A Seymour-based country-rock band recently had the chance to perform at a popular Indiana music venue.
And this weekend, it will take the stage at a popular honky-tonk bar in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee.
The six members of Six Ways to Sunday are still riding high from their performance July 25 on the plaza stage at Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville. That was the second night of country music star Luke Bryan’s Kick the Dust Up Tour stop, which had Dustin Lynch and Randy Houser as opening acts on the main stage.
“The experience of playing at Klipsch was amazing,” Jeff Campbell, the band’s lead vocalist, said. “It’s truly awesome to see all of the behind-the-scenes work that it takes to put on a show of that caliber. It’s always cool also to see people stopping to listen to you or singing and dancing with their friends to what you’re playing.”
Landing that gig was luck, Campbell said.
“We’ve always had a list of places that are a goal for us to try and play someday,” he said. “Well, I decided one day that I was going to sit down and look up the contact information for a large number of these venues and just email them to see what would come of it. A few emails back and forth, followed by them looking at our website, Klipsch Music Center offered us the chance to play at the Luke Bryan show.”
On Sunday, Six Ways to Sunday is playing at Tootsies World Famous Orchid Lounge in Nashville, Tennessee. Getting to perform there also involved some luck, Campbell said.
“I was able to get in contact with their entertainment director, and once he saw our website, he offered us the chance to come to Nashville and play,” he said. “This will be our first time playing Nashville. I’m not sure that we have too many expectations for the show. We’re just really excited to be playing in a venue where most of our favorite artists started out.”
Along with Campbell, the band members are Cody Moore, drummer; Joe Peak, lead guitarist; Jared Richey, rhythm guitarist; Robin Carnahan, bass; and Jason Lewellen, rhythm guitarist.
The band was formed in 2012. Campbell and Moore both went to Brownstown Central High School and had played a lot of softball together over the years. At one point, both of them were approached about working with the band Blind Ambition, and Carnahan was filling in with that group part time.
Moore then got a hold of Lewellen to come and play a few songs once a week with him and the other two guys. All of a sudden, they had the start of a band.
“We decided one night to have a small demo recorded by a guy locally,” Campbell said. “Jason asked if he could bring another guitarist along to help fill some lead guitar work. We agreed, and Joe Peak showed up and practiced with us for 45 minutes before the demo and has been with us ever since.”
About a year-and-a-half into it, Lewellen needed to take some time off, and Richey came on board. Lewellen just recently rejoined the band.
“It’s not every day that you find a group of musicians with the skill and desire that these guys have,” Campbell said. “We’ve been very fortunate in our three-and-a-half-year run to keep the same members.”
The band’s first show was in 2012 at Brewskies Grub and Pub in Seymour. The next year or so, they mainly played locally with the exception of 8 Seconds Saloon in Indianapolis, where they reached the finals of the Battle of the Bands competition two out of three years they entered.
Now, they generally play on weekends, average around 30 shows per year and are focused on expanding their range for shows, including Indianapolis; Louisville, Kentucky; and Cincinnati.
If you go to one of the band’s shows, Campbell said you should expect to have fun.
“When someone comes to our show, we want them to leave believing that we gave them everything we had,” he said. “We love music and to entertain, and hopefully at the end of the night, we have conveyed that and made the people in the crowd feel that way, too.”
As far as music, the band plays mostly cover songs. It started out performing rock music, but Campbell said he quickly realized his voice had more of a country sound to it. That worked because most of the band preferred country music, he said.
“Country music has a way of taking a group of words that pertain to what we go through in our lives and putting it to music,” he said. “Almost everyone can relate to the feelings and memories that a country song stirs up, and when you perform that song on stage and see the way it affects the people listening, there’s no better feeling.”
The band has written a few songs and played them a few times.
“We actually do plan on releasing a CD of originals soon,” Campbell said. “We have been working hard with people in the community that love to write and want someone to sing their songs, and we hope to get that recorded and released soon.”
As the band moves forward, Campbell said the hopes are endless.
“The reality is we are just a bunch of guys playing in local bars and having fun, but then again, that reality was just a hope four years ago, so anything is possible,” he said. “We are a group of guys who love to play music, and if one day our hard work leads to bigger things for us, I don’t think we’d complain about it. But for now, we’re perfectly happy with the adventure we’re on and the memories we’re making along the way.”
He said the band has had a tremendous amount of support from the beginning.
“Our families and friends have bought into this just as much as we have,” he said. “Obviously having that support makes things a lot easier.”
Support also has come from other local bands.
“The whole local music scene is the truest form of a family,” he said. “Bands like Blind Ambition, Moonshine Mafia, 812 and the Jackson Way have all been a huge part in helping us. It’s great to have that community of knowledge out there for help. Not only do we look out for each other, but we take in each other’s families as our own, as well.”
He also said it’s nice that the band has stayed together.
“Each member has their own personality that they bring to the band, and that is what makes the show so incredible,” he said. “But it’s how you are able to balance all of those personalities at the same time to focus on a common goal that has made us the way that we are.”
For information about Six Ways to Sunday, visit artistecard.com/sixwaystosunday.