Local band keeps busy on road, in area

Local band keeps busy on road, in area

Local band keeps busy on road, in area

Parker Willis

Even though one local band spends most of its time on stage, it still finds time to talk with fans.

The Ben Miller Band has been together only five months, but its musical talent didn’t start there.

Doug Dicharry, trombone, washboard and back-up vocals, also plays the drums, keyboard and trumpet for another local band by the name of Freak Flag.

Scott Leeper, washtub bass and some back-up vocals, also plays with a band named Three Old Hippies and use to play drums with his brother Vernon Leeper and Lightning Malcom until he started playing with The Ben Miller Band.

And Ben Miller, lead vocals, slide guitar, drums and harmonica, started out as a solo act for more than a year ago and went by Spooner Daytona.

Miller use to run an open mic night at the Green Room when he met Dicharry who played the trombone at the time, and they said they just hit it off.

Dicharry, whose main instrument is the washboard, said he only played his instrument once before he met Miller but somehow it just fit with what Miller was playing and he’s played ever since.

Currently, the band spends every Monday night at the Keystone lounge, every Tuesday night at Casa Montez, every Thursday night at Mike’s in Carthage, every Friday night at Benson’s in Fayetteville and Wednesday and Saturday at any of the many random bars it can get a gig at locally.

The Ben Miller Band has played nearly every local venue ranging from inside stages like The Bridge and Woody’s Wood Fire Pizza to patio stages like the Kitchen Pass and the Creamery.

Friday and Saturday the band will be at Quapaw Casino, Wednesday it will be at the Gypsy in Fayetteville, and on Oct. 29, it will be at the Halloween party at Champs.

Miller said the band plays music ranging from zydeco, bluegrass, blues and delta blues to rap and rock-n-roll. It also plays covers ranging from Robert Johnson and Charlie Patton to Kanye West.

Recently the band won third place in a battle of the bands at Quapaw Casino. The band also played at the Bash in the Grass in Springfield to help raise money for the Hurricane Katrina relief fund, of which there will be another one in the third or fourth week of April.

But Dicharry still said his favorite venue was the Wooden Nickel in Lamar because “the town only has a population of like 50 and they were all there and they we’re all dancing.”