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Good music and good times at Gug's

Good music and good times at Gug's

'It’s basically a house party, but at a bar'
Good music and good times at Gug's
Candy Ambulance is one of three groups performing Saturday night at Gug's.
Photographer: Danny DeRusso

Gug’s always has three things on tap: beer, live music, and a good time.

At least that’s what Jon Cantiello of Candy Ambulance has found in his years of playing there. 

This weekend, Candy Ambulance will be sharing the stage with two other popular local bands: Good Fiction and Tambourelli & Her SuperTrips.

“It’s basically a house party, but at a bar,” Cantiello said of the venue’s vibe. 

Cantiello formed the band with Caitlin Barker and Jesse Bolduc in 2014. They’ve got an alternative grunge-rock sound, heavily influenced by everything from Nirvana and Pearl Jam to Modest Mouse and The Shins.

They debuted their first album two years ago and they’ve been consistently performing locally or on tour ever since. The trio has a curious performance style, sometimes stripping down right before taking the stage, and they’ve gained a dedicated fan base.

“In the first couple of years, we were banging out songs pretty quickly, but now we take a long time with them,” Cantiello said. That extra time and care come through on their latest single, “Weekday,” which they’ll be performing on Saturday, along with a few other new singles.

While the bill for the evening may seem packed, to Cantiello that’s how the local music scene has been lately: crowded and loving it.

“There’s been an influx of local bands in recent years,” Cantiello said, “There’s a kind of booming scene.”

And it’s a supportive scene, bolstered by venues inviting musicians to play and fellow bands asking to do double shows. Mike Rios, the owner of Gug’s, is always working to bring in local bands to give them a chance to play. Although the place is only open for about five months out of the year, he brings in as much local talent as he can, the supply of which has only increased.

“I started [bringing in] music in the 90s, but it’s really taken off in the last few years,” Rios said.

Bands like the Wild Adriatic and Let’s Be Leonard often make appearances and bring other bands along with them.

When Rios first talked about setting up Saturday’s show, Cantiello said that the band immediately thought of inviting Good Fiction — “as a thank you because we played with them at The Hollow” — and Tambourelli & Her SuperTrips because they’ve often played together.

“I’ll actually be drumming in their set,” Cantiello said.

Tambourelli & Her SuperTrips, a post-grunge and jam band which formed a few years ago, have become popular within the local music scene.

“Our live performances have changed dramatically throughout the band’s short life due to the different members that have come and gone. But we’ve always tried to keep the energy up and have a good time. We try to take the audience away from all the mundane humdrum that fills all our lives. It’s freeing,” founding member Kyle Rodd told the Gazette in 2016.

While they’re no strangers to Gug’s, it’ll be Good Fiction’s first time taking the stage there.

“I’ve heard so many cool things about it,” said lead guitarist Alex Wollyung.

Since forming three years ago, the three-piece band has been writing songs and working together as much as they can in-between semesters away at college. Despite the distance and their hectic schedules, the garage-rock trio gained a loyal following and earned accolades from local radio stations like EQX in their first year or so.

“We went from playing basement shows to playing with X Ambassadors at RPI,” Wollyung said.

Although the band has gone through some changes earlier this year — their original bass guitarist, Taylor Abbitt moved to the West Coast and Albany musician James Johnson has taken his place — things are picking up speed. Since the founding members, Wollyung and Patrick Grace, graduated in the spring, they’ve been able to really hone their sound and play more local shows.

They’re also making progress mixing and finishing their latest album, which they hope to release early next year. Lately, Wollyung said their sound has been more heavily influenced by electronic alternative, especially for Grace, who is both drummer and vocalist for the band.

“It’s like a wall of sound that took a while to build,” Wollyung said. It’s a sound they’ve also felt supported enough to build.

“We’re in a pretty lucky spot here, especially with stations like EQX,” Wollygung added. The band has been part of what he calls an exploding local music scene and they intend to stick around and play as many local shows as possible and collaborate with other bands.

For Saturday’s show, they plan to bring all new music to the stage, including their single “Like I’m Your Man (For Real).”

Candy Ambulance, Good Fiction, Tambourelli & Her SuperTrips

WHEN: 9 p.m. Sat.
WHERE: Gug’s 18 Haskell Ave. Glens Falls 
MORE INFO: Visit Gug’s on Facebook

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