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Thursday, November 24th, 2011
Music Reviews

Why Dread Clampitt Matters... An Early 10 Year Anniversary Salute

The band is or isn’t celebrating their 10th anniversary in 2011, depending on who you ask. Nonetheless, we asked musicians, fans and friends to share their thoughts on Beachcomber Music Award winners Dread Clampitt, who are planning a huge live recording event at their longtime home, Grayton Beach’s the Red Bar, Sunday, Nov. 20. The gig kicks off at 7 p.m., and the live album is set to be released next spring.

Shelly Swanger, Photographer: Dread Clampitt matters because they are genuine musicians. They write and sing their own songs, they play multiple instruments and they really connect with their audiences. I think that having Dread Clampitt here has taken the music scene in our area to a higher level. Over the 10 years that they have been playing together, Dread Clampitt has matured as a band and inspired other musicians in this area to take their music to a new level as well. There is nothing pretentious about Dread Clampitt. They aren’t trying to be anyone else. There is a real sense of genuineness to them, and I think that’s one of the things that their fans love the most.

April Fletcher: Because they bring so much fun to so many people every time they play.

Kris Wheeler, Filmmaker (Back from the Dread): In an era when bands are willing to sell their musical souls for 15 minutes of fame, Dread Clampitt stands out among the few with the courage to journey down the path less traveled, even if it means sacrificing commercial success in the short term. Dread Clampitt offers a refreshing alternative, a band doing it the old-fashioned way—earning their fans one gig at a time. Their music is at once both innocent and experienced, innovative and comfortingly familiar. Some people have asked me why I wanted to do documentary film on a band most of the world has never heard of. My answer is more or less always the same—“You’ve obviously never seen the perform.”

Cory Davis, They’re a good grassroots band, and it’s really awesome to take the kids to the Red Bar on Sundays.

They don’t care if the kids are dancing around the amplifiers.

Jim Lancaster, Musician: (They are) direct descendants of indigenous Panhandle music.

Bryan Hand, Artist: They matter because they have exposed a lot of people here on the Emerald Coast to a unique genre of music through their songwriting. They’ve got an edge. (Editor’s Note: Hand informs us he’s working on a limited edition Dread tee for the Nov. 20 event.)

Nancy Zick: These men are unbelievably talented with huge hearts and have been providing this area with awesome music for over nine years. Just love them!

Tom Patrick, Musician: Three reasons. One, truly fun. Two, original and unique. Three, it’s got a great beat and is easy to dance to!

Jackie Ogle: They are such sweet souls.. they really believe in the music they play and take you with them through the song. You almost get recharged after listening to a Dread Clampitt show. Love those guys!

Bill Garrett, Musician: They’ve proven that if you remain true to your vision and follow your gut, it can take you where you want to go. In a textbook example of how to build a successful band, in the 10 years DC has been together, they’ve grown their fan base starting locally and gradually expanding it to the point where they now have a loyal following of fans all over the Southeast. Their original music has been consistently strong, fun and thought-provoking. Their musicianship is impressive. What else do you want? Great songs, great picking, exciting live shows, plus they’re all just good, down-home folks. It’s taken 10 years, but they’ve stuck to their guns and now they’ve done what every band dreams of and strives for—getting picked up by a hot-shot talent agency, in this case APA in Nashville. If you wanna get blown away, go to the APA website and look at the talent roster there. Dread Clampitt is now rubbing shoulders with some of the nation’s finest

talent, and rightfully so. They’ve worked hard and earned it. Congratulations, boys! I look forward with great anticipation to following your further adventures.

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