On a live basis I have not had the opportunity to cover a Steeldrivers show since the 2014 Outlaw Fest in Oakland Kentucky. You see as a follower of over 5,000 bands, it’s virtually impossible to cover them ALL. BUT I DO give it a hell of a college try, don’t I?
As far as news goes, yes I am always on top of things about new and old members and what’s going on with bands from so many different genres. Here is a Legendary Bluegrass band that began in 2005 as a festival second stage fill in band with a no name long haired long bearded leader by the name of Stapleton…Chris Stapleton.
In 2008 the band finally had an opportunity to sign with Rounder Records, and they released their iconic self titled album (that was recently reissued on vinyl) that only peaked at number 57 on the charts. Through their infancy the Steeldrivers have been nominated for many Grammys for their first album and their second album called Reckless.
In 2010 Chris Stapleton announced he was leaving the band to focus on his family and songwriting, and amassed a horde of songwriting cuts, and publishing deals. He then moved on to become a juggernaut. Meanwhile, the Steeldrivers replaced him with Mr. Gary Nichols. Shortly after original member Mr. mike Henderson left the band, and was replaced with Mr. Brent Truit.
This band, despite it’s Legendary name and huge success has suffered the loss of a staple (no pun intended) lead singer for many years, UNTIL NOW! This band has used many floaters to fill in on the vocal duties and relied on the musicianship of Miss Tammy Rodgers and Mr. Richard Bailey on banjo. It worked quite well for many years until fans began to grow tired of the changes.
Mr. Kelvin Damrell from East Kentucky has also included a gritty blues sounding style to his lead vocals, much like Stapleton and Mr. Gary Nichols both did during their tenure with the band. Upon announcing his being hired to take over lead vocal duties and lead guitar duties the band had this to say:
“Hello folks. We have some great news to share tonight. We are officially announcing that Kelvin Damrell will be our new singer and guitar picker! Most of you know that we had to part ways with our long time partner Gary Nichols last year. It took us a while to heal up and get it together. To be honest, we didn’t know for sure if we’d ever be able to replace such a massive talent. But we eventually found this young fella from the hills of Kentucky who can absolutely rock the grass!
Much like G-Ray, Kelvin grew up singing and playing electric guitar in local rock bands. He’s a great musician. His singing is soulful and from the heart with a big dose of bluesy grit. On a personal level Kelvin is a hard working family man with a lovely wife and two young boys.
We’re thrilled to have Kelvin join us. We’ve done a handful of shows with KD so far and those who’ve seen him have loved him. He got a rousing standing ovation on his very first show! We hope you will welcome KD into the SteelHead Nation. He rocks Kelvin Damrell y’all.”