Big Logic & the Truth Serum colors outside the genre lines with new singles 

More and more Rochester-area musicians are abandoning the recorded medium of albums and EP’s in favor of stand-alone singles, giving each song its own time to shine. Some of these artists, such as Big Logic & the Truth Serum, later repurpose these singles as a collection.

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Big Logic & the Truth Serum was put together by singer-songwriter and Rochester native Justin Gurnsey in 2015, when he pulled up roots and moved to Florida for a spell.

While there, Gurnsey — formerly the frontman of The Greener Grass Band — formed the group that became Big Logic & the Truth Serum. When the lead vocalist and guitarist returned to Lake Ontario’s snowy shores in 2018, Truth Serum bassist Jesse Bertholf decided to hitch a ride with Gurnsey in order to keep the band going.

The band’s lineup currently includes Gurnsey and Bertholf, along with drummer Alex Melville, Dom Testino on trumpet, Ean Miller on lead guitar and vocals, trombonist Lucas Saladin, and Rob Huff on auxiliary percussion and vocals.

In the wake of COVID-19 and its devastation, Big Logic & the Truth Serum reinvented itself and persevered by writing and rehearsing in the studio. The material on the band’s seven new singles so far is varied, and the result is similar to coloring outside the lines.

“It’s our lack of commitment to any sound or style,” Gurnsey says. “We tap-dance on the line between reggae, folk, country — all with a rock ‘n’ roll mindset. We want to take what you know and give it a facelift.”

“Oh My Oh Well,” the newest single, is a finger-snappin’, old-school Motown mash-up, complete with soul-searchin’ brass. “Something to Share'' is a reggae gem that comes off like a flawless Studio One recording, the kind usually only heard from more traditional reggae players. It’s Gurnsey’s voice, in particular, that makes it ring true.

“Quicksand (live 1.24.20)” is an in-concert peek at the band members’ additional rock and groove influences. You’ll swear they were the ones who actually shot the sheriff. Additionally irresistible songs include “Unwind,” with its screamin’ guitar, and “Savannah,” with its lonesome country heartbreak.

With seven new songs in total now available on Spotify, Big Logic & the Truth Serum plans to release three more songs. The end result may be a full-length album.

“Hopefully that will be our big push for 2021,” Gurnsey says. “We want to remix and remaster the songs and group them together to offer an album experience for our fans who've expressed interest.”

Frank De Blase is CITY’s music writer. He can be reached at [email protected].

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