Scranton musical trio Take 3 brings rock and roll to events all around Northeast Pennsylvania, from weddings to backyard summer parties.
Specializing in hits from the ’70s to the ’90s, the group dubs itself the “biggest little band in NEPA,” and promises big music in a small package.
Tony Bouselli, the group’s drummer and vocalist, went On The Record this week to discuss the history, style and success of Take 3.
Q: How did Take 3 meet?
A: Mike and I were members of Take 5, a Scranton party band that played the area for over 30 years. One night in September 2009, our keyboard player at the time, Frank Gruden, and Mike decided to form a duo to play some smaller venues. They were going to call themselves ”Take 2.” At the last minute, they asked me to join them on drums and Take 3 was born.
Q: How many years have you been performing together?
A: We have gone through numerous bass players, but Mike and I have been together over 15 years between Take 5 and Take 3. Dave Arnell has been our bass player for over 2 years.
Q: Do you remember your first performance with Take 3?
A: Our first gig was at Merts (now Harry’s) in Scranton. We did it mostly for fun never thinking it would last this long. The owner immediately gave us more dates to play.
Q: What are some of your favorite memories with the group?
A: Too many memories to single out, but we enjoy when former band members and other local musicians stop by and sit in with us. We also are the “official rock band” of the Steamtown Marathon and have played the after-race party since its inception, starting as Take 5 and currently as Take 3. This is special to us because the Marathon benefits St. Joseph’s Center in Scranton.
Q: Your website describes Take 3 as a group that can adapt to many different types of events. Do you believe this has helped your success?
A: Absolutely. We all have been playing music for so long and have a wide variety of songs in our library so we can adapt to almost any event. We play weddings, picnics, car shows, clubs, etc., each one requiring a different mix. We can play a polka at a wedding that we wouldn’t play at a club (unless requested).
Q: Who are some of the band’s musical influences?
A: My musical influences would be John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival), Elvis and The Eagles. Dave and Mike like a little different rock, such as Journey, The Outfield, Radiohead and stuff like that.
Q: Does the group have a target audience?
A: We don’t have a target audience, because you never know who is going to show up at a club. We play a little something for everybody.
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
A: Enjoy every moment that you can and keep playing as long as you have fun doing it.
Q: Why is Take 3 dubbed the “biggest little band in NEPA?”
A: We say we’re the biggest little band because although we are only a three-piece band, we have a full sound. It’s all live music; nothing is taped. Bass, drums and guitar — rock ‘n’ roll.
Q: Do you have any plans for the future?
A: I always say that as long as there is work and people still enjoy us, we will keep playing. All three of us have day jobs, so sometimes playing can be a lot. But once we set up and start playing, we leave the work week behind. We’re three friends who have a ball making music together and having a good time.
— jacqueline kurovsky
Meet the band
Members: Tony Bouselli, drums and vocals ; Mike Bertha, guitar and vocals; Dave Arnell, bass and vocals
Genre: Classic rock
Based out of: Scranton
Up next: Friday, June 16, Minooka Pub. 2934 Birney Ave., Scranton; Thursday, June 22, Elmhurst-Roaring Brook Twp. Volunteer Fire Co.’s Annual Picnic