Reggae rockers Bumpin Uglies, hailing from Annapolis, Maryland, headlined 9:30 Club on May 4 with openers Joey Harkum and Higher Education. Steve Satzberg was there to photograph the show!
Editor: The following is adapted from band biographies.
In the fall of 2020, Bumpin Uglies started releasing a new song every month as part of a project called the Never Ending Drop. This was part of the band’s strategy to deal with lockdowns during the COVID pandemic.
“We felt like prospectors going out and trying to find gold — it was just uncharted territory,” frontman Brandon Hardesty said. “We had to figure out a way to make a living. That’s kind of what being a musician during Covid has felt like to me. You can do it, but you have to be bold.”
For the first time, Hardesty approached songwriting as a discipline, dedicating time to working on new music rather than waiting for inspiration to strike and then jotting down ideas in the back of the Bumpin Uglies van on his way from one gig to the next.
“I just woke up every morning and I made a pot of coffee, and I had this running list of ideas in my phone for hooks and riffs and progressions,” he says. “I sat down every day and made myself write a song, and 85 percent of them were pretty good. And it was awesome. I really, really enjoyed the process.”
The result is the band’s seventh studio album, Mid-Atlantic Dub, which they released in 2022 via Ineffable Records. After showing the breadth of Bumpin Uglies’ influences on the Never Ending Drop, from folk to classic country to hip-hop, Mid-Atlantic Dub brings the group — also featuring Dave Wolf on bass and vocals, Ethan Lichtenberger on keyboards and TJ Haslett on drums — back to the core of what they do.
Stream Mid-Atlantic Dub by Bumpin Uglies on Spotify:
Through deep, poignant lyrics which tell stories of happiness, love, loss and sadness, Joey Harkum has been traveling and playing his heartfelt songs for over a decade.
Watch the official music video for “Sick and Tired” by Joey Harkum on YouTube:
Higher Education is a three-piece power trio from Maryland, consisting of Brothers Petey and Danny Devaney on guitar, bass, and vocals, and Bradley Wilson on drums. Together they have toured the country sharing their extensive original catalog of music and high-energy performances.
Watch the official music video for “Wish You Well” by Higher Education on YouTube:
Here are a few photos of Higher Education opening for Bumpin Uglies at 9:30 Club on May 4, 2023. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Steve Satzberg.
Here are photos of Joey Harkum opening for Bumpin Uglies at 9:30 Club on May 4, 2023. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Steve Satzberg.
And here are photos of Bumpin Uglies performing at 9:30 Club on May 4, 2023. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Steve Satzberg.