Kalmia Traver (vocals) met Alex Toth (band leader, trumpet) in a latin jazz combo in Burlington, VT. They became friends and painted the town with their loud horn playing. In 2006 they moved to Boston where they did respectable things for money. Kalmia nude modeled for art classes, and Alex was hustling marching band gigs at $50 a pop for which he was required to wear a black shirt and march around for six hours at a time. Alex met trombonist Adam Dotson at one of these marching gigs and the three began composing and playing the first songs in Rubblebucket's repertoire. Soon, they were joined by two more friends—guitarist Ian Hersey and drummer Dave Cole—and started taking the Rubblebucket show on the road.
In March 2008, under the name Rubblebucket Orchestra, they began to tour full-time. SPIN Magazine picked them as a "Must-hear artist from the 2009 CMJs." On October 13 that year they released their second studio album, eponymously titled, officially changing their name to Rubblebucket. They capped the year in December by winning a Boston Music Award for Live Act of the Year.
In 2010 Rubblebucket made several festival gigs, including High Sierra, All Good Music Festival, and the Liberate Music and Dance Festival. On October 19, 2010 they released an EP, Triangular Daisies, including a cover of the Beatles' "Michelle," selected by Paste Magazine for their list of 50 Greatest Beatles Covers of All Time.
With their 2011 album Omega La La, the band reached a new and larger audience with its headlining tracks "Came Out of Lady" and "Silly Fathers." On April 4, 2011 Rubblebucket released the album as a free download before its physical release on June 21 through MRI Distribution. Promotional performances for the album included an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2012, where they got free pizza and Alex almost puked backstage. Two EPs followed, Oversaturated in September 2012 and Save Charlie in October 2013. Their latest full-length album, Survival Sounds, was released in August 2014 and is available on iTunes, Amazon, and Rubblebucket's webstore.
In the words of Mollie Traver, Kalmia's younger sister, "Rubblebucket is many things and nothing at all; it's a mindset, a legend, a feeling, a mystery; a mischievous, playful, boundary-smashing blast of sound that you can sit still and wonder at, or turn off your mind and move wildly to. Or both at the same time." As of this writing, they are touring extensively, with almost daily dates across the country.
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