If you’ve been around the local music scene for more than a couple of years, you likely remember the acoustifunk jazz band Delbert.
Delbert is one of those groups that paid serious dues during the late 1990s, a time when Black Happy was on top, when there wasn’t much of a music scene.
As for venues, there weren’t many to choose from. For Delbert, it was either Fort Spokane Brewery or Mootsy’s.
And all ages? Forget it.
“Unless it was something like Live After 5 or Pig Out in the Park, you really couldn’t get to anyone that was under the age of 21,” says Delbert’s singer and guitarist Dominic Bartoletta, who has been working as a criminal justice lawyer the entire time he’s been in a band.
By the time Delbert broke up about two years ago, the scene turned around in its inevitable ebb and flow, and the rootsy jazz-funk quintet missed out on being a part of an active live music community – until now.
Delbert returns to the scene for a concert tonight at the B-Side, 230 W. Riverside, co-headlining with pop-ska-rockers 10 Minutes Down. Show time is 9 p.m. There is a $5 cover.
Not that the band has been totally disconnected from playing music.
The core members of Delbert – Bartoletta, guitarist Tom Solinsky, saxophonist Jesse Thompson, upright bassist Tyson Bickle and drummer Rick McQuesten have popped up onstage from time to time.
For St. Patrick’s Day, everyone except Bickle converged at Blue Spark and played traditional Irish drinking songs from 1 p.m. to midnight.
After Delbert officially broke up, Bartoletta and McQuesten formed Dive Tribe, which still plays around town.
But a call to arms for the post-Delbert bunch is easier said than done; Solinsky and Thompson live in Seattle, and Bickle lives in Portland.
Until this week, they’ve been practicing in pieces.
“Really we’ve been practicing for six years, so it’s a matter of individuals having their stuff down,” Bartoletta said.
Tonight’s show was booked after a friend and fan invited the members of Delbert to play for his wedding on Saturday night.
At both events, Delbert will play songs from its three albums, 1998’s “All Dressed In Brown,” 2000’s “Weird Faces” and 2001’s mostly live album, “Dear Jane.”