The six-piece North County Band, featuring acoustic and electric guitars, fiddle, lap steel, Dobro, bass, drums, and three vocalists, was formed in 2020 in Connecticut and released their debut EP, Connecticut, in October 2022.
Rounding out the band’s lineup are: Cat Lines on fiddle and vocals, Bradley Clark on bass, Jimmy Johnston on electric and pedal steel guitars, Jona Ziac on lap steel guitar and Dobro, and Peter Hill on drums, who cowrote the original material on the band’s first EP with founder Scott Smith. “It’s a fun hodgepodge of people, with different backgrounds and different ages, but we all get along really well,” says Scott.
“I’ve got people around me, and in that band,, you know they wanna play,” he adds. “They’re willing to explore original music. We kinda pay the bills with the cover stuff, which we love playing, but we’re moving toward the original direction…” Looking to the future, the band would really like to do a full-length album (with eight to ten songs) in 2023, which would include Cat Lines as songwriter, along with Scott and Peter. They would try the songs live to see which ones sparkle the brightest.
As they increase their presence in the wider indie music scene, North County Band has started getting some well-deserved recognition. In a traditional vein, they were nominated for the New England Music Association’s 2022 Rising Star award for their state. A unique buzz, including local TV coverage, was created when Connecticut governor Ned Lamont shared the song “Connecticut” in his Twitter feed.
But it’s not all about building the band’s own buzz. They have also partnered as “ambassadors” with Spread Music Now in its mission “to bring the highest quality music education to as many students as possible” in this age of scaled-back arts education in many schools.
By Dan Walsh