They named themselves after a sandwich from Louisiana and describe their brass-heavy, acoustic sound as New Orleans jazz “served messy.”
Three of the band’s eight members have their roots in Timberlane Regional High School. They credit the school with establishing their smooth-flowing classical style.
The Soggy Po Boys got their start almost by accident, at a pub in Dover two years ago.
“We were going to play electric, funky New Orleans music. We thought the gig went from 8 to 10 o’clock,” said Nick Mainella, a 2002 Timberlane graduate who plays the tenor saxophone.
It was Mardi Gras and the pub owner asked them to play for another hour, Nick said.
The six-piece band had packed up all its gear, so members opted to finish with an acoustic set.
“When we sat around the piano, the crowd went crazy,” Nick said. “It took off from there. We started playing more gigs and ended up having a weekly residency.”
Today, the band has one album and has added two more members — Nick’s brother Colin Mainella, a 2008 Timberlane graduate, and their friend Eric Klaxton, who graduated in 2007. All three live in Dover, where they also play weekly.
They focus on New Orleans swing music from the Roaring ‘20s to the 1940s. Covers have historically been their game, but they recently started writing their own material to match the style, Nick said.
They also carry a prominent brass sound guided by four brass instruments that play at once, trumpeter Colin said.
The band just returned from a 10-day tour of the South, playing gigs as far north as Tennessee and as far south as Georgia.
What they saw on the road provided memories to last a lifetime, they said.
They all shared a favorite memory — a hike that turned into a gig more than 6,600 feet above sea level.