Local Band Spotlight: Filibuster

Filibuster was founded in Sacramento, California in the early 1990s. Playing a unique blend of ska, rocksteady and Northern Soul, mixed with turntables and hip-hop influences. Though the line up was at times a revolving door of players, the band stayed true to their street music roots throughout their existence, earning them a loyal following.

They started touring the West Coast in their beloved school bus, “Belle”, back in 1995 and didn’t stop through eight national and two European tours, the latter with the venerable band, The Skatalites.

The band’s signature “Streetsteady” sound became an influence for many other bands and musicians but there were several casualties along the way. Guitarist Curt Cottrell quit the band after battling alcohol abuse for many years, with his departure prompted by a disastrous appearance on Italian television.

Despite all the touring Filibuster found time to record three albums:

Their self-released debut, “New Ruler and the King”, was recorded in Sacramento and released in 1995.

Filibuster's, "new ruler & the king"

The band signed with Long Beach, California label Skunk Records (home of Sublime) and released their second album, “The Means…” in 1997 via it’s subsidiary label, Cornerstone R.A.S. (and had Belle on the cover).

Filibuster's album, "The Means..."

Filibuster hit “the big time” when Skunk Records sent the band to Electrical Audio studios in Chicago to record with legendary producer/engineer, Steve Albini. The resulting album, “Deadly Hi-fi”, was released in 1999.

Filibuster's, "Deadly Hi-fi"

No other studio recordings were made but the constant touring continued and it finally wore the members down, with the group finally disbanding in 2003.

Where Are They Now?

A couple of the members went into the culinary arts with Jason “Chinbone” Boggs, vocalist and saxophonist, now co-owning several Sacramento area restaurants and bars, including The Shady Lady Saloon, while DJ Rob Venditti, AKA Rob Rossi, became executive chef at Pangaea Bier Cafe, also in Sacramento.

Trumpeter/vocalist Kenny “Papa Scully” Beasly is still playing locally, leading the Sacto Storytellers reggae/dub band, while bassist Ben McClara is President, Artistic Director & Founder of Sacramento Preparatory Music Academy.

Help Document Further

If you’d enjoy knowing more about the local music scene in your town or sharing the knowledge you already have, consider helping us at Local Bands Wiki – the site for all those beloved local bands not considered “famous enough” to get a page on Wikipedia.

– Editor Simon

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