The Dodge brothers — Sammy, Jack and Yo-Yo — have been rocking out together since childhood, when their mother, a modern dancer, introduced them to the likes of Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson on car rides to gymnastics practice.
“Anyone who would dance really hard, Dana would get us into,” Sammy said.
So although their band The Up All Nights began officially in 2008 when they drunkenly performed at twins Jack and Yo-Yo’s high school winter formal in their native Perrysville, their musical history runs deeper than one presidential term.
“We are all timeless, ageless, and The Up All Nights have always been and always will be,” Sammy said.
Those early shows, which also included a prom gig, came about when Sammy, the twins’ elder by two years, got sick of searching for suitable bandmates.
“Instead of going out and finding a musician who would rock out, I found people who rock out who would become musicians,” Sammy said.
Since then it’s been Sammy on guitar, Jack on bass and Yo-Yo on drums. Occasional guests join in, but The Up All Nights is strictly a family band.
“No one’s allowed to quit. We’d kick their ass,” Sammy said.
“And also, nobody else is allowed to join,” Jack added. They’d make an exception for their older brother Eric, who plays clarinet, or for Keith Richards.
Their live shows are wrecked and raucous, so of course their first record, a 10-inch EP called “Electric Libraland,” is a party on wax. The title, a reference to their shared astrological sign, upholds a tradition including Jimi Hendrix’s “Electric Ladyland” and Butthole Surfers’ “Electriclarryland.”
“We consider this sort of the ‘Return of the Jedi’ of the three projects,” Sammy explained.
Sammy’s been on vocal rest lately, but whiskey and honey have him ready to howl for Saturday’s “Libraland” release party at Kobo.
“We’ve been slowly progressing,” Jack said. “We were always good; now we’re great.”
Photo by Tessa Berg