New Haven, Conn., indie band Sidewalk Dave will perform a free show at 9 tonight at the Bullfrog Brewery, 229 W. Fourth St., Williamsport.
The band, which released its debut album, "Songs For Cowards" in 2009, generates a broad mix of contemporary alternative rock and American roots music. Soon after the release, a motorcycle accident involving two original members steered the group in a different direction.
"We had to cancel shows, we were feeling restless and we talked about how torn up we all were inside and out," founder, singer and songwriter Dave Van Witt said.
Sidewalk Dave will perform at 9 tonight at the Bullfrog Brewery, 229 W. Fourth St.
It was during this time of uncertainty, core members sat around a fire and passed around a bottle of Old Granddad Kentucky Bourbon. After the last shot was consumed, the band decided to forge ahead and start work on another album.
"The five of us talked long and slurred about how the new record had to be different," he said. "It had to drip with sweat and it had to stink of booze but moreover, it had to sound like all the highs and lows you get from drinking."
He also said growing up during a time of larger-than-life rock stars and stories of wild nights laced with booze, women and drugs, the group pondered what it would be like to relive some of those experiences.
"After learning to conjure up hangover cures from rotten half-finished beer cans in the late mornings, we decided to make an entire album while under the influence of the almighty jug and the bitter taste of whiskey," he said.
The new album inspired by, written while, and recorded under the influence of drinking, "Gold Liquid Mischief," was eventually released in April 2010.
And if readers think writing and recording an album while under the influence of whiskey may have its disadvantages, they would be right, according to the band.
"We figured the whole project would take maybe a month to complete," Van Witt said. "Unfortunately for us and our livers, it took nearly seven."
Van Witt also likened the experience to a parent who catches their child smoking cigarettes and then makes them sit down and smoke a whole pack until they become ill.
"To this day, there are certain whiskeys we can not even look at," he said. "But of course, we have no one to blame but ourselves."
In addition to whiskey, band members list The Velvet Underground, The Strokes, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones as musical influences.
According to Van Witt, the band has "a good thing going in Ohio," but also heard good things about the music scene right here in Williamsport.
"We're excited to perform there," he said. We hear the music scene in the area has really picked up in recent years."
Located halfway between New York City and Boston, Van Witt said New Haven is the center of Connecticut's hardcore rock scene, but as of late, the region is seeing its fair share of underground indie bands traveling through the area.
"The city is in kind of a transition period," he said. "The music scene seems to be evolving."
Future plans for the band include an album, "Sidewalk Dave Can Not Be Your Friend," which is set to be released at the end of May.
According to Van Witt, the theme of the new album is the push and pull of lusting for women.
"Many of the songs were written during a time of failed relationships," he said.
Regarding the name of the band, Van Witt said it was a nickname he aquired as a 16-year-old after his mother moved to Kansas and he was forced to live on the streets and play music in order to survive.
For more information about Sidewalk Dave, visit www.sidewalkdave.com. The band also has a Facebook fan page.