Out of the Box
Don't Hurt Bob Here's the story as we like to tell it... Guitar players John Spezzano and Bobby Lund first met while working on a film set in Los Angeles in 1995. Both passionate musicians, they started a weekly jam session in John's Venice, California garage, grooving on their mutual love for blues guitar riffs. Lund's natural playing style was a great foil for Spezzano's studied technique, and eventually other players began to show up regularly. One of them, Israeli drummer Itzik Cohen, brought his unusual self-taught approach to rhythm and somehow the three very different personalities blended perfectly in the music they played. Figuring they needed a voice to go with the music, they placed ads all over Los Angeles looking for 'a singer who writes,' and Robbie Ann McPherson turned up to audition. The trained vocalist who once dreamed of being a torch singer had decided to pursue rock & roll performing instead of country songwriting, and felt she'd found the creative brothers she was looking for. The rest is Don't Hurt Bob history...The group started writing songs and gigging around the Los Angeles music scene; 4,312 bass players and dozens of songs later, Don't Hurt Bob entered the studio in 2001 to record their debut CD, 'Out of the Box.' Favoring the old-school sounds of classic rock bands, Don't Hurt Bob chose a combined recording process; they tracked the songs digitally, then put all the tracks on analog tape to mix the album.'We wanted to get a retro flavor without sounding moldy,' says singer Robbie Ann McPherson. 'We all love those classic bands we grew up with, and we wanted that warmth you can only get with the analog process.' The album's eclectic style has been compared to classic acts from the 70s and current chart-toppers; one music journalist called Don't Hurt Bob's sound 'the result of a freakish union between Heart, the Beatles, the Black Crowes and No Doubt.' Lofty comparisons to live up to, of course, but the band members are pragmatic. 'Those are superstars, people we look up to, and being compared to them is a huge compliment,' says guitarist Bobby Lund. A listen to 'Out of the Box' reveals many musical influences: Lund lists Eric Clapton and Dicky Betts among his guitar heroes; Spezzano favors acoustic guitarist Michael Hedges, the great Stevie Ray Vaughan and country player Duke Levine as inspirations. Drummer Itzik Cohen lists the Dave Matthews Band and tabla player Zakir Hussen as major influences, and McPherson grew up idolizing Linda Ronstadt, Ann Wilson, Pat Benatar and Carly Simon, among other vocalists.