Blue Light Bandits get ready to break big

Based out of Douglas, Blue Light Bandits is a young band on the verge of breaking big. They are arguably unmatched in momentum right now in the New England music scene. Over the course of the past two years, this self-described “groove band” has won Rhode Island’s Last Band Standing Competition, scored complimentary studio recording time and hosted their own album release party.

“We certainly feel good about where we are and where we could be headed if we keep it up,” said bass player Ethan Bates. “Good gigs have always led to good opportunities, and a year of playing three to four nights a week, both in public and private performance scenarios, has greatly sharpened our performance skills. We continue to strive for a balance of professionalism and recreation in everything we do as a band, and that balance is what we expect to fuel further success.”

But the success BLB has experienced didn’t happen overnight. The group’s origin goes back to Whitinsville Christian School in 2008, when Bates met guitarist Dan DeCristofaro in a high school music theory class. In college, they recruited drummer Mike Braz, and in 2015, topped off their lineup with singer and lead guitarist Ricky Duran.

Since then, BLB have had their collective foot on the accelerator, and the Rubber Tracks program provided a major boost for the burgeoning band. Sponsored by Converse Music, Rubber Tracks gives emerging artists the opportunity to win free studio time at one of the program’s community-based professional recording studios. In BLB’s case, they recorded at Q Division Studios in Somerville. The end product was “A Little Love” and “Mess You Make Me,” which they made public at their aforementioned record release party in March.

The members of BLB have also become no strangers to performing in front of a large crowd. Last August, they played to a sold-out crowd of more than 400 at Westport Winery in Westport as part of the Sunset Music Series. They have also opened for Sublime cover band Badfish at Syracuse, N.Y.’s, Westcott Theater.

Although they refer to themselves as a groove band, BLB are approachable for almost all listeners.

“Though our sound flows through many musical genres, the groove is evergreen, no matter the type of emotion we express in music,” said Bates. “We believe there’s something special and unique about being able to genuinely create a big sound in a live setting.”

But still, Duran stresses that BLB have a unique approach that’s all their own.

“I think one of the things that sets us apart from other bands is our individual versatility as musicians,” said Duran. “Each of us can stand alone and entertain an audience; we all can play multiple instruments and write music, as well.”

Keep an ear out for BLB as they perform at different festivals and events, including Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard in Little Compton, R.I., this June.

For more information, visit

By Jason Savio