When most people think of Hazzard County, they conjure up visions of the "Dukes of Hazzard" TV series or the General Lee which was the Dodge Charger made popular from the show. The reality is Hazzard County is in Central Illinois and is a popular country band - not a location. This five-piece band has spent the last 9 years polishing their music to the point they have quite a following around the Midwest.
The band consists of Kirk Ellis who plays lead guitar, fiddle and provides vocals, John Holt a.k.a. "Cledus" plays drums and sings, Dave Craig plays bass and performs vocals, Jay Larson plays guitar and handles vocals and fronting the band is Simon Webb who handles lead vocals and plays keyboard and sax.
The artists and groups whom they have opened for reads like a CMA nominations list. The band doesn't reflect any particular influence which, according to band members "is great" because they enjoy performing a wide variety of cover songs. But make no mistake - they also have their own music.
The band nearly had to start over not to long ago when they were scheduled to play a gig that was to take place on an island. The only way to the island was, obviously by boat. They loaded up all their gear onto a pontoon boat - making sure they had every piece of equipment with them so a second trip wouldn't be needed. Weather wasn't to their advantage as well. With a threat of rain looming close, the pontoon boat driver was anxious to get the band and their cargo to the island as quick as possible. The pontoon left the dock nearly full throttle. No one is sure why but the front of the pontoon was pushed down and going under water. Thankfully with the screams of the band and others, the boat driver got settled down, backed off the throttle and avoided total disaster. Perhaps it's the memory of that which keeps the band "afloat".
The band is looking to the future with plans to release a third CD. Their live schedule for 2005 includes 150 shows in 16 states. To learn more about Hazzard County, visit their website at www.hazzardcountyband.com. Below are pictures from recent visits to 8 Seconds Saloon