What: Wordsauce

When: 9 p.m. Thursday, doors open at 8:30 p.m.

Where: The Capitol, 190 NW Oregon Ave., Bend

Cost: Free

Contact: thecapitolbend.com or 541-678-5740

Wordsauce frontman Rick “Risko” Loughman had maybe two years of experience as a rapper in the Central Coast area of California when he saw Snoop Dogg perform with a live band in 2010.

The budding emcee felt inspired, but as a newcomer to the music business, he didn’t expect to be able to find other musicians to perform with that quickly.

“I hadn’t been exposed to it like that,” Loughman said. “For me, being really green to the music world as a whole, I didn’t really see that happening for quite some time, or until I had developed some type of rapport or level of skill myself to where — how I would call it at that time — real musicians would even want to play with me. For me, it took me a little while to wrap my head around it and approach it.”

He didn’t have much time to figure it out, though. Around the same time as the Snoop Dogg show, Loughman met bassist and Oklahoma transplant Wesley Price in their business management class at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. Price was putting together a live hip-hop band and needed a frontman.

“I just got his contact info, and it was a number of months before I actually made it over to rehearse with them,” Loughman said. “But a buddy of mine who I was doing some small, local hip-hop shows with mentioned that he had a show coming up and asked me if I wanted to do a set. So that’s when I called Wes and said, ‘Hey, let’s get the ball rolling. Let’s get a couple (of) jams in this week and let’s do this show next weekend.’ So we played our first show off about six hours of rehearsal.”

That initial lineup of Loughman, Price, drummer and co-founder Billy Gerhardt, guitarist Shawn Warnke, guitarist Kevin Strong, saxophonist/keyboardist Sam Franklin and DJ/synth player Eric Mattson has continued on as the hip-hop/funk/soul/rock hybrid Wordsauce since. The underground septet, which maintained a slow but steady trajectory over the past decade, re-emerged last year with its second studio album, “Juice,” after a quiet period during which Loughman and Mattson focused on producing other artists at the band’s studio, The Sauce Pot. The group will make its Bend debut at The Capitol on Thursday.

“We’re excited to finally get to Seattle, and Portland and Bend for that matter,” Loughman said. “Definitely, things that have been on our radar, just it’s been — our studios in San Luis Obispo have kept us pretty busy the last few years. We hit the point this year where we knew we needed to get back out on the road.”

The Sauce Pot started up in 2013 primarily as a rehearsal studio for Wordsauce. By that point, the band had released an EP (2010’s “Live in the Studio,” recorded at Cuesta College), but needed a spot to jam “without getting continued sound ordinance issues and complaints and tickets,” Loughman said (a sympathetic situation for many bands and musicians in Bend).

The band’s first full-length album, 2015’s “The Flow,” was the first record to be recorded in the new warehouse space. As the group built a more professional recording studio in the space and started renting out rooms to other local bands, it began to take up more of its time.

“We continued to have gigs here and there, but as far as our normal rehearsal and songwriting regimen, that stalled, so it took us a little time after that to recover,” said Loughman, who co-produced Wordsauce’s two albums with Mattson. “Personally speaking, myself and Eric were taking on a ton of recording projects from other local bands. … ‘Juice’ has been the turning point as far as taking on a high volume of recording projects from other bands and turning the focus back to trying to produce our own music.”

Whereas “The Flow” featured more rock-oriented songs, “Juice” represents the band’s varied live show to a greater degree, leaning more toward funk and soul. While songs such as “Warm Eyes” feature a heavy, twin-guitar attack, other songs such as album opener “Virtual” or the appropriately named “Get Funky” focus on heavy grooves, while “Heart in Spades” edges into ballad territory.

“I think moving forward from (‘The Flow’) and then the years that have passed since, we talked numerous times about refining and focusing the sound a little bit more within the realm of variety,” Loughman said. “(We tried) to focus it into a little bit more coherent piece of work, which I think we were able to accomplish.”

When it started, the band worked to translate pre-made beats Loughman would rap over into a live-band setting. “Juice” featured some songs written in a similar way, with Loughman producing instrumentals that the band would re-create, but just as often, the process would happen the other way around, with Loughman writing lyrics to the band’s instrumentals.

“I tried to expand the vocal dynamic a little bit to incorporate some singing, and that’s a style that I gravitate towards as far as more of the soul side of the spectrum as opposed to rock,” Loughman said. “Having the instrumental production backing to facilitate that type of style and delivery has been a focus of mine on the production end.”

22548196