Tustin-bred musicians The Bash Dogs bring a ’60s vibe to House of Blues – Orange County Register


Once a month, the Foundation Room at the House of Blues Anaheim time-travels back to the Summer of Love.

A disc jockey warms up the crowd spinning Beatles, Jefferson Airplane and Jimmy Hendrix vinyl records. A cover band might follow with hits from the ’60s. Go-go dancers do their thing.

Then the fab four Bash Dogs take the stage with their own brand of flower power — showcasing original music and lyrics at once mellow and energetic.

“We are bringing ‘groovy’ to Orange County,” said drummer Jeremy Barrett, 20, who co-founded The Bash Dogs with brother Nate in middle school.

The North Tustin natives attended Orange Lutheran High School, where they met and added bass player Nathan Schmok, also of North Tustin. Then Jeremy crossed paths with UCLA classmate Cole Riddle, a keyboardist, and welcomed him on board a few months ago.

After playing at hundreds of fraternity parties and such, the Barrett boys struck upon an entrepreneurial brainstorm.

Last year, the House of Blues moved from Downtown Disney to the city’s GardenWalk. At the new location, the concert hall gained space to include a Foundation Room — standard at other House of Blues sites for pre-show and event parties.

“It is the most beautiful place, with Hindu statues and red velvet couches,” said guitarist and vocalist Nate Barrett, 23.

The recent Loyola Marymount University graduate requested a sit-down with Foundation Room execs. Dressed in a business suit, he proposed his plan for The Bash Dogs to host occasional shows in the plush lounge.

“We thought their music would fit well with our environment, so we gave it a shot,” said Ariel Xaubet, director of night life for the Foundation Room.

Calling the intermittent event “Soul Kitchen,” the Bash Dogs so far have delivered three shows running 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. — past bedtime for most people who actually witnessed the hippy culture. The next Soul Kitchen takes place Friday, Sept. 22.

Xaubet said he has been pleasantly surprised by the turnout of around 200 guests, aged 21 through 35ish, per gig.

“I didn’t even know this ’60s niche existed with young people,” Xaubet said. “They are passionate about the band and the era. The majority of them dress in ’60s styles, but it’s not a costume party — it’s just who they are.”

Rather than charging The Bash Dogs rent, the House of Blues makes money off drink sales, Xaubet said.

The Foundation Room offers a refreshingly different experience from drunk fests…

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