Diggin’ Dawgs wins battle of the bands

By Aaron Mainiero

Last week, the Louisiana Tech Music Society put on its battle of the bands, Dog Jams. Several bands performed, but Diggin’ Dawgs was the band that came out on top.

Many bands performed, including Diggin’ Dawgs, Slow Cheetah, and Papa and the Kittens. For their prize, the Diggin’ Dawgs will be allowed to use the Louisiana Tech School of Music’s recording booth to record their own demo.

The bassist for Diggin’ Dawgs, Louisiana Tech music student Garrett Aldridge, is a musician of many talents. He plays alto saxophone in the Louisiana Tech Band of Pride, as well as bass guitar for the Louisiana Tech Jazz Ensemble II, and his two bands: Diggin’ Dawgs and Papa and the Kittens.

Aldridge started playing music early in life, at first learning to play the saxophone.

“I started actually playing music in about fifth grade after hearing what I would now describe as one of the worst songs ever: ‘Mr. Saxobeat,’ and decided that that was a good a reason as any to start playing saxophone,” Aldridge said.

Since then, Aldridge hasn’t stopped learning. He’s since learned to play guitar, bass guitar, piano and is learning to sing.

“Since then, my taste has definitely… let’s say changed for the better,” Aldridge said. “But it’s definitely fun to go back and poke fun at 11-year-old me for letting such a bad song permanently change my life. All things considered, though, I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Aldridge helped to create his first band, Papa and the Kittens, while he was in high school with some of his childhood friends.

“Papa and the Kittens is a band I helped create from the ground up,” Aldridge said. “About a year and a half ago myself and five of my childhood friends decided to just start jamming together. We played two or three small school-related events and then graduated. Now that three of us are at Tech together, we’ve just been making new friends and jamming when we get the chance.”

While playing with Papa and the Kittens, his musicianship drew quite a bit of attention, specifically from the Diggin’ Dawgs, a jazz ensemble at Tech which was looking for a bass player.

“The Diggin’ Dawgs are a student-led jazz ensemble here at Tech,” Aldridge said. “I was lucky enough to be approached about joining and I haven’t looked back since.”

Aldridge currently has no plans to stop playing music and is looking to perform with both Diggin’ Dawgs and Papa and the Kittens in the future.

“Papa and the Kittens are here to stay,” Aldridge says. “We’ll keep practicing through the summer to bring Ruston some awesome jams come fall quarter.”

Aldridge has an upcoming Jazz Ensemble performance at 7 p.m. May 6 in Howard Auditorium at Louisiana Tech. At 7 p.m. May 7 in Howard Auditorium, Aldridge will play alongside his fellow music major Maddie Prattini for her senior recital. Diggin’ Dawgs have a performance scheduled for May 28 at Railroad Park.