Musical chemistry and comradery is propelling one band into the spotlight, so much so they traveled to Alabama this past weekend to finish their first album of original songs.

Little Dixie Revival is composed of singer/songwriter Clay Clear (lead vocals/guitar), Andrew Beeman (lead guitar), Jesse Niccum (drums), Bart Colliver (keyboard) and Brent Harms (bass). The band spent Sunday and Monday at NuttHouse Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, mastering an album of 10 original songs. “Chasin’ the Sun” will be finished by the end of February.

The band has officially been together for around two years, but the members have played together much longer.

“We all started seven to eight years ago hosting Jam Nights at Dickie Doo (Bar-B-Que),” Clear said. “We never really formed a band, we just were just the house band every Thursday. Then one day we just decided (to form Little Dixie).”

Beeman added it took six years for it to “click.”

“We play together so much we were pretty much a band,” he noted.

During concerts, Little Dixie plays originals and an assortment of genres including southern rock/country and outlaw country.

The men said their musical style takes in Lynyrd Skynryd and Blackberry Smoke but they also pull from a large pool of music from ‘70s rock and classic country to R&B.

Last Thursday night the band played traditional country-style music during Jam Night at The Lantern House in Sedalia, but on Friday they played ‘50s and ‘60s music at the Missouri Veterans Home in Warrensburg. 

“From playing jam nights, we’re just used to being able to play any genre of music that anyone requests,” Clear noted. “We do a lot of requests.”

Niccum added that Clear and Harms have “hundreds of hours of songs” committed to memory they can reference and perform.  

“Brent used to sing lead for a whole bunch of bands,” Clear added. “He still sings a few songs in our shows but I do the majority of singing.

“But between him and me, he covers a lot of the older country stuff,” he continued. “And, I’ll do the newer red dirt kind of country and rock.”

The men said they enjoy knowing people appreciate their music.

“I like to see people enjoy, especially the original stuff,” Clear said. “All the songs on this album, I wrote but we all arranged them. It’s so cool to see people out there responding to music you’ve written, and clapping, and singing along and dancing.”

Harms said people attend the concerts to have fun.

“I’ve always said our job as a band is to take people out of their normal work-a-day world and put them in our world for a while,” he added. “Where they can have a little fun and forget their cares.”

The band’s goals for the next few years are to see the album “take off” and to possibly get some gigs in Nashville. 

Clear, who is also a member of Dirt Road Addiction, has plans to move to Nashville in March. At that time he will leave DRA but commute back and forth to Missouri to do shows with Little Dixie. He hopes to begin a career in Nashville and also hopes to get recognition for Little Dixie while there. 

Niccum said making music is the “main thing” in all their lives.

“Music is first with us,” Clear added. “We like to pick what songs we do based on what is popular with people, but even then the music is always first.

“The show is usually second,” he continued. “But, we try and get the highest quality of music we can get. I think we’ve found the highest quality of musicians around here that aren’t already doing something with another band.”

Beeman added they’ve “cherry-picked good quality musicians from all over.” He went on to say the group has good musical chemistry and rapport.

“This is a really cool group, you can show up and everybody knows their parts,” he said. “You don’t have to worry, it’s really relaxing because it’s such a high-level musicianship. It’s really a fun group to play with, we all mesh well together.”

For more information about Little Dixie Revival or to access the band’s show schedule, visit facebook.com/LittleDixieRevival.

Arts & Entertainment Reporter

Faith Bemiss is a reporter for the Sedalia Democrat, covering general assignment, arts, food and entertainment stories. She can be reached at 660-530-0289.

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