The Deli Philly's Featured Artist(s) Poll Winner: Blubird

By: Alexis V.

May 02, 2017

Inspired to make music by Philly’s robust DIY scene, the youthful band, Blubird, which is made of Alex Black Bessen (drums, vocals, guitar), Erez Potok-Holmes (vocals, guitar), Henry Wolgast (guitar, drums), and Jack Correll (bass), is our most recent Feature Artist(s) Poll Winner. The fellas are about to go their separate ways for college, but they still have plans to record/release more music and play a bunch of shows in and out of town. However, before all this goes down, you can learn more about the soon-to-be high school graduates and the band’s brief history below.



The Deli: How did you start making music?


Alex Black Bessen: Henry and I were good friends when we were little kids, and I knew Erez from singing outside of school. We all started to jam together, and we just meshed. That was freshman year of high school. There was always a bass missing, and I knew Jack as a really cool dude from my school, and we asked him to play. We started writing Delusions of Grandeur together junior year, and it all came together into the music we have out now.


TD: Where did the name Blubird come from?


ABB: We had proposed many names to Erez, and he kept rejecting all of them, so it got to the point where we would just see random words and propose them and try them out as names. So one day Alex saw a Bluebird bus going home from school, and proposed it to Erez, and he actually liked it. We kept the name, and over time took out the “e” because we thought Blubird was more fitting.


TD: What are your biggest musical influences?


ABB: We’re all into the Philly DIY scene, and it was bigger Philly bands like The Districts, Dr. Dog and Hop Along who made us want to make our own music. We’re all into different things though. Jack loves his funk, Henry loves his punk, and Erez gets really into certain pop music (sometimes unfortunately).


TD: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?


Erez Potok-Holmes: Right now we are really into DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar. It’s not quite To Pimp A Butterfly, but damn. We are all amped for The District’s new album to come out as well.


Henry Wolgast: I’ve been listening to a bunch of Alex G and Mumblr recently. There’s a crazy amount of good stuff coming out of Philly right now.


TD: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?


ABB: The first concert I went to was to see The Roots; I didn’t really understand how cool The Roots were then, but it’s fun to say that was my first show. The first album I bought alone was Nirvana’s Nevermind, which was such a good decision.


HW: Not sure exactly, but one of my first shows was DRGN KING with Alex a few years ago. For years since then, we’ve gone to a crazy amount of shows together, and back then it took up most of my middle school weekends.


EP-W: I was in fifth grade and my friend’s sister had an extra ticket to a concert cause her friend backed out. My friend decided to invite me so my friend, his sister, their dad, and myself all saw... to be honest, Taylor Swift. I’m not sure of the first album I bought alone, but the first two albums I remember listening to were Best of Louis Armstrong and a Bruce Springsteen album, which I can’t recall the name of. Those two albums may not seem to connect to our current work, but they certainly shaped my love for music today.


TD: What do you love about Philly?


ABB: People are mean in the best kind of way. There is no place on earth where people are as real with you as Philly, and because everyone is doing their own thing, Philly produces so many unique things you can only find here. Not to mention underneath all of the mainstream music that comes out of Philly, there’s a gritty underside to the city that’s unbeatable anywhere else.


TD: What do you hate about Philly?


HW: The music scene can at times be pretty exclusive, and it can be hard to get gigs being underage artists.


TD: What are your plans for 2017?


EP-W: We’re planning to record more music in the next few months, play a bunch more shows in Philly, and tour as well. We are all planning on going off to college, and since we’re going to different schools, we are hoping to record an EP this summer and put it out early next fall.


TD: What was your most memorable live show?


HW: It was definitely this gig we played for a bunch of 7-year-old kids from a Chinese exchange program. It was in a school lecture hall, and anytime Alex hit a crash, all the kids would cover their ears. It was crazy; some kids were asleep, and some were on their phones. We had to look up the lyrics to “This Land Is Your Land” after insistent audience request. May not have been our favorite show, but absolutely our most memorable.


TD: What's your favorite thing to get at the deli?


ABB: Pastrami sandwich. It’s kinda gross, and hurts to eat at the end, but is totally worth it.