Six Mile Grove celebrates third CD

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 30, 2000

Six Mile Grove band members don’t even talk about their music yesterdays anymore.

Thursday, November 30, 2000

Six Mile Grove band members don’t even talk about their music yesterdays anymore.

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Rehearsals in Grandma Sampson’s farm home, playing for teen dances at high schools and entertaining the Mower County dairy banquet audience are in the past.

That was then. "Friction" is now.

The group has released its third CD, a collection of 11 original songs. The CD is on sale at Best Buy, Sam Goody, Musicland and other music stores.

Local fans will see the group perform Friday night at Torge’s Bar and Grill at the Holiday Inn in Austin. The new CD – plus T-shirts and other merchandise – will be on sale.

It has been only three years since the group evolved from a group of teen-agers, playing pop music, including covers of ’50s and ’60s rock ‘n’ roll classics into what it is today.

Brandon Sampson does vocals, plays guitar and harmonica. Barry Nelson plays piano and Wurlitzer Hammong B-3 keyboards and does background vocals. Brian Sampson plays drums. Dezie Wallace plays bass.

All were there in the beginning when the band members gathered on a farm to rehearse in Brandon’s and Brian’s grandmother’s farm home.

They released their first CD in August 1997, "A Day’s Work." A year later, their second CD, "Long Distance Everything," was released and now, "Friction."

The band spent 2 1/2 weeks in record producer Lou Whitney’s studios in Springfield, Mo., this summer.

D. Clinton Thompson, a top sessions guitarist and percussionist, was recruited, but mainly it is Six Mile Grove, the boys-now-men in the band’s music.

"Basically, we’ve gotten older and our musical experience has been growing. That’s the difference in this CD compared to the others," Wallace said.

"I think we’re more comfortable now with who we are and our music and because of that we’re being more creative and it’s working," Brandon Sampson said.

All four of the band members contribute to their music. Wallace said the experience of playing before an audience, when they introduce their own material, helped the band mature.

It also has created a comfort level that allows the band members to push their creativity further.

Chord progressions frequently come first or, as Brandon Sampson described it, "the hook" around which a song is developed.

Or, it could be a chorus, a few words, that become a song.

Whatever the seed that is planted, the band will then play it over and over and, then, over again until as Brandon Sampson said, "It feels good and it all makes sense."

Wallace described the band’s music as "modern pop."

Brandon Sampson went further: "We play intelligent songs, written with a sound (no pun intended) structure. The rhythm section is infectious and always tight. We play with energy.

"We talked about the future and what we wanted to do and what we have to say. We want to play music that people will want to hear and make every song a great song."

He wrote the title song from the new CD, "Friction," which speaks to feelings of disenfranchisement.

"Somebody is being used … everybody knows it’s not right … holding on to remain" and other lyrics suggest just how far the band has come from covering more innocent rock music tunes.

"Homewreckers" shouts a warning about "your so-called boyfriend" … "In My Head" gets bluesy and D. Clinton Thompson’s guitar licks quickly grab attention … "Disrupted and Annoyed" is an edgy confession of love … "That Girl" is the shortest cut and the most direct.

"We must still give people what they want to hear," Brandon Sampson said. He predicted "Friction" could make a radio play list, while Wallace said "Disrupted and Annoyed" is his choice to become the CD’s fan favorite.

The band, named for a place and a church outside tiny Lyle, takes another step forward with its latest CD.

Each member hopes the further they go with their music, the more doors are opened in their career.