili is a New York-based Puerto Rican singer, filmmaker and activist carrying on the tradition of her ancestors, fusing past and present struggles into one soulful and defiant voice. Her music combines powerful vocals carrying themes of hope and liberation.
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. – DJ TGIF
4:30 – 6:00 p.m. – Powerhouse Funk Band will perform soul R&B, neo-soul, jazz, funk and everything else in-between.
1:00 – 1:45 p.m. – Kyla Silk, an R&B singer with vocals reminiscent of the OGs Carole King and Janis Joplin, as well as modern influences like Alicia Keys.
2:15 – 3:00 p.m. – Side-B, a four-piece alternative rock band consisting of drummer Dylan Travison, bassist Eric Mitchell, guitarist AJ Horton and vocalist Ian Justino.
3:30 – 4:15 p.m. – Kieran Rhodes, a Burnt Hill songwriter, pianist and vocalist, studying at Berklee College of Music.
4:45 – 5:30 p.m. – Playin’ with Fire is a cover band that performs rock, pop, country and blues.