Expect big sound from Little Hercules

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— For a small time two-year band from Minturn, Colo., pumping up the fans with a funky greasy groove before Liquid Soul rocks the house is more than a dream for Little Hercules, it's become a reality.

Memories are being made every time they're on stage. It's happening right now.

When bands ask themselves, "Why is this worth it?" Little Hercules doesn't question that one second when they're learning and hanging out with Grammy nominated Liquid Soul.

It is not just a faint memory of a past event. The band has been living and breathing history in the making for the last two seasons while opening for the Chicago-based band.

Cristian Basso, bassist and vocals for Little Hercules, said looking at the relationship of the two bands resembles the Big Brother program. Little Hercules feeds off the energy, experience and expertise of Liquid Soul, and they revel in the high intensity that Little Hercules creates for them.

"They really want to see us do well. For a young band, you really can't ask for more than that," Basso said. "For us, it's just a huge honor to share the stage."

When producer David Marshall introduced the bands about two years ago, Basso said Little Hercules wanted the transition time on stage to be seamless. And as they attempt that smooth transition every time they're on stage, positive and upbeat energy fosters an even smoother change.

The cross between G. Love and Red Hot Chili Peppers defines the heavy element of funk - "with a capital F" - that Little Hercules emulates. Priding themselves on their skilled songwriting, Basso said he started down that road years ago with poetry.

When Basso picked up his bass, no pun intended, in 1985, his epiphany of piecing poetry together with the new-found instrument brought only success.

While he and Scott Kabel, on guitar and lead vocals, write all the songs for Little Hercules, the studio door is open to all suggestions and changes, he said.

"Musically, Jeff has been really stepping up. And sometimes it's hard for drummers to feel like they can write music," Basso said of Jeff Armistead, on keyboard and vocals, and Matt Hopkins, drummer. If you alienate people's ideas, "you're going to stump the creativity."

With their third album, either self-titled or named "Flava," Little Hercules said they'll someday be where Liquid Soul is now.

"We're really excited to share our tunes with Liquid Soul. They have so much more experience," Basso said.

Touring for five shows in Colorado over the next week, Little Hercules will pump out more than just a huge sound from a little band.

Humor and laughter define a couple goals Little Hercules would like to live by. When Kabel started the band two years ago as a trio, an influential sound coming from three people seemed fitting. But as the band's fan base heightens and since another member has been added, their flare on stage may override the puny little name.

"If we're not having a good time, we're not gonna have fun or write good music," Basso said.

Making it as successful songwriters and musicians is a common goal the entire band wants to pursue. And Basso said they're all dedicated to giving up regular jobs and proceeding with the music career, as soon as gigs become more regular and the money starts flowing in faster.

"That 's our direction to be known as songwriters and musicians with our greasy groove. People are starting to believe in what we do," Basso said. "There are so many types of music to be influenced by still."

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