Praised as “a true treat for the adventurous ear” (TimeOut NY), Bombay Rickey is a five-piece band with a unique sound evocative of 1960s movie soundscapes. The group plays both covers and original music that borrow equally from the worlds of surf rock, cumbia, spaghetti-Western, and Bollywood, balanced out with soaring operatic vocals.
Since its inception in 2012, Bombay Rickey has become a fixture at Brooklyn mainstay Barbés, as well as having played live on WFMU, opened up for Cambodian psychedelic band Dengue Fever, and having been featured in an ad for Citibank. Bombay Rickey’s debut album, Cinefonia, was named best debut of 2014 by New York Music Daily and received the Vox Pop Award for Best Eclectic Album from the International Music Awards. Most recently, Bombay Rickey was invited to create an opera cabaret based on the life of Yma Sumac for the prestigious PROTOTYPE Festival in New York City. The show ran for seven sold-out performances and was hailed as a “rocking musical show” by the Wall Street Journal.
Kamala Sankaram, an operatically trained singer who has appeared with Anthony Braxton and Philip Glass, moves from soaring vocal lines á la Yma Sumac to Hindustani sargam with ease, all while playing the accordion. Drew Fleming’s smoky guitar provides the twang of country and the mystery of surf-noir. Jeff Hudgins rounds out the core trio with sinewy alto saxophone fills and leads. The rhythm section consists of Gil Smuskowitz on upright bass, and Brian Adler on percussion, handling the nuances of the world music influences with dexterity. Like the cocktail it was named for, Bombay Rickey mixes these influences together into something unique and delicious, complex, but accessible, and a lot of fun.