A blue chip is an organization that exhibits sustainability and consistent progression, regardless of the trends of its peers. Members of such organizations remain close-knit and communal, both amongst themselves, and with those whom they service and provide for. Like a village, they lean on each other, and never forget that their individual contributions have nowhere near the potency of their summative parts.
Out of such philosophies rose Blue Chip Village, a Progressive Blues Rock band based in Brooklyn, NY. This 4-piece, who also incorporate their Psychedelic, World, Jam, Funk, and Classical influences while maintaining a grasp of Pop sensibility, digitally released their 5-track debut on March 28, 2011.
After 2 years of sporadic social encounters while enrolled at James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA), already-seasoned guitarist Nicholas A. Pascarella approached budding vocalist Christopher R. Gesualdi in the fall of ‘07 about fronting a Dangus Kahn and the Tornados (local Harrisonburg legends) cover band. After a few promising jam sessions, the duo began learning covers and experimenting with original material for their first band, The Super Octavius (named after a Dangus Kahn classic). The group immediately began playing an assortment of on-campus events, local bars, and rambunctious house parties.
After deciding that they needed a hand drum player to fill out their acoustic sound for a string of unplugged shows during the spring of ’08, Gesualdi introduced Pascarella to Caleb Spaulding, a drummer/djembe player whom he had met through their mutual Greek involvement on campus. Their collective chemistry proved undeniable, and Spaulding became the band’s full time drummer later on that summer.
From fall ‘08-spring ‘09, The Super Octavius played 35+ shows together, not only blanketing Harrisonburg with performances, but also venturing out to Charlottesville and Richmond (nearby VA college towns). After building some legitimate notoriety in the JMU community by the backend of spring ‘09, departures of both the band’s bassist and manager, as well as the impending graduation of its 2 principle songwriters, brought an end to The Super Octavius.
Amidst deliberation of traditional post-college plans, Gesualdi and Pascarella realized that they were just beginning to tap into their collaborative songwriting potential, and vowed to remain a unit, regardless of any competing variables.
The twosome decided to move to Gesualdi’s childhood house in northern New Jersey during the summer of ‘09, with their sights ultimately set on New York City. While in Jersey, they wrote and conversed incessantly, pushing each other to unchartered musical and intellectual territory. Amongst frequent name deliberation, the phrase blue chip surfaced, representing sustainability and progression over time, no matter what was going on around them. Couple that with village, symbolizing the communal, close-kit nature that the group valued not only internally, but also with its fan-base, and Blue Chip Village was born.
During the fall of ‘09, Pascarella temporarily moved back to Harrisonburg to reunite with Spaulding while he finished up his final year at JMU. Gesualdi remained up North, landed a job with a Brooklyn-based music publicity firm, and began working with renowned Bel Canto voice teacher Judy Hages.
After his graduation in May of ‘10, Spaulding officially joined Blue Chip Village, and alongside Pascarella, moved to Brooklyn, NY to reunite with Gesualdi. While the group spent the summer fine-tuning what would become their self-titled debut, Gesualdi reached out to Joe Kruse, a bassist whom he had briefly collaborated with back in the fall of ‘05, when the two were freshman together at JMU. Kruse had been in and around Brooklyn for 3+ years, building custom, high-end instruments with respected luthier, Carl Thompson.
Kruse immediately gravitated toward the group’s eclectic compositions and unyielding vigor, and became the full-time bassist soon after.
BCV recorded their first album during the winter of ‘10 with engineer Skylar Adler (also drummer for The Nico Blues), and released it digitally via bluechipvillage.com on March 28, 2011.
It is routinely referenced that there is a gaping void in the contemporary Rock scene; this record should provide a static space with a timely pulse. HypeM blogger Tender Branson describes their debut as, “one that is mature and subtle. They won’t jump right out and grab you with gimmicks or singles but take the slow approach, the worm their way into your brain one note at a time method…it’s purity at it’s finest.”
What’s even more enticing, however, is where this band will possibly go next.
Blue Chip Village is:
- Nicholas A. Pascarella (guitars, supporting vocals)
- Christopher R. Gesualdi (lead vocals, lyrics)
- Caleb Spaulding (drums, supporting vocals)
- Joe Kruse (bass, upright bass, smoothest name in music)
Blue Chip Village’s tracks