Cozmo’s Blog: Knoxville Recap

the last few days i’ve possessed a feeling of chill that’s so chill, that i can’t do anything else but chill…the chill that follows something victorious…this feeling stems from our recent back to back hometown rock shows…nothing excites us more than playing our hometown, so we decided to do a two night rock and roll binge in our wondrous ecosystem, knoxville, tn…we haven’t played the motherland in a while, so we greatly anticipated our return…the pressure was heavy on us to put together a rockin weekend for our knoxville family, so we bounced around a lot of questions/ideas for each show…what covers should we learn?? how should we construct our encores each night?? who should we ask to open for us?? what about special guests?? what should we wear?? we wanted the party to be just right, so we started hashing through ideas to create a weekend of great jubilation…

i woke up friday morning feeling easy…i got up and took a walkabout around the neighborhood to calm my already calm brain…the weather was beautiful and i ran into a couple of deer, who are now my friends…one i named reginald veljohnson and the other is named carl winslow…unfortunately, i didn’t have any good leaves or carrots on me to give to them so i had to continue on my journey…i finished my walk and it was time to meet up with the rest of the guvs…we arrived at the venue to be surprised by an amazing light rig that was set up by michael brammer of SES…immediately, we started getting excited…we were back home and it felt buttery…we had an incredible horn section (chuck mulligan, tyler “the gold” bullion, and kyle bothof) for one of our musical surprises…we ran through the tunes and it sounded magnificent, the ground was fertile…in addition to the horn section we also had chris doody and mitch stewart join us for some perfectly seasoned bee gee vee’s (background vocals)…chris and mitch, who are former members of the guvs, played a huge role in propelling us to where we are today…it was a special moment to have them with us, and we are grateful they are on this earth…as game time approached, our focus sharpened on what we came to do that evening…we walked down to watch elenowen play a flawless set…the crowd, as well as us, loved their music and they’re all super chill…we hope to collaborate with them at some point in the future…the guvs seemed calm, granted we had a super intense cram session the two days preceding the show…the lights went down, and we walked out on stage…the crowd made a joyful noise and we began our set…songs were tight, vocals were potent, and the rippers were rippin…everyone knows that we’re huge fans of “the band” so we decided to work up some fresh encore covers to capture the essence of one of our favorite concerts, “the last waltz.” we played “it makes no difference” by the band, which ended with dual guitar rippers over the foundation of a beefy horn section, that climbed to the apex of a sonic mountain of righteousness…following that was “caravan” by van morrison (of course we did the last waltz version)…james administered 9 ninja kicks and a knee slide on the back half of the song when the horn hits came in…ol kev sang a couple of verses that sounded like rod “the bod” stewart himself was up in there, onesie leotard and all…it was so hype…we were connected with the audience from the first note…freedom and fellowship were present and near in that blessed space…it was really difficult to fall asleep that night so i ended up watching napoleon dynamite from start to finish


