By MIKE CHAIKEN
If you check the music calendars across the state, especially in the months conducive to outdoor performances, you’re likely to come across the name of Coyote River Band.
The Connecticut band was formed six years ago, and despite some personnel changes over the years, CRB is still going strong.
They come to Bristol’s Rockwell Park on July 12 for a 7 p.m. performance.
Dave Warner of Plainville, leader of the group explained via email, “Coyote River Band was formed March 2010. We were going strong for a few years, then just like any band out there, we had some setbacks. People can’t commit to busy schedules, song choices, late night gigs, etc.”
But, in April 2013, Dave said things changed for the better. That’s when female singer Renee Morehouse came into the band. Dave explained Renee “is an 80’s rock chick by heart (and) was just stepping down from her ‘80s band Cafe B.” And the fit was right for CRB.
“I couldn’t have had a better singing partner,” said Dave.
Dave explained, “The band has lasted this long because of the stellar vocals from myself and Renee. We provide the songs with perfect harmony… “
“We actually did a gig where a lady came up to us and wanted to hire us for some special occasion and we told her we didn’t know if we can do it because (at the time) a couple of band members were going to step down because of family business and she said, ‘I don’t care about them, I’d be happy with just you two,’” said Dave
Nowadays, besides Dave and Renee, Coyote River Band is bassist Alfred Grabka, lead guitarist Kevin Lewis, rhythm guitarist Dean Cardinale, and drummer Brandon Novak.
Dave explained CRB is a country band playing “mostly contemporary country (covers).”
“We love Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert and Linda Ronstadt just to name a few,” said Dave.
“I personally love country music because it’s real life stories. The lyrics are real,” said Dave.
And country music at one point in his life wasn’t just a choice but a must, said Dave.
“I left high school in 1985 and moved to Nashville for a couple of years and every radio station down there was a country station. You couldn’t help but to like it,” said Dave
Although the focus is on country, Dave said, “We’ll play some Doobie Brothers, Orleans, Heart, and other genres because we know not everyone out there is a country fan.”
Additionally, said Dave, “Renee has a few songs written that we’re about to dabble in and see where it goes.”
When Coyote River Band comes to Bristol, they will be playing under the night sky. And that’s just fine with Dave.
“Outdoor gigs are always fun for the band,” said Dave. “It’s definitely a party type atmosphere. You feel more free. Indoor gigs are only as good as the room you’re playing in.”
Each night, the band knows that they’ve connected to their audience “when Renee and I just sang a ballad to each other and we go on a break inbetween sets, and people come up to us and ask, ‘Are you guys a couple?’”
This comes back to Dave’s philosophy that musical partners need to have a special connection. “I believe you should have something in common with the person you’re with, whether it be marriage, singing partner, etc. Renee and I have that connection on stage that gets those people to like us and then in return they tell other people about us.”
Coyote River Band performs at Rockwell Park in Bristol on Tuesday, July 12 at 7 p.m. If there is rain, the show will be postponed to Wednesday, July 13.
Rockwell concert schedule
The rest of the summer concert series at Rockwell Park is:
July 19: Eight to the Bar.
July 26: The Future Heavies.
Aug. 2: The Groove
Aug. 9: Dr. Ya Ya’s Gumbo Party.
Aug.16: Latayna Farrell Band