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Smooth Bananas: Support Your Local Bands

I would be willing to bet that the majority of your Spotify playlists are filled with artists that are known not just in Pittsburg and its surrounding area but throughout the world or at least the United States. I would be willing to wager a large sum of money that the last live concert you saw (pre-pandemic) or at least were excited to see was about a largely known artist who is used to selling out venues. The key to these artists is something much closer to home actually: your local artists. 

Local bands are the lifeblood of the music world. At first glance, this idea might seem a little farfetched, but it holds true once you examine a little further. Of course, a lot of bands got their start because they knew somebody, or they were in the right place at the right time but the most important principle that proves this is simply that people age. Bands, like the people that make them up, age as well and eventually they go the way of the dinosaur. New blood must fill the hole left by bands long gone. 

Bands, no matter how their size, get their start somewhere. Sure, there are particular hotspots like Seattle, Athens, Georgia, or Nashville but local bands start by friends getting together jamming, practicing in parents’ garages, and then taking gigs at coffeehouses, bars, and backyards. Word gets around about them until they get more and more shots. It takes a lot of legwork on the band’s part, but you can help the band out by doing a little legwork too. If you see a band you really like, tell your friends about them and when their next show is or their social media links. This creates more traffic for the band and puts a little bit of the marketing pressure off of the band members who are really trying to focus on their passion: the music. 

There is a nice handful of local bands that deserve your support right here in the Pittsburg area. A band I have to give a shoutout to is the Darters. The Darters have gone through a couple different iterations, whether that be a name change (some of their members were involved when they were called “The Litchfield Mining Company”) or personnel change (some of their members originally played in the jazz combo called the “Half-Pitts”). Regardless of their evolution, they have certainly developed into quite the musical force, performing a healthy variety of covers and originals. They are fronted by Pittsburg native Mason Bayliss and Carl Junction native and recent PSU alumnus Brooks Neria both singing and playing guitar. In addition to these two wild players, the band features junior in media production Jade Weston on bass, and senior in music education Fayne Speer on drums. Several members swap in and out as necessary including senior in music education Tyler Fries on trumpet and recent alumnus in music Edith Sigler on both piano and violin. The band recently gave a backyard concert with their friends Vagabond Grove and The Odyssey and they gave quite the performance. Their position as the last band of the evening was well chosen. Their style is something combining the styles of folk, rock, punk, and bluegrass to great effect. The band is reportedly working on an album that is to be released sometime in the future on Spotify, an album that should definitely be picked up when it’s available.  

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