by Brian Hanshaw
When you hear the words “Baked Goods,” you probably think of a bakery or some girls selling brownies at the snack bar of your junior high school. But did you know that Baked Goods is also the name of a band? That’s right; a group of guys from Nassau County in Long Island, NY came up with the name one summer with a group of friends.
“We were just hanging around one day trying to figure out what to call ourselves. Someone suggested ‘Fresh Goods’ and then from there we decided that Baked Goods would work best for all of us,” says Asa Lieberman. Lieberman is the lead vocalist/guitarist and songwriter for the band. Fellow band mates include Dan Janis-Tenor Sax, Glenn Chiarello-Drums, Skyler Rudolfsky-Baritone Sax, Josh Hyman-Electric guitar, and Cory Azmon-Bass Guitar.
The group met while growing up in Merrick, their hometown located in Long Island, NY. They attended John F. Kennedy High School and became friendly through being in the band and other musical organizations. The group decided to merge and form a group composed of some of the best musicians in their class and have been jamming out together since. Lieberman had also mentioned to me during our interview that coincidentally enough, he is originally a local and he has family from parts of Cheltenham, PA and Ambler, PA.
For those who have never heard the band, their sound can best be described as jam-band, funk, jazz and rock all melted together. Figuratively, it is a fondue of different elements dipped into a big batch of melted chocolate. They incorporate acoustic sounds as well as electric rock guitar blended with a saxophone/brass horn element to add a sort of jazzy, ska flavor to the mix. They are influenced by such bands as Dave Matthews, Phish, Sublime, OAR and the like. Most of their fan base is comprised of a younger, college-aged crowd-about 18-30. However, they feel that their music can be geared towards anyone who is willing to enjoy it. “We see all kind of people at our shows”, says Lieberman. “When we see people out on the floor dancing and having a good time, it makes us feel good because that is how we know that they truly are enjoying our music.”
Each of the band members is a trained musician and is professional about their work, but they also like to have fun. Janis is an alternate for New York’s All-State band and a member of the Nassau County All-County Wind Ensemble. Chiarello is a member of the Nassau-Suffolk Jazz Ensemble, as well as a percussionist for the All State Jazz band. When asked about creating and composing their own original work, the band mates simply replied, “It takes a whole lot of wrong to make a whole lot of right.” I found this quote to be very simple, yet quite profound. “It is mostly a collaborative effort, and we try to treat each song as its own distinct project. Each particular track is unique in itself, so that none of our songs ever sound alike.” The guys do most of their recordings at Music Palace with producer Kenny Truhn and owner Michael Bona.
The band has played a few local gigs and has performed at various events and charity functions around their home town. They played at the Long Island 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer as well as The Hub Billards Club in Island Park, NY. One of their all-time dreams is to open for Eric Clapton at Madison Square Garden. “Playing at MSG would be awesome. Being from this area, it has always been their goal to be chosen to perform at The Garden in front of a live audience.”
If you visit the bands Facebook page, there is even a link to vote for them so that they can hopefully get the chance to fulfill this goal.
If you would like to hear more about Baked Goods, you can visit their website or check out their Facebook. The band will also be releasing a new album this coming February featuring nine new tracks, and they have cleverly titled the album Fresh Out the Oven. The guys hope to be playing soon in Philadelphia- possibly during the spring, so if you are interested in seeing them keep an eye out for tour dates.