Jared Mitchell Band – Ready for 2018

| January 6, 2018 | Reply

The Jared Mitchell Band performs at 903 Brewery on Nov. 4, 2017

Feature story and photos by Axton Deary

Sherman, Texas — On Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, the Jared Mitchell Band opened for headliner and Grammy Award Winner Rick Trevino at 903 Brewery. Overall, the night was a large success, and even a bigger night for the Jared Mitchell Band.

The Jared Mitchell Band opened with an Americana cover, the lead singer thanks the crowd of 100 for attending and then continues to another song. Jared Mitchell Band is unlike any other county-influenced genre band. Where many of these particular bands adhere to a certain sound, such as, Red Dirt, Texas Country, Southern Rock-Country, Americana/Alt-Country, Neo-Traditional Country, and The Nashville Sound, JMB intertwines all of these stems of country music together for a vast spectrum of sounds ranging from David Allen Coe to Turnpike Troubadours. JMB is often part-genius and part-adventurous as they reach beyond cross genre-divided lines to produce different and oddly satisfying mix-ups of cover songs. For instance, listeners heard an almost dreary guitar riff before expecting John Anderson’s “Seminole Wind,” but after the initial opening of the song, the band transitioned into Indie-Pop band Foster the People’s 2011 award-wining hit, “Pumped Up Kicks.”

JMB closes the evening with a few originals that are without a doubt, serious radio-spinners. “Back to Carolina” is a wonderful take on long distance relationships and “Leave Me Alone” is the perfect song for anyone who isn’t looking for relationships at all. Apart from the excellent set list, JMB brings gusto to the table for each show, the chemistry between the band members is genuine – not forced. If scrutinized just enough, it’s easy to find what bands are just there for the gig, to get paid, and leave. With JMB, they bring passion to what they do and it shows on stage.

Jared Mitchell and Chance Cody

The Jared Mitchell Band originally began as Spur 503 in the early 2000s and has been performing under the current name for the past 2 years. This performance shows no slowing down for this behind-the-scenes veteran band. Three of the original founders of Spur 503 transitioned with JMB, lead guitar player – Chance Cody, percussionist – Adam Doty, and sound engineer – Bryan Willis (more commonly known as, Lil’ B). Cody, Doty and Willis oversaw the production of Spur 503’s three albums that spanned from 2005 to 2011. Spur 503 has toured with anyone and everyone in all strands of country music, including, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, Gary P. Nunn, Daryl Dodd, and Randy Rogers Band.

I was able to catch up with lead singer Jared Mitchell after his set was finished for the evening. Mitchell, a baby-faced, slender, 20-something year old who has hair down to his shoulders, was working merch while Cody, Doty, and bassist Johnny Waitt drifted off into the evening. In between selling t-shirts, koozies, stickers, other merchandise, and passing out a few old Spur 503 albums, Mitchell was gracious enough to answer a few of my questions.

Mitchell says his family moved to Denison when he was 4 years old, and that is when he met Johnny Waitt, Bryan Willis Adam Doty, and Chance Cody at no other place than church.

While growing up, Mitchell recalls that Cody, Doty and Willis were rockstars as Spur 503 would play Gruene Hall on Friday night, North Texas Fair and Rodeo in Denton on Saturday, and then be in the church band back in Denison on Sunday. “I began with Spur in December 2010 when I was 18 years of age. My first official day, we played 2 shows. We had to set up in the morning, perform, breakdown, travel 50 miles, set up again, perform again, breakdown again, and then drive home. It was a long first day. The workload put the job in perspective from the initial moment I began. I also recall I couldn’t even get into some venues at first because I looked younger than 18. I had to have a notarized affidavit to get into the bars we were set to perform at. I still keep a few extras in my guitar case for a good laugh” says Mitchell.

