I had the privilege of attending a practice session of Eau Claire’s newest supergroup last night: The Old Fashioneds. Comprised of The Sidekicks/Electric Range’s Jeff White (vocals), Electric Range’s Tony Campbell (bass), solo folkster Greg Gilbertson (electric), Easychair’s Bronson Bergeson (pedal steel), and Excellent Adventure’s Bill Hamilton (drums/vocals), this diverse group of seasoned musicians play straight up country. And not the “pop with a twang” kind of country; this is the old, singer-songwriter kind of country. “Jeff called me up one day and said, ‘I’m putting this thing together, and we were hoping you’d come down and play drums,’ ” Bill said. “So I said ‘absolutely.’ … I can’t believe the group of guys he put together here.” With a suitcase substituted for a bass drum as the visual centerpiece, The Old Fashioneds play the likes of Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard, and George Jones as well as a few of White’s originals. You’re not going to find a better “stripped down, beer drinkin” country band in the Chippewa Valley. Not a chance.
The Old Fashioneds’ first live show is Thursday, Jan. 14 at 8:30pm at Haymarket Grill and their second gig is at the same venue on Feb. 18.