HEY NOW...Because your booty was meant to bounce, Extra Large is the perfect soundtrack for ‘throw your hands in the air’ fun. Voted Best Local Band in Santa Cruz County nine times running, Extra Large splices together funk gyrations, Latin spice, fun-in-the-sun reggae, and classic California rock vigor. This veteran six-piece ensemble has become a California coast staple adept at heating up dance floors, concert stages, and festivals. What sets Extra Large apart from the ‘dance band’ pack is that their dance music is original, upbeat, positive and fun! Bursting with screaming horns and steaming strings, with drums and bass bulldozing any listener’s attempt to stand still, this band continues to reign as the ultimate party starter for any upbeat occasion. Sometimes size does matter, and Extra Large dutifully fills every musical gap.
At the end of a long, tough day, all we want to do is blow off some steam, and get reacquainted with the things in life that really matter to us-that's where EL comes in. Like a six-piece pressure release valve, EL is there with a cool blend of the funk, reggae riffs, latin beats, essence of jazz and soul that rejuvenates. Proclaiming their role as "fiesta facilitators", they dare us to dance (it's their motto), and we obey. Their lyrics hear our strife and speak of love, optimism and fulfillment. Frontman Russ Leal steps up to the mic. The consumate showman- generous, confident and full of energy- he is plainspoken and charismatic. "It's our goal to make you whole, by doing what we do with unadulterated soul," he sings. Why do we love you Extra Large? Because you know what we mean when we say we're tired, but you're not jaded. You give us permission to forget ourselves and relax, to rediscover fun and lightness of spirit, and as such, we are restored in the funky earnestness of your unfalteringly well-adjusted worldview.
Amanda Martinez-music editor
Good Times Santa cruz