Sidecar Social Club

Anyone who’s heard of Sidecar Social Club knows of the Ford Galaxy they’ve posed in, courtesy of F.O Finch or by Lisa Wood’s indistinguishable feather hat worn at every performance. Fun fact, Lisa’s been documenting all the photos she’s taken with the hat on twitter with the #girlwiththehat. They’ll be heading towards Irregardless this Saturday for a night of fun, dance-worthy music. The members of the Sidecar Social Club consists of Jim Crew, Aaron Bittikofer, Edward Butler, F.O Finch, and Lisa Wood.


In 2011, Lisa Wood contacted Jim Crew to start a group. Nothing was definite and none of the members had actually known each other, but they’ve revolved around the same venues and had similar musical interests. When they all got together for a session, sparks flew and they’ve been together ever since.


Next came the name. Lisa, who used to be a bartender, came up with it. She has knowledge of vintage drinks such as a sidecar which is traditionally made of cognac, orange liqueur and lemon juice. “New Orleans has such-and-such Social Club, whatever that first name may be, and we all liked the band Buena Vista Social Club,” said Bittikofer. “We were toying around with such-and-such Social Club and Jim mentioned Sidecar, so we just stuck those three words together and said yep, that’s the band name.”


Their music, they describe, would be considered danceable, New Orleans jazz music. ‘You have a good time when you hear us play,” said Bittikofer. Jim Crew follows suit and said, “We all have that deep appreciation for American music, beginning with music in the 20s and 30s. Just the atmosphere and the spirit in which the music was performed in that era and that’s what we’re trying to maintain in the present day. Even though we may be playing modern music or music we’ve written ourselves, it’s still played in the style of that early music.”


Like most performers, playing live is a thrilling experience and perhaps almost drug worthy enough that most don’t stop performing. “There’s an energy there that’s coming from the band that is sometimes reflected from the crowd and it’s undeniable,” said Bittikofer. Crew echoed, “[With playing live], you only get one chance to do it. You need to be completely in the moment. The challenge is a privilege to share that with the audience that enjoys what you’re doing and I get a lot back from that that I don’t get anywhere else.”


One of the biggest challenges that artists face is the promotion of their music, which the band is no stranger to. It’s one thing to play among your friends and family, but it’s another to reach many strangers, especially against other artists competing for the same audience. “There’s so much chatter out there with the incredible amount of music that’s released daily,” said Crew. “Trying to keep your audience’s focus is an ongoing challenge to stay on top of.”


For those who are wondering whether Sidecar Social Club is coming out with new music needn’t worry. Almost four years from their last album SSC Live released in 2014, they’re in the studio working on a new album called “Mystery Island” with 11 original songs, set to be released this summer. Crew said, “Mystery Island is a song I wrote a couple years ago. Aaron came up with the title and Lisa wrote lyrics to what was an instrumental piece that I’d written. She wrote the lyrics in French and they describe a rendezvous on an island and it’s more about a feeling and has a bit of a story.” Aaron mentions they’re excited for the release and either can we.