 

Chance Cody, lead guitar for JMB

In terms of going a new direction with Jared Mitchell Band, Mitchell says, the decision was made by Chance Cody. “Spur 503 by all means had regional success — they had 3 albums, had a great amount of radio play, and toured frequently with large named acts. Chance was just tired of looking for new lead guitarist so he decided a change was needed. My first real gig as lead was in January 2016, at the Texas Music Hall of Fame out in East Texas — no pressure there.” says Mitchell with a sly grin on his face. Mitchell follows up, “I was terrified. I grew up idolizing Chance, Adam and Lil’ B, and watching their success. Chance Cody has been up top with some big name folks that I looked up to in the industry. So to say I was terrified when the change took place, is a pleasant way of putting it.”  Mitchell continues, “These guys have more experience in years than I have been alive; but honestly, if it hadn’t been for Chance, Adam, and Brian giving me a shot in their band, I would probably not be playing live shows today. It’s intimidating enough to play a show when musicians you idolized as a kid are backstage, but I get share a stage with Chance, Adam and Lil’ B every night and that’s often freighting.“

I asked Mitchell what it was like to ultimately take the reins of the wagon and take full control of the band. Mitchell says, “That’s a tough question. There is no better group of guys that I would have a band with. I’ve been fortunate enough to not have to go out and piece together a band – Chance, Adam, and Lil’ B handed me the 1,000 piece puzzle, and it’s nearly completed — all we have to do is add the few missing pieces that are songs.”

In addition to the missing puzzle pieces, I asked Mitchell if there were any plans for an LP or EP soon/where does JMB want to be in 2018? Mitchell light-heartedly says, “We are terrific at taking baby steps and we take baby steps slower than most, but we will be working on an EP in 2018. I believe that once we have more original JMB music that is easily accessible to potential listeners (other than Facebook Live videos or YouTube videos), JMB will have taken our first ‘big step’ towards really gaining a following. For the last year we have slowed down on gigs, in order to spend more time writing songs. Quality song writing is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Johnny Waitt, Chance Cody, and Jared Mitchell of the Jared Mitchell Band

So where to next for the Jared Mitchell Band? Up.

Jared Mitchell and Chance Cody

The Jared Mitchell Band possesses 4 things that will guide them to as much success as they want – chemistry, on-stage presence, versatility, and guidance. There is an undoubtedly a unique chemistry between Jared Mitchell, Chance Cody, Adam Doty, Johnny Waitt and Brian Willis.

When Cody and Doty graduated high school, it is highly likely Mitchell wasn’t even born, much less thought about. Yet, for the two younger members of the band, they are always mentally on the same page as the older members, and just as focused. The band’s chemistry resonates on the stage like no other and it allows them to perform at a genuine, higher caliber than most regionally successful bands. Next, as a lead singer, Jared Mitchell, possesses the on-stage presence as a person with three-times experience as he currently does. Mitchell is comfortable with being in the spotlight, yet he isn’t egomaniacal or displays arrogance as a typical 26 year-old male might do, given the afforded rights Mitchell has earned.

The Jared Mitchell Band has the versatile sounds to where they are capable of creating any sound they want to. As mentioned above, JMB is willing, able, and has created sound others might not be comfortable with, such as, throwing a 90’s classical country song with a 2010 indie-pop song. The ability to go above many other’s comfortability level shows JMB is will to do whatever it takes to make quality music that isn’t watered-down or mechanical engineered by a high-end producer. Last, the guidance of seasoned veterans Chance Cody, Adam Doty and Bryan Willis. Cody, Doty, and Willis have been there, done it, and got the t-shirt or whatever cliché saying you want to input for experience. The trio has played in just about every venue in the State of Texas, they have performed for whatever band you think of, and they have record 3 successful albums under Spur 503. Ultimately, Cody’s, Doty’s and Willis’ selflessness and sacrifice will gear Jared Mitchell Band towards however successful they want this band to be.

2018 will be the catalyst for Jared Mitchell Band. The band performs at Gilley’s in Durant at Choctaw Casino in early 2018, opens for Parker McCullum and then a studio session is scheduled for the end of the year.

Jared Mitchell Band’s Website

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About the Author ()

Axton Deary is currently based in Dallas, Texas. He attended college at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. It was there that Axton grew an affinity for music -- with historical venues such Cheatham Street Warehouse, Gruene Hall, Joe T. Floore's Country Store, and Luckenbach just a stone's throw away. Axton saw the best that Texas regional acts had to offer. Although currently employed full-time in Dallas, he frequents various venues scattered across the DFW metroplex as a weekend warrior. Axton currently pens album and concert reviews. He is excited to be a contributor to Scene in Town and is looking forward to the new journey.

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