Country takes stage for
Main Streets Music in the Park
(August 2005) Fans of Young Country will notice one major
difference when the band performs at the Madison Main Street Programs
Music in the Park concert this month founding member Ronnie
Dunlap left the band last year.
Bobby Robbins and Dunlap started the band in Bedford, Ky., 15 years
ago when Robbins returned from the U.S. Navy. Were still
good buddies, Robbins said. After years of this, Ronnie
wanted to spend more time with his family on weekends.
The band decided not to replace Dunlap, who played rhythm guitar. The
lineup now includes Robbins on vocals and rhythm guitar, Kerry Mefford
of Carrollton, Ky., on drums, Scott Caudill of Hanover, Ind., on bass
and vocals, and Tom Steveley of Madison, Ind., on lead guitar.
Without Robbie, Ive had to focus on my guitar a little more.
I have to put on more of a show, said Robbins.
Shortly before Dunlaps departure, Young Country released its first
CD, Tailgate Boogie. The album, which was recorded at Crooked
Creek in Madison and mastered by Ronnie Light of Nashville, Tenn., sold
out at the bands performances. The disc was the bands first
full length recording, but the single Daddy was a Pistol
was a hit with regional fans and radio stations some years before.
Were gathering material for our next CD; we have one every
15 years, said Steveley, laughing. Steveley joined the band six
years ago at Meffords urging. Following high school, Steveley
and Mefford played together in the late 1980s in a Cincinnati-based
rock band called Major Minor. Steveley left the band to join Karma Dogs,
a Louisville rock band. Steveley and Karma Dogs moved to Los Angeles
in the 1990s, and he returned in 1996.
Thats when Kerry dragged me into this, said Steveley.
In spite of his rock credentials, Steveley has fit well with the country
band. When I was growing up around here, guitar players had to
be versatile to get gigs, he said. I dont play that
much differently now than I did in other bands.
Robbins doesnt think the different musical influences of his bandmates
has altered the direction of Young Country. They all three come
from a rock background, he said, laughing. We work well
together. Theres a lot of drive in our music its
not beat you down, crying in your beer kind of music. Its got
more energy than that.
Mefford joined Young Country 11 years ago, and Caudill followed a year
later. In addition to area festivals, the group regularly performs at
Belterra Casino Resort & Spa and Louisville clubs Coyotes
and the Village Pub. They have opened for a nearly endless list of country
greats, including Marty Stewart, Martina McBride, Tracy Lawrence, Aaron
Tippin, Sammy Kershaw, Toby Keith, Ty Herndon, Joe Diffie and Confederate
Robbins said Dunlaps departure forced him to reconsider the band.
The first time I went out on stage without him, it felt strange.
Quitting crossed my mind, but after a couple of sets, we were fine,
he said. People still enjoy it.
The changes gave Robbins a chance to explore his own musical horizons.
He just finished writing material for a new solo acoustic album, which
he plans to record this month. Hes also scheduled dates to perform
with Steveley as a duo.
Young Country will perform at the Music in the Park series
finale at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, at the Broadway Fountain. They also
are scheduled to perform at 7 p.m. on Aug. 19 at the Bedford Bash in
Bedford, Ky. Both concerts are free.
Back to August 2005 Articles.