The Hippo


Jun 4, 2020








Truffle. Courtesy photo.

Truffle: 30th Anniversary Show w/ Stash Wyslouch

When: Saturday, Sept. 17, 8 p.m.
Where: Riverwalk Cafe, 35 Railroad Square, Nashua
Tickets: $7 at

Truffle celebrates 30th with shows, album

By Michael Witthaus

 Savoy Truffle formed in 1986, taking its name from a song by The Beatles, a group that lasted only eight years. They later shortened it to Truffle — but nothing else is abbreviated about the good-time Seacoast band. 

Thirty years on, what began as singer, guitarist and frontman Dave Gerard, bassist David Bailey, multi-string player-vocalist Ned Chase and drummer Brian Dionne remains mostly the same. Mike Gendron took over on drums in 1996 — he’s jokingly called “Rookie” by the the others — and percussionist Pete Kowalski is a part-time member.
Truffle is marking its three-decade milestone with a career-spanning two-disc “bootleg anthology” of live recordings. The collection contains unreleased songs, covers and originals. It also features several guest appearances, including a pair from Little Feat’s Bill Payne. 
“There’s him joining us on one of our tunes and then us joining him for ‘Tripe Face Boogie,’” Dave Gerard said in a recent phone interview. “The music is all from discs that tapers gave us or stuff up on”
The oldest song is from 1988, and that one took a bit of studio wizardry to restore. 
“It was on a cassette and we had to re-set the levels — you can imagine the difference between then and 2016,” Gerard said. “Then we had to bring tape speed up to the proper pitch.”
Along with the new record, they’re playing a bevy of “Bandiversary” gigs, including a show at Nashua’s Riverwalk Cafe on Sept. 17, and a Sept. 18 set at the Harvest Moon Festival at Portsmouth’s Red Hook Brewery. For the latter, a benefit for Womenade, Truffle will play prior to Jason Spooner and the headlining Adam Ezra Group. 
Is Gerard amazed by Truffle’s longevity? 
“Yes,” he said. “Amazed in the sense that 30 years has gone by. That’s just an amazing number for anything, but I’m not amazed when I think about what we’ve done.”
Early tenacity and dedication got them to where they are today. Gerard explained that the band came before everything else, especially during the heady 1990s, when Truffle rose from the ranks of regional act to tour the country and share the stage with their musical heroes. 
“We grew with it and decided we want to keep playing music with each other,” he said. “We fit it into our lives. As we have gotten older we had kids, but that’s why we have young kids. Dave and I have 9- and 6-year-olds because we waited. There was nothing else but music in those years, except for the occasional girlfriend, and those girlfriends became our wives.”
Obviously, the multi-year collaboration with Payne was thrilling. It included an intimate Storytellers-style show in Dover and a raucous Rochester Opera House Halloween party with Truffle’s Mardi Gras Horns joining in. But there are many more high points, Gerard insisted.
“I think of some of the venues that we played over the years — we headlined and supported other great bands in addition to Little Feat,” he said. “Playing with The Band was huge. I mean, we grew up covering their tunes and then we did a show with them in Connecticut. That is pretty mind-blowing when you’re an up-and-coming band.”
That’s not the entire reason for carrying on, however. “When you’ve been in a band for 30 years, it becomes bigger than you,” Gerard said. “We look out at a show like the park concert in Dover last night and see a bunch of different Truffle shirts — 2011, 2000, someone has an old ’90s shirt. It’s a community of music lovers and friends that is bigger than us.”
Beyond that, the group strives to keep things fun and fresh. “We keep writing music and bring back things we haven’t done in a while,” Gerard said. “We’re always blowing the rust off of something and changing up the set list. We used to joke with our old sound man Andy Ferrell — ‘let’s bang it out and see what happens.’ That’s kind of what we have lived by since we started.”

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