Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
From foreign shores to local haunts, accolades abound for Bad Influence. Washingtonian Magazine hails Bad Influence as "a part of a long and worthy Washington blues tradition". In fact, the band's performances and CDs have earned winning reviews in magazines and newspapers throughout the U.S. and abroad. Their latest CD, "Under The Influence", was a 2012 IBC Finalist for Best Self Produced CD, and a 2012 WAMMIE award nominee for Best Blues Recording, and is getting extensive airplay on terrestrial and satellite radio stations alike.
These accomplishments continue adding to their " 20 year overnight success". Their previous CD, "Tastes Like Chicken", won the 2001 Best Blues Recording award from the Washington Area Music Association (WAMMIE). They were nominated for 3 WAMMIE awards in 2003 - Best Blues Band, guitarist Michael Tash for Blues Instrumentalist and Roger Edsall for Blues Vocalist.
You need to see for yourself what the buzz is all about!
Simply put, you'll find yourself moving to the band's original blend of Chicago blues, swing, American roots and tinge of rock, packaged in an energy-charged delivery that consistently pleases both blues fanatics and non-blues fans alike. Check out their bios, CD releases, and the testimonials throughout this website. Then check out their up-to-date schedule, pay a visit to their youTube channel, and GO SEE THIS BAND!
Michael "Jr" Tash was born in 1965 in Silver Spring, MD. He has been around music from an early age. Mike's father, Ken, had been a singer in the DC area during the 60's and had established an impressive collection of records from the classic singers of the 40's and 50's. Little did he know this had quite an impact on the budding guitarist. In 1975, something happened to launch Mike into the world of music - KISS. Once he saw Kiss he knew he had to play the guitar. He got his first guitar - a cheap acoustic - at age 11. Next came high school and the electric guitars and loud amps, as he moved into the world of heavy metal.
In the early 80's Mike met DC guitarist Steve Jacobs and discovered the blues. The original Bad Influence was formed in 1988 with bassist Rick Haveland, who gave Mike the nickname "Jr" due to the age difference between them.
For over 20 years, Jr has been a fixture on the East Coast blues circuit. He has performed at numerous clubs, festivals, made multiple appearances at NAMM shows, and was recently inducted into the Northern Virginia Blues Hall Of Fame.
Jr is currently endorsed by Epiphone guitars, GHS Strings, Quilter Amps, Peavey Electronics, Levy's Leathers, Spectraflex cables, and PedalSnake cable systems.
"...Edsall is amongst the DC area’s finest harp players, able to distill Little Walter, George ‘Harmonica’ Smith, Sonny Boy Williamson and Slim Harpo into a personal style..." from In A Blue Mood Online
Considered among the top of the list of blues harpists in the mid-Atlantic region, Roger Edsall combines a mix of styles from classic pioneers Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson, as well as everybody's contemporary guru, Kim Wilson. Born in Alton, IL - the birthplace of Miles Davis - it was destined that music would be in Roger's blood.
Roger has shared the stage and the bill with the likes of Maria Muldaur, the aforementioned Kim Wilson, Kenny Neal, Jimmy Thackery and a host of others (including Hizzoner Marion Barry - not something everyone can boast!). it's clear that the savvy of veteran musical experience has served Roger well and is clearly displayed on Bad Influence gigs and in their award-winning recordings.
Roger is currently endorsed by Hohner Harmonicas and Peavey Electronics.
The man with the feel and that voice, Washington, DC native Bob Mallardi picked up the bass at an early age. His father Joseph and mother Louise had very strong musical bacgrounds that they carried with them from their roots in the old country.
Growing up, Bob's older brother Bill would play records from James Brown, Booker T. & the MG's, The Meters, Roy Buchanan, Canned Heat, and assorted Motown artists. This foundation would fuel his musical growth through stints with many DC area bands including the Bluescasters, and in 1995 he joined Bad Influence. Bob's melding of blues and soul is a big part of the band's unique identity.
Bob joined Bad Influence in 1995 and is is featured on "Where We Been", "Tastes Like Chicken", and "Under The Influence".
Bob is currently endorsed by GHS Strings and Hartke Amplifiers.
David Thaler was born in 1961 in Washington, DC, and grew up in the Maryland suburbs. He began playing drums when he was 5 (his first "drum set" was a combination of boxes and a toy drum) and he began taking formal lessons at age 7. Three years later, his parents bought him a 1967 blue oyster pearl Ludwig kit, which became his main kit for nearly 40 years.
He played rock, inspired by Carl Palmer, Bill Bruford, and John Bonham as well as Buddy Rich. He also had classical training on timpani throughout the 1970s, studying under Fred Begun, timpanist for the National Symphony Orchestra, and playing with state and national orchestras. After gigging with various rock bands during the 1980s, the blues got into David's blood while listening to the likes of Albert Collins, BB King, Muddy Waters, Ronnie Earl, and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
David has spent the last 25 years working on both his chops and his blues "feel." His first real blues gig was in 1992, when he sat in with a local band - which included Roger Edsall - and opened for Junior Wells at Tornado Alley in Wheaton, MD. He was hooked. David sat in for a gig with Bad Influence in Frederick, MD in 1993, and has been with Jr., Bob, and Roger ever since.
David fell in love with Sonor drums during a NAMM convention in 2009, finally hanging up his Ludwigs for a midnight blue Force 3007 Sonor kit.
David is endorsed by Sonor drums, Beato Bags, and Roc-n-Soc thrones.