CT's The Reducers go on hiatus while bassist fights cancer

Sad news from the Connecticut rock scene: veteran New London punk band the Reducers continues an indefinite hiatus while bassist and singer Steve Kaika battles cancer, the band has announced.

Kaika (top right), from the Quaker Hill section of nearby Waterford, was diagnosed in late 2011, and the band canceled planned performances. Kaika helped form the Reducers in 1978 with Peter Detmold, Hugh Birdsall and Tom Trombley. The band has released eight albums over the years, including 2008’s excellent “Guitars, Bass & Drums.” That’s the essence of what the Reducers were are (and always will be): a rock ‘n’ roll band in love with rock ‘n’ roll and not necessarily the related trappings.

That comes across in the 2006 documentary “The Reducers: America’s Best Unsigned Band,” a loving look at the group that traces the foursome’s evolution from its origins to the present-ish day. The movie wonders whether the Reducers should have more ardently pursued a major-label career, something the band was always ambivalent about.

“I think the reason we’re still together is because we never did have a major-label deal,” Detmold says in the film.

Their continued togetherness plays a larger role than ever  June 15 when fellow bands the Rivergods, Dogbite (featuring Birdsall), Ken Atkins and the Honky Tonk Kind (featuring Trombley) and the Original Sinners perform at Hygienic Art Park on Bank Street in New London to raise money for Kaika and his wife Charlene. Suggested admission is $10; all proceeds from the gate and a portion of food and drink go to the Kaikas. You can also make donations via this link.

— Eric R. Danton


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