(Crystal A. Proxmire, for Berkley Live, used with permission)
Dutch Pink is good drinking music. Their name is a play on words that traces back to urine and though the music means different things to those who hear it – and the band members who make it – it is definitely gritty, scratchy, grumpy, tough-guy rock n roll. Put their strong, yet lyrical chords and the raw passionate voice of Dustin Charles Leslie on vocals into the Friday night atmosphere of the Berkley Front, and a good time is likely to occur.
In the past eight years the band has grown from three to six members, has produced five albums, and done hundreds of shows together, including many at the Berkley Front. “The folks at the Front have been very good to us over the years,” said Leslie. “Christian is a folk hero to us. We played our first show there in 2004. There is a lot of respect given to the musicians. Whenever we have bands coming in from out of town we always try and set something up there. We know it will be a good time and we can send them on their way with some money in their pocket.”
The six member-band is made up of Dustin Charles Leslie on vocals, guitar, piano, organ, Clyde on Bass Guitar, Scotty Stone on drums, Joel “Jelly Roll” McCune on lead guitar, and Aja Sardis and Serene Arena also on vocals. Leslie said that “each new member was a natural fit,” and credited the addition of new members with the different sounds and ideas the band has explored over the years.
“Influence is another especially flighty and curious nomenclature. As of right now, it is most importantly the other members of the band. We are currently writing our sixth album. So directly the people sharing air in the basement impact direction, sounds, words, more than Beethoven. Likewise we all have a healthy respect and admiration for each other’s abilities and individual musical and personal accomplishments.”
When asked about the band’s name, Leslie gave insight into the many meanings Dutch Pink might have. “It was better than Withagainst, our original name,” he said. “It has been linked to the Tom Wait’s song “Jockey Full of Bourbon,” which we realized at the time. It is an anachronism for “Boxer’s Blood.” It also is a familiar color. The word pink originally meant a yellow color. There is speculation, owing to its greenish yellow tone, that it is derived from the German word “pinkeln” translated in a dictionary of 1798 as ‘to piss, to make water.’ Dutch Pink is the color of my house in Ferndale. Our ode to big pink, etc. All meaning is derived from the reader, listener.”
To listen to Dutch Pink songs like Good Work, Corn Palace Heirs, and Miss Bettie Page, check them out on Myspace. They can also be heard on You Tube, or their website www.dutchpink.net. They’ll be playing another show at The Berkley Front on Friday, Nov. 25. The opening band for the show is Cosmic Light Shapes, a group that comes from Hamtramck.