Big things are happening again for Bonne Terre native/Nashville songwriter Curtis Lance and his band, Smokey Lonesome.
Six years after it was originally set to be released, Smokey Lonesome has released its album, “Redneck Voodoo” with Missouri band members. Members of the band are Curtis Lance (Hickman), guitar/lead vocals; Julia Dill (harmonica/guitar vocals) and Justin Dill (fiddle/guitar/vocals) of Terre Du Lac; Donald “Buck” Jackson of Bismarck, drums; Mike “Scutt Jackson” lead and rhythm guitar; and Matt Murdick of St. Louis, keys.
The band is being featured on CBS this spring on the Chevy Music Showcase which is airing Wednesday nights during the KMOV news cast.
The second season of the St. Louis Chevy Music Showcase debuted April 3 during a break in the 10 p.m. KMOV news, but the Smokey Lonesome interview airs during the newscast May 1 on CBS. They also appeared during the April 10 episode as the interviewers.
The short-form documentary series shines a light on “cool, original local music through the stories of eight St. Louis area artists,” taking music fans behind the scenes for an inside glimpse of how and why these bands do what they do.
Each two-minute episode features music and conversation with the week’s featured band, hosted by a fellow showcase artist. A full-length performance video and free song download is offered each week at ChevyMusicShowcase.com
The Chevy Music Showcase has opened some opportunities. Smokey Lonesome is set to embark on a 30-city tour in the Midwest and southeastern regions in 2013-2014 promoting the album and their CBS showcase.
Curtis Lance grew up in the Bonne Terre area and has returned to his roots after making a name for himself in Nashville as a songwriter. He co-wrote, “Don’t Happen Twice,” a song that Kenny Chesney picked up and made a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Music Charts in 2001. His songs have sold upwards of 10 million copies worldwide, and he can be heard in motion picture soundtracks such as Small Town Saturday Night.
Curtis and Grammy-nominated Regie Hamm are currently working on the second Smokey Lonesome album scheduled to be recorded in 2014.
Curtis’ dad, Charlie, taught him how to play the guitar and the piano. By age 7, he was performing publicly, with his music growing not only into a passion but a profession.
In the 1990s, Curtis and a friend registered and opened Smokey Lonesome Publishing with ASCAP. Curtis moved to Nashville in 1997 and signed with EMI music in 1998.
For the next decade, he co-wrote songs as a published writer, learning the craft from some of the best songwriters. He became one of the most wanted demo singers, allowing him to work with some of the best producers, publishers and writers in the music business.
Curtis met Hamm in 2004. They were both successful songwriters and Regie was a known, cutting-edge producer in Nashville. Curtis pitched the idea of a new swampy sound that could cross all genres with legitimacy and stay true to the music.
They soon began writing songs and by 2006, started recording the first Smokey Lonesome album. They insisted on recording an album that was about great songs and artistic freedom, not music industry politics.
The album was suppose to launch in 2007-2008 but fate intervened and temporarily stopped the Smokey Lonesome project. Curtis lost his mother, father and stepfather all within a very short time frame, and it was devastating.
The next few years would bring challenges, tragedy and triumph. He moved back to Missouri to heal and focus on what matters the most — family and loved ones.
Since they had already been promoting the album in 2007, some of the music had been uploaded online for promotion. The songs stayed atop online music charts year after year and got more than 1,000 spins on online music sites with absolutely no promotion at all.
Curtis continued to get e-mails and phone calls from all over the world until he decided the public demand was too much to ignore.
This year, his company, IDC Entertainment officially released the first and highly-anticipated Smokey Lonesome album called, “Redneck Voodoo.” It’s available in select retail stores and on all major online sites.
Also in 2012, Curtis reformed the band with new members from Missouri. He said he is really excited about these young, great musicians. They plan to perform at Bismarck’s Fourth of July festival and hope to appear at other local festivals and events.
For more information about the band, visit:
www.facebook.com/interactivedigitalconcepts or find them on YouTube.
Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at (573) 431-2010 ext. 179 or at email@example.com