The Funky Blu Roots have scheduled two final gigs in the area before packing it in for the 2012 touring season.
After their Auburn and Elbridge shows this weekend, guitarist/vocalist Mikal Serafim and bassist Nancy Giannone, who are married, will return to south Florida. Saxophonist Chris Sawyer, drummer Steve Reichlen and harmonica player Tom Townsley will remain in central New York.
Serafim said the usual winter hiatus gives the band members a chance to recover from the busy tour schedule and to focus on recording.
"We enjoy the gigs in the spring and summer, but we've also got the responsibility to put out a new disc of material," Serafim said Tuesday. "We've got the new CD about 75-percent done, so we have to get the last tracks down to get it out for 2013."
The new album, tentatively titled "Meter," follows 2011's "Owasco Highball."
Serafim said 15 songs are already mixed and 10 more that he's "really excited about" are waiting in the wings.
"Meter," named for the term for the rhythmic element of music, will feature 12 to 14 of those tracks, he said. Some of the rest could be used by bluesman Chris Beard, with Serafim credited as a songwriter.
With members on opposite ends of the East Coast during the off-season, the Blu Roots will employ the power of technology to record using online file-sharing services.
"Recording is something where you have to hunker down, and really concentrate on a piece," Serafim said. "Playing live is different entirely. That dynamic of having people in front of you digging what you wrote, really enjoying it — there's no other thing like it."
FBR started touring locally in 2010, with a 315 Tour in the spring and a fall Finger Lakes tour.
"We came up here and booked a couple of gigs. We'd never played here before, but the place took to us sufficiently enough,"Serafim said. "Right now, Suzy's and Swifty's in Auburn are some big ones for us."
Giannone initially began with the band by sitting in on gigs, and gradually became a full-time bass player.
Serafim said colleagues wonder at their ability to simultaneously maintain working and personal relationships.
"I can't tell you how many musicians have said, 'How do you guys do it? How do you manage?'" he said. "All I can say is every day is an event."
Serafim said he's looking forward to the 2013 season and has already begun scoping out venues in preparation.
"It's been a great journey, and I'm just looking forward to continuing it," he said. "We've had a lot of good times and just plan to keep on going into the next season."