West Coast country, an unlikely combination | VailDaily.com

West Coast country, an unlikely combination

Pete Fowler

BEAVER CREEK – Three Midwesterners and three Californians combine distinctive musical backgrounds to pioneer a sound they call “West Coast Country.”Lead singer Drew Davis was born in Peculiar, Mo., and his band, The Drew Davis Band, happens to be a bit peculiar. One normally wouldn’t think of Southern Californians hanging out with country-style Midwesterners, much less playing country rock music with them. The unlikely combination is part of what makes the band work. Each player brings something different to the group. It makes it easy for them to feed off each other’s originality.

“Some people grew up in this pop, punk and rock scene in California, and others come from the Midwest with lots of blues and country influences,” said multi-instrumentalist and five-time Grammy nominee Roger Malinowski, who plays keys among other instruments in The Drew Davis band.Loren Ellis grew up in Malibu. He plays banjo, guitar and mandolin in the band. “It’s more unusual than you’d think. He grew up in Malibu … not exactly the home of country music,” said Malinowski.The Drew Davis Band got a huge break by winning the Colgate Country Competition. It began regionally and progressed through Nashville and Orlando to a final national showdown. The Drew Davis Band won first place out of about 50,000 bands and was awarded a $100,000 cash prize. Getting quite a start, the band has been together around two-and-a-half years.

Musically, they collaborate equally in songwriting. They have been fortunate enough to work with “Nashville writing God” Jeffrey Steele, whose songs have received over 18 million air plays on the radio.”Our songs really just tell a story. They’re about things people can relate to,” said Malinowski.The Drew Davis Band plans to release a CD called “Back There All The Time” Oct. 14. The title suggests themes in the band’s music – looking back, reminiscing and recapturing the feeling of a first love. They aren’t all rosy though. “Burn” is about gathering pictures and other memorabilia from a relationship gone sour and torching it all.The Drew Davis Band will play a free concert at the Vilar Center tonight. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Visit http://www.drewdavisband.com for more information.

Pete Fowler is a freelance writer and can be reached at p_fowler1@yahoo.com.Vail, Colorado