WADDINGTON – Alex V. Hammond and Austin D. Scott have each played the guitar since the second grade, but it wasnt until one afternoon while waiting for their sisters at Madrid Waddington Central School, that Mr. Hammond, then 11, passed a guitar to Mr. Scott, then 12, that they got the idea to start a band.
A short time later, Mr. Hammond and Mr. Scott recruited Jeffery L. Mott, drums, and Jacob M. Barney, bass guitarist, to form the band The Acoustic Brothers.
Since the band was formed in 2008, the four Madrid-Waddington High School students have played in over 150 gigs throughout St. Lawrence County.
It really does shock me, said Mr. Mott, 16. I never really counted, but it sounds like a lot. It doesnt feel like that, though. It really flew by.
Initially favoring the Beatles, the boys have branched out to play a wide range of tunes featuring a range of artists from the 60s and 70s. The band now plays many well-known classics such as Stairway to Heaven, House of the Rising Sun, Sweet Home Alabama, Hotel California, Folsom Prison Blues, and Free Bird.
Our one direction has been to stay with the classics, said Mr. Hammond, now 16, who is lead vocalist and a guitarist in the band. Those are the crowd pleasers. But we still have the look of the Beatles.
The band members have written several original songs and are perfecting them with the intention of recording a CD.
Our original songs are Over You and Big Dreaming, said Mr. Hammond. Over You is a country song, with a drum beat and classic style it can almost be described as rockabilly. It goes with music that we already play, so much so, that we have to remind people that its something they have never heard before.
The Acoustic Brothers have a following of people of all ages. The band has had their songs aired on the radio and several newscasts about them have appeared on TV. They have won awards and talent shows for their musical ability, including the 2011 Jules of Life St. Lawrence Talent Challenge champions.
The boys performed at two shows at the New York State Fair in Syracuse in September 2011 and will return to the fair this year on Aug. 26. The band will also perform Aug. 24 at Island View Park, as part of the Waddington Summer Concert Series.
People seem to love us up here, especially Waddington, said Mr. Barney, 16. Thats where we get our biggest crowds. Every small town wants to see their group become famous.
The boys have a website, where you can learn more about the band, and also book gigs: www.theacousticbrothers.webs.com.
Weve all considered playing professionally, but I am not sure what will happen, said Mr. Scott, 17. I do want to keep going with this band for as long as I can. Its really fun to do, and its been a huge part of my life for the past five years.
The Acoustic Brothers will perform at Island View Park from 6 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 24. In the case of inclement weather, concerts will be held at the Old Town Hall, Main Street. All concerts are free and open to the public.