Published on February 3rd, 2013 | by Jessica Mickey and Ballard Lesemann0
Dig the Greasy Rock and Swing of Looka! Looka! Looka!
You don’t need huge amps, loud drums, and a PA cranked to high volume levels to raise hell with cool music. For the ever-touring, Florida-based combo Looka! Looka! Looka!, it’s a snap to lure audiences into their swinging’, foul-mouthed, totally rockin’ tangle of vintage country, blues rockabilly, and gypsy jazz — and all they have on hand is a stand-up bass, a small guitar amp, and hollow-body Gretsch, a high-hat cymbal, a kazoo on a wire, and a tiny megaphone attached to a mic stand.
Playing mostly as a duo with Lucio Mongustos Reyes Sanchez (from Pompano Beach, Fla.) handling the guitar, kazoo, hi-hat, and singing, and Steven Sacchetillo (from Lake Worth, Fla.) playing clickety bass and singing back-ups, Looka! Looka! Looka! is a retro-minded bohemian act, replete with tank tops and antique snap caps, but their skills are solid and their repertoire is vast — from Django Reinhardt, Jelly Roll Morton, and Hank Williams Sr. to slightly more contemporary Americana works from the 1950s and ’60s (and a bit of Tom Waits, too). They have a slew of originals numbers as well.
“I write most of the material and rely on Steve for tasty bass playing,” Lucio says. “We also collaborate on arranging some of the music.”
In their casual press kit, the duo defines itself as a “trash-folk/dumpster-swing/blues street band” with a hint of gospel and extra doses of Colonel Sanders, Dave Thomas, Evan Williams, and Ezra Brooks. They’ve been touring constantly since October, and they’re booked pretty solidly through March. They often pick up and drop off friends and random musicians along the way, too.
“We’ve been living on the road since the beginning,” Lucio says. “We aren’t really based out of anywhere, since neither one of us have a home. We live in a van, and we run into musicians on our travels, sometimes playing on the streets, sometimes in living rooms. You never know.”
Looka! Looka! Looka! is already earning a following in the Charleston scene. They’ve performed at the Mill, the Tin Roof, house shows, and small bars as headliners and openers. Metronome last caught them with guest banjo player Billiam at the Tattooed Moose on Jan. 15 (see clip below).
“We’ve played about five or six shows in Charleston since November,” Lucio says. “The highlight of any of our shows are when everyone starts dancing and enjoying themselves. We like it when people dance.”
The Looka fellas will be on stage as a duo at the Tin Roof this week with fellow Floridian (now based in Charleston) Antoine Dukes (of Viva Le Vox) and two local pals — Mackie Boles (of the Royal Tinfoil, Tickle Switch, Happy Story Hour) and Jordan Igoe (Happy Story Hour) on hand.
“We have friends in bands across the country, and we try to be helpful to people who are helpful to us,” Lucio says. “Like Mackie and Jordan and all of the other friends we’ve made in Charleston so far. They’re great.”
If you attend, check out their hand-drawn demo CDs (six songs and dirty picture) and tip ’em a shot and a beer or three.
Top photo by Ballard Lesemann.
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