Steve Clayton Blog

Tobacco Apache – New album!

On July 9th Tobacco Apache will release their new CD on digital and physical copies will be available on July 12th.  The Apache sound is a mix of original old school,tobacco apache_coverA southern, and roots rock, and other genres, blended into one dynamic sound. Sam Fochtman (guitar/vocals), Josh Lynch (bass/vocals), and Chance Taylor (drums) entered the scene as “Sam Fochtman & Tobacco Apache” with their first gig at Mike Aid II in June of 2010. From that point on, the fellas made sure to bring the heat to every show! In March of 2011 the band took to the studio to lay down tracks for their first EP. John Miller at Tone Room Studios was the mastermind behind the project, and he helped to give the band some new musical areas to explore. The self titled “Sam Fochtman & Tobacco Apache” CD was released on May 22, 2011. The next month, Martin’s Bar & Grill in downtown Roanoke, VA, hosted the band’s album release party. The Riverbank Ramblers joined in on the night’s fun and both bands played to a packed house. The boys finished off 2011 on a high note, preparing for more shows and their first full length album, which would be released the following year. That next year started off with a bang, with the band reaching new heights by placing second (of 20 bands) in one of the biggest Battle of the Bands that Roanoke had ever hosted. The boys also shortened the name of the band, to simply “Tobacco Apache” (it’s easier on the tongue!). In May of 2012 the band encountered a devastating tragedy. Lifelong friend, brother, founding member, and drummer; Chance Taylor, was killed in a car accident. The tragedy, which also claimed the life of Chance’s dad Randy, left the community and the music scene in total shock. Sam and Josh decided to play RoosterWalk 4 as a tribute show to Chance. With the help of some great musicians, including Mason Jennelle on drums, the boys performed and brought everything they had to the stage that night. Unsure of the next move following that performance, the band decided that a break was the best thing they could do to honor Chance, as they decided on a path for the future. In June of 2012, all of the bands that Chance had played in decided to hold a memorial/benefit show in honor of their fallen brother. Ryan Greer, The Baker Bros., Drown the Messenger, and The Aurora Observatory joined forces with Tobacco Apache at Martin’s for a night of music, fellowship and celebrating the life of Chance. The show will forever etched in the minds of the audience members as each band played and sang like never before. As time went on and healing took place the band decided to push on, pick up the pieces, and continue playing. They knew that was something that Chance would have wanted them to do. On July 4, 2012 Mason Jennelle (of Electric Chameleon) joined the band as a full-time member. Mason was a natural fit who plays with the same passion and excitement as the rest of the crew. With the drum seat filled and the addition of Paul Tressel on Keys, Tobacco Apache had finally solidified itself as upcoming act to see. Tobacco Apache has shared the stage with The Dirty Guv’nahs, Dangermuffin, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, Cabinet, Folk Soul Revival, Mountain Heart, Adam Ezra Group, The Mumbles, Ten Toes Up and many others. The band has a new album entitled “Inside Job,” that is set for release in July of 2013 as well as a bunch of other numerous shows and festivals dates to round out the year.

Judd Hoos To Release Second CD

After nearly five years, the highly anticipated Judd Hoos sophomore CD is now a reality.  Rarely does a recording effort involve such a length of time and such a monumental effort to produce! The actual recording was juddhoos1(1)accomplished in two separate commercial recording studios, one hunting lodge in rural South Dakota, numerous motel room/studios and a few sessions that occurred as the band was rolling down the road on the way to covering the nearly 40,000 miles they travel each year.  Logistics aside, the CD is a labor of love for the guys in Judd Hoos.  The process is also unique for another important reason.  The band underwent a major line- up change a year into the initial songwriting and after the recording had started.  Drew Lerdal, guitarist and a founding member of Judd Hoos left at the end of 2009 to pursue a career as a producer/studio engineer in Minneapolis.  The decision was made to bring in two exceptionally talented guitarists,  Andy Young & Zach Fronce in order to fill the void created by Drew’s departure.   Although Lerdal was no longer on the road performing, his contributions to Judd Hoos were far from over.  Lerdal continued to work as a producer on the project even contributing vocals and guitar on a few tracks.  “Drew will always be a part of Judd Hoos in my mind”  says bassist Chris Hornick.  It’s clear that Lerdal’s experience as a member of Judd Hoos gave him the insight and trust from the band to wield the kind the creative control a producer needs to bring out the best qualities in the music.  Judd Hoos “Two”  contains 14 tracks covering a wide variety of musical territory.  The heavy hard-rock groove of “Stand Up” and “The End” the up-tempo power-pop of “Mistakes” and “Again & Again” and the dramatic tension of songs like “Livin” and “Selfish”, all demonstrate  the maturity and confidence that has developed within the group. “All the time we spend together on the road travelling, playing shows and basically living like a second family, made it possibly to come together creatively a lot quicker than I thought,” says guitarist Andy Young.  The CD captures the intricate balance of two distinct guitar styles complimenting the soaring vocals, unique harmonies and powerful drive from the rhythm section. “It’s a fun trip through our collective influences, this CD shows you why Judd Hoos is hard to define in just one genre,”  says drummer Shane Funk. After selling nearly 5,000 copies of “Better Intentions” the bands first album, the interest from fans for a follow album up has been constant.  Bob Zwart, the bands frontman and vocalists says, “We’re excited to see how people react to this one!” The reaction from a number of radio stations in the Midwest has already been positive with the single “Stand Up” getting airplay in several markets including KDDX (XROCK)  and KSQY (KSky) in Rapid City, SD. The calendar for 2013  is nearly full and will take Judd Hoos to at least 8 states performing 120-130 shows and cover a  vast number of miles.  “We love playing live and experiencing the crowds reaction to the new songs everywhere we go,” says guitarist Zach Fronce.  Judd Hoos “Two” will also be available at  and on  iTunes, Amazon, Zune, CD Baby  as well as dozens of other online sources in early June.