Witty & engaging, Damn Tall Buildings’ energizing music finds beauty and glory in the mundane workaday struggle of everyday life: time keeps passing and the seasons come and go, you scroll too much, you smoke too much, you lose yourself, only to sit with yourself & find yourself again, you laugh with your friends, and you look out the window & dream about what else might be out there. It all keeps coming around. You carry on, intent on flourishing and thriving. This is what Damn Tall Buildings sings about, what they seek to share with their audience.
In their early days, Damn Tall Buildings didn’t rehearse – they busked. Now, whether live or on record, the trio still radiates the energy of a crew of best friends playing bluegrass on the street. Anchoring that energy is their instrumental chops, their strong songwriting, and their varied influences that stretch beyond bluegrass, even beyond American roots music altogether. Whether sharing lead vocals and instrumental solos or blending their voices into high-spirited harmony, Damn Tall Buildings is a tight unit that contains more than the sum of its parts.
Primary vocalist and lyricist Max Capistran’s singing recalls old blues and The Band-style roots-rock, whereas Sasha Dubyk’s time studying musical theater is evident in her rich vocal tone and soulful flair. Avery Ballotta’s fiddle brings stratospheric dimension to the churning rhythm section of Capistran’s guitar and Dubyk’s bass. The band’s harmony singing is tight without being too slick – they sound like three individual voices joined together in celebration, not a perfectly polished machine. Their choruses are the kind you sing along to with a glass raised into the air.
In 2013, then students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, the band took their instruments to nearby street corners and jammed for hours on old bluegrass and blues songs, traditional fiddle tunes, and eventually their own original music. Busking, a continuous test of one’s ability to command an audience’s attention, cemented their closeness and fostered their infectious, captivating performance style. It’s how they learned half of their repertoire, and it’s where Dubyk first picked up the bass.
Since their busking days, Damn Tall Buildings have grown to new heights over the course of their decade of creating together. They’ve made four albums: 2014’s Cure-All, 2015’s self-titled, 2019’s Don’t Look Down and 2022’s Sleeping Dogs. The band has also relocated to Brooklyn, NY and toured widely, appearing at festivals like Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Freshgrass Festival, Ossipee Valley Festival, Walnut Valley Festival, Blissfest and Merlefest. Now based in Brooklyn, NY, they have begun to travel the globe playing bigger and bigger stages, making lots of friends wherever they go. They carry with them a connective spirit, welcoming audiences to join in the moment with the band as they take us on a journey through a well-crafted show. The trio has a knack for making any room feel a little more like home.