the morning sun rays came busting through my window telling me that i needed to eat some brunch because i’m kinda brunchy these days…i can’t help it, sometimes your body just evolves and there’s nothing you can do about it…my body has evolved into a machine that crushes brunches all across the nation…it was me, an ol dayve, and a bettianne that embarked towards the bistro, land of poachers, gravies, tatoes, and big meaties…i wanted to get as full as possible because i knew i had a big day ahead of me…after i crushed, i came back home to figure out my outfit for the evening…the outfit came together quickly so i decided to check my chi levels…they were reading at 100%…i arrived for soundcheck number two and our musical guests were already there tuning up…we decided to do something we have never done before, bring in a string section…the string section was headed up by my boy “neon” gideon klein who composed all the arrangements and recruited all the jedi’s…the strings included (gideon klein and matt nelson on cello, douglas temples on viola, carlos hdz, yu-ting huang, caroline farmer, and lora doherty on the violins)…vocalists tomi robb (free agent) and tyler anthony (cereus bright) were also in attendance to push the set to the next level…the soundcheck was unreal, it was like we had 30 people up there with us…we rehearsed the tunes a couple of times with the strings to get everything dialed in…it was over the top…knoxville band, william wild, opened for us that night…again, another amazing group that we had the pleasure to collaborate with…their soundcheck was great and their set was even greater…super cool dudes, im hoping we cross paths again soonly…the time had come once again and we felt good…we kicked off night two smooth and creamy…halfway through the set, tyler anthony came out and sang (alongside james) a stripped down version of song for my beloved…their voices sounded like angels with wings of solid gold…the full band took the stage once again to bring the energy back up…a few songs later, we brought out tomi robb who hit some high notes that would shatter all the windows in your sun room and maybe make you wet your pants…the crowd was feelin it in their bones…we finished the regular set on a high note leaving the crowd chanting for the encore…it was time to unveil the ultimate surprise…the strings took the stage and opened up the encore with an emotionally absorbing version of canyons…they added many flavorful layers to our cake of sadness (canyons is a sad song)…from there, we took a creative turn and played an arrangement by radiohead called “karma police”…the song climbed to an explosive ending full of total rock and roll carnage…i believe that this was our first time ever attempting a radiohead song and it felt liberating…on the last note of karma police, the string section droned for a few seconds and then it began…cruel intentions, ut football jumbotron video montage in the early 2000’s, seattle seahawks still use it for their entrance music, the one and only, bittersweet symphony…the strings played it perfectly and peoples heads were exploding from excitement…me, kev, james, justin, tyler, and jenks were all lined up laterally across the front of the stage just rockin our faces off of our skulls…this was our best hometown weekend yet and we are extremely thankful for everyone of you that made it happen for us…please, help spread the word about the guvs, cuz we’re not plannin on slowin down anytime soon…

make the dangle easy,


Paste Magazine Premieres Lyric Video for Where We Stand

We’ve got another new song for you! “Where We Stand” is the opening track off of Hearts On Fire, due March 11th.

Big thanks to Paste Magazine for the premiere, and to Loch & Key Productions ( for creating the lyric video!



Sometimes you think that a song is finished, but in reality it’s still a long way’s off. Such is the case of Lovin…. which might be more appropriately named “Lovin 3.0”.

This song started as an acoustic riff that Jenkins had been playing for a while and we thought that it was going to have that “Beast of Burden” / Rolling Stones vibe to it. Originally the chorus to this song was the sexually charged:

“Your sweetness really turns me on,
making me the weakest man you’ve ever known”

and the outro to the song was the repeating phrase:

“I’ll make a living out of lovin you.”

We started working up some demos and we realized that this song had a lot of potential but that honestly it wasn’t really hitting any of us as hard as we had hoped.

A few months later a friend of ours suggested that we move the “Your sweetness really turns me on…” chorus part to the front as the intro and to move the “I’ll make a living out of lovin you” part from the Outro to the chorus… so we did.

Confused yet? So were we… the song just wasn’t done.

Well, the good news is that sometime last summer we were throwing some wiffle balls around the backyard when Jenkins said to me, “What if something bad happens in the story at the end of this song? Or there’s some kind of confrontation between the couple that is having this sweet romance story?”

Thus…. the turning point. We dropped our wiffle ball and plastic yellow bat and ran back inside to chase down the inspiration. Luckily, we found it… I ran into the vocal booth and we recorded the melody and most of the words that filled out the outro to Lovin. It was an absolutely fantastic afternoon.

Truthfully, completing a song is really all about capturing a moment. It’s about cutting to the bone of a situation that you’re in, and letting the honesty bleed out. If I knew how to do it on cue at any time then I would, but I think the only answer for a songwriter is to be ever open to the creative muse and the opportunity of a song.


KICKSTARTER UPDATE: Help us record this song!

Thank you SO MUCH for helping us with this KickStarter campaign! Because of you we have already raised 66% of our KickStarter goal! If you haven’t yet decided to give to the campaign, or if you would like to upgrade your KickStarter package then we would genuinely appreciate it. Our DESIRE is to share this new music with the entire world and we need your help to make it happen. Please, please, please spread the word!

