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Dewey Bas Band lands major 4th of July gig

Posted: June 28, 2018 4:56 p.m.
Updated: June 29, 2018 1:00 a.m.
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Members of the Dewey Bass Band are (from left) Bernie Watts, Guerry Frick, Jimmy Hudson, Dewey Bass, Vicky Marsh (manager), and Bobby Hinson.

Everyone around here who knows the Dewey Bass Band knows they’re very good at what they do.

But on July 4, the seven-piece band will be taking their old school Country Music show on the road, to play the Old Threshers’ Reunion in Denton, N.C.  In fact, they will be sharing the stage with a major name in Country Music today, opening for Jason Michael Carroll.

The Old Threshers’ Reunion is a five day festival, touted as the largest antique tractor and engine show in the Southeast. The band will be playing two sets, one at 2 p.m. and one at 7 p.m. on July 4.

“Denton is one of the biggest things to happen to us,” Dewey Bass, the band’s founder and namesake said. “It’s a big stage and a big opportunity -- hopefully, if we do well there, it could take us to the Grand Ole Opry.”

That may sound like a big dream, but Bass and manager Vicky Marsh believe if the band keeps landing gigs like this one, it could very well come true sooner rather than later.

The band, which features two lead guitars (Bass and Buddy Hinson), two rhythm guitars, bass, drums, and a lead vocalist, has accomplished quite a bit in a relatively short amount of time, developing a devoted and sizable local following in Kershaw and Lee counties. Just pop into the Button Museum in Bishopville whenever they are playing a show there and chances are, there will be standing room only.

As a matter of fact, quite a number of the band’s fans are going to Denton to cheer them on, noted Marsh, who sent the festival the band’s demo, which secured the invitation to play.

The band is something of a throwback -- they do old classic country music tunes from the 1950s- 1980s, from Hank Williams Sr. and Jimmy Rogers to Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard.

“We want to be the voice for the kind of pure country music that seems to have been forgotten,” Bass said. “Today’s country ain’t really country -- we want to bring it back.”

Their reverence for past giants of Country Music is evident in everything they do from set list to stage look. In fact, their stage look is every bit as important as the music, Bass said.

“We have the old school look -- the hats and shirts similar to what Porter Waggoner and Buck Owens and others like them wore onstage,” Bass said. “People really seem to like that -- we were doing a show awhile back, outside, hot weather, and we thought we’d just do it wearing casual, cooler clothes. But they weren’t having that -- they wanted us dressed. So we did.”

Of course, Bass and the band don’t mind -- they appreciate the feedback and will go out of their way for the people who come to their shows.

“I spend a lot of time just hanging out in the crowd talking to people -- I love doing that -- meeting new people and seeing old friends,” he said.

In addition to the country classics, the band also has quite an extensive set list of Southern Gospel tunes and often plays singings and church meetings around the area. They also do quite a bit of performing for charities, seniors and community organizations.

Bass comes by his country and gospel roots naturally.

“I’ve played music since I was 5,” he said. “I grew up in rural Kershaw County, started playing with my dad and my uncles in the early part of the ’70s. I grew up playing prayer meetings and church gatherings, played country and southern gospel.”

The band got together somewhat by accident. Bass and guitarist Buddy Hinson had been asked to put together a show featuring Elvis songs for the Button Museum, but shortly before that gig, Hinson, now 81, had to have open heart surgery. Bass found some musicians and put together a “classic country” show, which turned out to be such a success they decided to continue. When Hinson recovered, he joined the band as a lead guitarist. Together, Bass and Hinson have dual lead guitar styles that complement each other very well, Bass said.

“He plays a lot like Chet Atkins, while my style is more like Jerry Reed. We’re different, but we play very well together -- it’s a chemistry only musicians have with other musicians.”

It’s that chemistry that makes the band work so well together, he notes.

Another very important factor to the band’s success has been the tireless work of Vicky Marsh, Bass noted.

“We have excellent management -- we wouldn’t be where we are without her  --  Vicky takes care of anything and everything,” he said.

But ultimately, the band’s success is due ultimately to the people of Kershaw and Lee counties who have supported them, Bass said.

To show their appreciation, the band plans to play a special “thank you” show at the Button Museum Friday, July 6, two days after they play Denton.

“We want to thank everybody in Kershaw County and Lee County, all the churches, all the people, for all their support,” he said. “We wouldn’t be anywhere without them.”

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