Brand New Classic Rock!
^ hit "play" for some good tunes while you read!
A mainstay on the Northern California music scene since 1994, II BIG has been through various personnel changes over the years, but the original vision of founder and drummer Ken Ingels has never waveredthese guys come to rock!
Whether they’re playing a smoky little bar in their hometown of Ukiah or before 5,000 opening for legendary rockers in the outdoor theatre of Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa in Kelseyville, the dynamic fivesome puts on a show worthy of their status as regional legends. Over the course of hundreds of gigs, II BIG has opened for a veritable who’s who of classic rock: Foghat, Blue Oyster Cult, Loverboy, Grand Funk Railroad, Joe Walsh, REO Speedwagon, Ted Nugent, Jeff Healy, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Styx.
The vibe was more AC/DC and Van Halen-like in the early days with the original members, but once guitarists and lead singers Aubrey Hansen and Indiana Slim joined, II BIG has drawn crowds from miles around to hear a sound that Aubrey calls “Brand New Classic Rock.” The band is huge on the festival, fair and rodeo circuit, playing everywhere from the Bay Area to Reno and Eureka, where they recently played the Live at the Boardwalk series.
“Although our audience seems to be made up of people of all ages, we’re most popular with those folks who grew up with the sounds of classic Eagles, Bob Seger and ZZ Top,” says Ingels. “When we play live, we mix in some covers with our originals, anything from Jim Croce to Eddie Money and Marshall Tucker, but whatever we’re doing, Aubrey puts a boogie on everything he plays. We’re always out there having a blast.”
Each of the four current members brings the passion and perfectionism of the other work in their lives to the incredible band chemistry. A stalwart in the construction business, Aubrey Hansen works as a concrete foreman when not wailing on guitar. Derek Soderquist returns with his powerful bass lines to give the rhythm section a solid kick in the lower end. Indiana Slim has played guitar alongside countless musical legends in his full-time professional career. Ken Ingels runs a vineyard business and also works with some of the region’s top musicians at his Russian River Studios; he formed the label Russian River Records in 1994 with David Raitt, brother of legendary singer Bonnie Raitt.
“Each individual member is truly an artist in his own right,” says Ingels. “Their other specialties in life tie in perfectly with the artistry they bring to the band. But music is truly our sanctuary, and when we’re not out playing, we’re enjoying the creative energy we create in the studio. It’s just very enjoyable hanging out with these guys. When we say it’s ‘Brand New Classic Rock,’ essentially it’s about carrying forward the rich legacy of that classic sound everyone knows and loves.”
All of II BIG’s releases, including Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now, Like It II Much, II Big For The Radio, Sound Of The Highway, Face in the Glass, and their latest Git Up and Go, are available via outlets like CD Baby, Amazon and The Orchard. The band also has its entire catalog of over 100 songs on iTunes.
Aubrey Hansen stands up front with his solid guitar playing and soulful vocals that can bring tears to your eyes, as well as make you get up and dancetransferring the heart of any tune right to the listener's soul.
Ken Ingels' drumming provides a solid rhythmic foundation for II BIG's sound with a style reminiscent of John Bonham. Drummers of this caliber are one in a million!
Derek Soderquist has quietly perfected his craft with various club bands in Northern California over the years, and brings smooth harmonies and solid bass to every tune.
Indiana Slim snagged his guitar snake oil juice directly from his cousin, Lonnie Mack. Fully accomplished in many musical styles from rock & roll, rock-a-billy, country and blues, he has rocked with such classic performers from Jerry Lee Lewis and Bo Diddley to Billy Idol and countless Blues Legends. He has grooved alongside numerous top bands including the Allman Brothers, the Outlaws, the Doobie Brothers, Leon Russell, and Johnny Winter.