Kentucky, United States
Rock & Roll / Alternative Country
There are a lot of rock bands out there that claim to have something no one else has. A sound that tests the boundaries of actual music, lyrics written for the sole purpose of shock value and controversy, or an over-the-top appearance to detract from either of the aforementioned. The truth is that there are only a select few that can connect to a listener based on what music really is - who they are, where they’ve been, and what they’re about... But then there’s Straydaway.
Out of Dawson Springs, Kentucky, this band epitomizes what life is – the good, the bad, and the painfully obvious. Songs of broken relationships and lost chances are nothing new, but lead singer/song writer David Menser has the rare ability to portrait them with such vulnerable emotion that it lures you into revisiting your own past. His imagery becomes more vivid with the assistance of gifted musicians that complete this band, and it quickly becomes evident that their musical contribution is an eerie extension of the lyrics.
To try and categorize this band into country, rock, or R&B is an exercise in futility. They possess the ability to play to almost any audience with styles as diverse as their individual backgrounds, making it impossible to put a label on them. David’s song writing has been marked by Jackson Browne’s influence, but at the same time, Dire Straits or Sawyer Brown can rear their heads at any given moment. His gift of pouring out real pain, anger, joy, and humor spearheads the group that can touch audiences in almost every venue.
Troy Thomas and Sean O’Brien provide the very heart and soul foundation with their drum and bass skills respectively. Troy grew up idolizing and emulating the style of drummers Tommy Lee and Peter Criss, but his versatility reaches far beyond that of Motley Crue and Kiss as is evident in the soulful R&B rhythms of Passing Through which he co-wrote with Menser.
Sean O'Brien knows and has what it takes to be a musician on the bass guitar. Not a bass player, but a musician on the bass. He skillfully transitions between providing a solid foundation on the low end and melodically complimenting Davey Walls on guitar in the mid to upper ranges. All of this is done while never missing an opportunity to accentuate percussion kicks that breathe life into Straydaways’s signature sound.
Walls can craft a guitar lead that will meld with any style that’s thrown his way. Whether its rockabilly, a soulful ballad, or driving rock, Walls' influences have literally come from around the world. After serving on a music project in the Persian Gulf for the U.S. Marine Corps, he worked with such artists as Rascal Flatts and Ricky Van Shelton, developing a style that is as broad as his travels. The sound co-created by Walls and his vintage Telecaster is something like that born of friends who have known each other all of their lives – each able to anticipate the others move that results in perfect harmony.
One element of Straydaway’s unique sound comes from the keyboard of Mike Deal. His piano skill can either inject a Jerry Lee Lewis energy in a rockabilly tune or further seduce the listener mesmerized by one of their ballads. Straydaway’s sound has also benefited from Mike’s resurrection of the forgotten Hammond B3 organ. It is a powerful sound seldom heard today and he possesses the gift of knowing when and how to let it come to life. Mike’s keyboard, acoustic guitar, and vocal harmonies bring a fullness and completion to a band that’s already abundantly talented.
Bands come and go, but these guys are the real thing. They have a firm grip on the power music possesses and they use it wisely. Loosely translated, Straydaway is a band that you don’t want to miss the opportunity to hear live or recorded.