The Bribes is the project of Chicago-born, San Francisco-based musician Philip Toscano. Toscano has relocated The Bribes to the Bay after releasing three records and headlining nearly every mid-sized and DIY venue on the northwest side. The Bribes have settled into California as a three-piece, featuring Toscano on guitar and vocals, Dup Crosson on drums, and Jesse Strauss on bass. The trio is regularly playing out across the city and beyond.
A self-taught guitarist who grew up listening to the music from The Animals, Vivaldi, and John Lee Hooker in a classic Midwestern basement, Toscano exhibits a unique garage-blues-rock sound that possesses both the rollicking energy of Jack White, The Flat Duo Jets, and The Black Keys as well as the masterful, evocative musicianship which seems descended from Skip James and Bobby "Blue" Bland. Toscano's primary project, The Bribes, boasts a catalog of complex songs all of this same spirit. Founded in 2011, The Bribes have worked with musicians throughout the Midwest and opened for national acts Eli Paperboy Reed and Nick Waterhouse. The band's latest recording, "Dust Tapes," released in May 2016, is an ambitious bite-sized rock opera intended to portray a series of dreams about mortality through a melodically accessible sonic landscape. The result is a cohesive, dark-but-danceable record infused with pop rock hooks and 1950s/60s rock and roll sensibilities.
The Bribes have been featured in the The Bay Bridged, The Deli San Francisco, Bay Area Music Magazine, Windy City Times, WXRT Local Anesthetic, and Midwest Action.