22theroykayduo.jpg
Renee McMahon
The Roy Kay Combo -- featuring Roy Kay (left) and Aaron Mlasko -- play a CD-release show on November 6 at Victory Lounge

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Why Rockabilly's The Roy Kay Trio Allowed a Drummer and a Beard Into the "Combo"

22theroykayduo.jpg
Renee McMahon
The Roy Kay Combo -- featuring Roy Kay (left) and Aaron Mlasko -- play a CD-release show on November 6 at Victory Lounge celebrating the quartet's debut, I'm Hooked.
Eight years and four albums after forming The Roy Kay Trio, the the city's sharpest rockabilly concern is releasing an album with a drummer Aaron Mlasko, and dealing with the fact that he has scruff on his face that won't wash off. "We're working on him!" says Kay.

Bassist Robin Cady: "It's not mandatory to shave or anything. We've never had a discussion about each others' styles before."

Kay: "I've never seen you with a beard, man."

Cady: "I went a week-and-a-half 'round this time last year."

Grooming aside, Kay says that after almost a decade of drummers assuming an empty chair meant there was a job opening, the band decided to throw a bone to one of the city's underemployed stickmen and see what happens.

"When you add drums and piano, there's more space," says Kay. "With the trio, we're really trying to make the most out of what we all have, which was really cool because it's a challenge to create a big full sound with three people. And I think it's almost the opposite way when you have a drummer and piano. Then it's a challenge to create the space to let five or six instruments play."

 
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