“I feel like no one should fault you for putting more dip on your chip.”
Local funk group The Dip specializes in making smokin’ soul sounds, loyal fans, and cleverly enough, homemade hot sauces to sell alongside its delicious new self-titled record.
The Dip was born out of the house-party scene at UW, where most of the seven-piece band majored in jazz studies. “We were just trying to form a group that could play some house parties, get into that vibe, and have fun,” drummer Jarred Katz says. “We were so busy with music at school . . . [we wanted] to have something extracurricular, an outlet.”
That outlet soon grew into a bigger project, especially as the group honed their sound and added a vocalist, Tom Eddy from Beat Connection (of which Katz is also a member). “[Eddy] was a natural fit, he made it more than just a jam party thing . . . something you really can sink your teeth into,” Katz says.
With a solid underlying groove and tightly arranged background horns, The Dip pays due respect to the R&B tradition, but has a sound all its own, attaching pop, rock, and jazz influences to the soul train. Their popular track “Stateline” is a perfect example, with Eddy’s crooner-esque vocals, a rock-’n’-roll guitar break, and a tenor sax sound reminiscent of Michael Brecker’s. Think Blood, Sweat and Tears, but with some special sauce.
On that note, The Dip has been known to play up their name’s association with food. “We have played a lot of food-oriented music festivals, like the Ballard Seafood Festival,” Katz says, “[and] we did have a special barbecue sauce that we put our own label on that was the cover of our first EP.”
More recently, the band members made their own homemade hot sauce to sell at their album-release party in April. Eddy said a song they played when they started out planted the seed. “There was a line in the song that went ‘Servin’ it up, yeah buddy,’ ” Eddy says, “People at our shows learned the line and would yell it out. So when the record release came, me and Jacob, our guitar player, went and got 12 pounds of jalapeños and roasted them in my backyard. [The hot sauce] is really good! We didn’t sell it all, so I still put it on my eggs some mornings to remind myself to stay spicy.”
Along with the band’s affinity for barbecue and churning out “saucy” grooves, Katz says their name comes from the way the audience looks when they’re dancing. “It’s like, ‘dipping your hips’ . . . and it’s not about tobacco,” he says with a laugh. “It’s also a homage to Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings; we’re really inspired by them.”
You can’t listen to The Dip without shaking your tail, and that is exactly what’s earned them such a reputation. “They are super-fun—I saw them one time at a random house party and [loved] the vibe that they gave off, you couldn’t help but start moving. Five minutes in, I knew I had to have them at my own house parties,” says UW graduate and friend Ayala-View Goldstein, who’s hired The Dip many times.
As of now, The Dip is writing new tunes and working hard toward releasing an all-instrumental EP in the fall. This group thrives on double dipping, so they’re giving fans plenty of opportunity to come back for more. As Eddy said, “I feel like no one should fault you for putting more dip on your chip. Go get it if you need it.”
The Dip With Tuatara. Nectar Lounge, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020, nectarlounge.com. $10. 21 and over. 8 p.m. Fri., Aug. 21.