BU Today Sessions: The Alrighters
That’s right: no guitars
The Alrighters are not your typical band. There are no guitars. An unusually large percentage of their songs are about food. And when asked to name influences for their “50s R&B meets punk” sound, singer Andrew Galante rattles off musicians from AC/DC to the Coasters to Etta James to the Skatalites.
“That’s a lot of different things obviously,” says Galante, a senior production assistant at BU’s Creative Services. “But I’m not trying to be funny. All of those artists have influenced us in one way or another.”
The Alrighters evolved through several permutations before settling into their current lineup, which includes saxophonist Kim Kendricken, upright bassist Zeke Wheeler, and drummer Matt Schlaikjer. Galante began as the band’s drummer in 2003, and shortly after he grabbed the microphone, the band finally found its bearings as a live act. Today, the Alrighters is one of those bands that has to be seen live to be fully appreciated.
“At first we were going for something totally different from what was out there — something fresh,” says Galante. “So many people either shook their heads or were shocked when we said we don’t have a guitar player. Now it’s all about having a good time — both with us and for the crowd.”
When the lights go down and the sun comes up, Galante reverts from bombastic, dancing front man to far more subdued producer of bulletins, working in a cubicle in a BU office. “It’s a great combo for me,” he says. “I can have a hobby and a job at the same time.”