Monday, February 25, 2013

It's party time: Jammin' with Bludgeon Muffin

Daniel Arellano and Nicolas Snarr work together.  They also play together.  They carry small, soft instrument cases in to their day jobs as trainers at a Salt Lake City area customer service company.  On their break times, they can most often be found opening those cases and pulling out ukuleles while relaxing and feeding their faces.

Daniel Arellano (left) and Nicolas Snarr (right) play with Bludgeon Muffin.  (All photos and videos by John Miller)
They're not playing "Tiptoe Through The Tulips."  You could hear some Hendrix, some Zeppelin, some Bill Withers, some Michael Jackson.  Ask Daniel to play flamenco-style on his uke, and he'll do a bang-up job.

That's at their day job.

Rena Ripley, Misi Touhuni, Nicolas Snarr, Daniel Arellano
In their off-hours, they play together in a band called Bludgeon Muffin, along with lead singer/rhythm guitarist Misi Touhuni, backing singer Rena Ripley, bassist Bruce Kamai, and drummer Michael Bailey.  They play rock, blues, and hip hop.  What they play mostly, though, is reggae.  And they have a good fan base in the Salt Lake City area behind them.

Bludgeon Muffin's fan base is loyal enough that they packed The 19th Hole at The Copper Golf Club in Magna, Utah, on a snowy Saturday night for a big Post Mardi Gras Party.

DJ Misi's vocals are strong and smooth, especially combined with Ripley's voice.  Arellano shows a variety of influences on lead guitar, getting in some strong riffs.  Snarr plays a mean electric ukulele with some tasty effects.  Kamai and Bailey make up a solid rhythm section, and when Bailey is given time in the spotlight he turns in a dynamite solo on drums.

They had the party crowd at The 19th Hole doing some serious jamming.  The weather was ice-cold outside, upholding Utah's rep for the "world's greatest snow."

Inside, though, with the flag of Bob Marley decorating the stage, it was red-hot.

Check out Bludgeon Muffin's Facebook page at

Misi Touhuni       

Rena Ripley
Nicolas Snarr
Part of an enthusiastic crowd enjoying Bludgeon Muffin's show.

Bruce Kamai
Michael Bailey

Jammin' at The 19th Hole
Daniel Arellano
Nicolas Snarr

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