This is a new song we’ve been working on called “Ever Start to Wonder.” It’s an acoustic arrangement, but the recorded version would be full band. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Justin, Aaron, James, Michael, Cozmo, and Kevin

Free Christmas Download!

The holiday season is all about giving, so we’d like to give you a free download to get you into the Christmas spirit! Above is a link to our cover of The Band’s 1977 song “Christmas Must Be Tonight”; click the download button on the bottom to download the MP3. We’ll always associate this time of year with our time spent at Levon Helm’s home in December 2009. It was such an honor to work with a musical hero of ours, and we’ll never forget Levon’s generosity and encouragement. In honor of the late Mr. Helm, we recorded this song last winter with our good friend Josh Oliver on the harmony vocals. Hope you enjoy!


“Honey You” Featured on Criminal Minds!

We are pleased to announce that “Honey You” was featured on last nights episode of Criminal Minds! You can check out the episode on HERE. A huge thanks to our fans for supporting us so these types of things can happen!

[audio: | titles=Honey You]


Much Love,



We are pleased to announce the release date for our new album! “Somewhere Beneath These Southern Skies” will be available on August 14th. To celebrate this occasion, we are going to be performing a special FREE concert in Market Square in downtown Knoxville on Friday, August 17th!

This free show is to express our thanks to our hometown for supporting us so much. With our latest album project, over half of our donations came from Knoxville, TN! You’ve been coming to see us for years and this is the least we can do.

We can’t thank everyone enough for your support. We hope you will celebrate this new album, funded completely by our fans, by joining us for a late summer evening under the stars in downtown Knoxville!


It’s Good to be Home

Last Friday’s show at Barley’s was a blast for us as usual. It seems like forever since we’ve played there, and it felt good to be home. We’ve been traveling more and more, playing in new places and meeting great new people. But still, there’s something about coming back to where it all started. Knoxville has been more than a hometown for us. It’s been a sanctuary of friends and fans that keep us going. Without this town and the people in it, I think we would have given up this crazy adventure a long time ago.

The memories here are so unique and inspirational. I remember the first real headlining show we ever had. It was at Preservation Pub in 2007. Our setlist was a joke, I couldn’t hear my keys, the stage was the size of a closet, and it was the best night we’d ever had. People actually liked our music. That’s a feeling I’ll never forget. Or the first time we played at Barleys. We opened for Dishwater Blonde to a packed house. It was electric, the biggest and most energetic crowd we’d ever seen. These experiences seem like so long ago, but they never really leave us.

Fast forward a couple of years- we’ve gotten to play gigs we never thought we would, meet people we never thought we’d meet, making friends and music all along the way. But here we were, back in Knoxville, ending our show with members of the Zac Brown Band playing a Rolling Stones cover. This would have been cool no matter where we were, but standing in Knoxville made it that much better. I loved looking out at the crowd and seeing people that were there for our first show, opening for Sister Hazel on Market Square Stage. We had been a band for two weeks when we took that stage. We probably sounded terrible, but our friends stuck with us. To be honest, I’m not sure that would happen anywhere besides Knoxville. This town loves music, and we love this town.

So now we’re looking forward to sharing more memories with all of you. And we’ve got plenty more to come. Some big things have happened for us in the last few weeks. We’re going to Levon Helm’s studio in Woodstock NY for 15 days this December. Needless to say, we’re humbled and excited about getting to play music with a legend. We hope you’ll like what we’re working on. Also, we just signed on with Athens-based Nimbleslick Booking. The timing couldn’t have been better for us. It felt like we had reached the end of our rope booking shows and breaking into new venues. Now we think we’ve found the right people to help us. We can’t wait to make new friends and play music in places we haven’t been to yet.

When I sit down and think about it, there are plenty of reasons we could have given this up by now. Jobs, relationships, all our other commitments are affected by our pursuit of music. But we don’t want to stop. We want to keep making the best music we can for all of you who have stuck by us for so long. We want to keep playing shows where you can dance, forget about whatever else might be bringing you down, have fun and experience freedom with us. This freedom is something few people get to experience, and we love sharing it with all of you. After all, we’re all in this together. Let’s enjoy the ride as long as we can.