Bio & Info
Amy Kamm (lead vocalist),
Daniel Cook (banjo/guitar),
George Hage (lead guitar),
Kaitlin Grady (cello),
Autumn Brand (violin)
When it comes to Americana music, artists like Civil Wars, Sturgill Simpson, The Band Perry, and Mumford & Sons have managed to turn the genre on its ear (pun intended). By incorporating sounds from Appalachian, Irish, English, and Scottish traditions into their music, these artists have created a whole new category. Playing the banjo alone doesn’t admit you into this esteemed club – it’s the songwriting, the music, the passion, and the creativity; all of which the innovative band New Reveille has plenty. From standing room only gigs to winning a Gold Addy (American Advertising) Award for their “Babylon” video, this band – Amy Kamm (lead vocalist), Daniel Cook (banjo/guitar), George Hage (lead guitar), Kaitlin Grady (cello), Autumn Brand (violin) – checks all the boxes. New Reveille has powerfully crafted songs, incredible showmanship, and eclectic live shows.
Principal songwriter Daniel Cook has been musical ever since he can remember. “I used to hear my mom and older siblings play piano and I’d try to pick out the melodies. By 14 or 15, I started to play guitar at church, only to find out that uncles on both sides of the family were guitarists, and both turned me on to classic rock.” Daniel was the guitarist and lead singer for a band in high school, and later cut demos with the same band mates when he was in college. Singer Amy Kamm had a slightly different trajectory: “My parents were really into folk music during my formative years and I remember being drawn to hearing vocals with distinct harmonies and songs with acoustic guitar or minimal instrumentation. My maternal grandparents, who I spent a lot of time with growing up, listened to a lot of what’s considered “classic country” now. I remember hearing Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, and Conway Twitty. I was mesmerized by the stories these artists would tell and the emotion they would convey. Through these influences, I became really interested in music, particularly songs or vocals that would elicit an emotional connection for me, even at a young age. I really didn’t even know that I could sing until after I got married. I would sing along with the radio and my husband would listen to me sing and say, “Wow, you have a beautiful voice.”
In 2011, Daniel was inspired to pick up the banjo. “When I was working as a video editor, we did a Folkways show on banjo player Wade Mainer; I remember saying, ‘Man, I’ve gotta go learn the banjo.’ Having been mostly a guitar player, I started combining those styles with the guitar-playing habits that I already had.” So motivated by what he was creating, Daniel put an ad on Craigslist looking for musicians, but was mostly concerned with finding the right singer. “I got a bunch of demos from singers and other musicians, some of them really good, but Amy’s blew me away.” Amy, meanwhile, had never auditioned for a band before. “I initially started singing at a church we were attending and had recorded some demos of old country songs, before I answered Daniel’s Craigslist ad.” Kaitlin and Autumn made their way in to New Reveille as session musicians in 2013, and joined full time after their obvious musical talents blew Daniel away. Similarly, George was designing artwork for the band, and he and Daniel started to talk about music. George shared a song he’d written, and after the band fell in love with the track, George became the last band member to join New Reveille.
When the band sold out their very first show in North Carolina, and the audience sang along, New Reveille knew they had something special. It wasn’t just how they came together as a band, it was the joy they had in making the music. There was nothing about it that didn’t feel significant. Their self-produced music videos became events for fans, and with Daniel’s video production background, “Heavy Hands, “Conway Shore,” and especially “Babylon” had a professionalism that belied the band’s grassroots ascent.
After their self-released debut Cannonball, the band signed with independent label Loud & Proud Records in 2017. Label mates include Lynyrd Skynyrd, which is not lost on George and Daniel, who both grew up loving the band’s music. The band name, New Reveille, a tribute to Daniel’s military grandfather who played reveille in the mornings, could also mean a “new awakening,” which is how the band members view their signing to Loud & Proud, and what it means for their future.
As they go in to the studio to record their first album for a label, songwriting is very much on their mind. “In our band, somebody writes a song, then everybody else learns it, shows up to practice and plays it. If we all like it, we’ll get together and iterate on it until it either takes shape, flops, or fizzles out. Not every song is meant to be, but we try to give all of ‘em a chance to come to life,” says Daniel. He finds inspiration in “Everything: Love, heartache, loss, hope, fear, uncertainty,” and appreciates that you don’t have to live something to be inspired by it. Sometimes a wandering mind can lead to gold, where “memories, imaginings, and feelings come rushing in, and maybe you don’t know what the song is about yet, but you know the images and emotions those notes are stirring up.”
With summer 2018 festival dates on the horizon, the band relishes their new path, and know just how special their experience has been. “Things serendipitously fell into place for us, rather than being forced. The band formed around the music, rather than the band existing first,” says Amy, “It has always felt like we have tapped into something that is bigger than just us.”