The Cuzzin’s Band is a local outlaw country band who likes to play hard and play loud.
Members of the band are Aaron Wigger - rhythm guitar/vocals; Keith Civey - guitar/lead vocals; Randy “Memphis” Earnest - drums, percussion and vocals; Tim Cossey - bass; Brian Moore - lead and rhythm guitar; and Jamie Bell on harmonica.
They play outlaw country, and southern rock such as Waylon Jennings, David Allan Coe, Merle Haggard, George Strait and George Jones with an Eric Clapton or Eagles song here or there.
Civey and Wigger, cousins who were born and raised in Caledonia, started the band. Civey, a veteran, owns Keith’s Truck Repair and his mom owns Russell’s Restaurant. Wigger is a union carpenter.
Their band got its start in the living room about three years ago. Civey’s wife had bought him a guitar and it sat in the closet for a year.
One day Civey mentioned to Wigger he regretted not learning how to play the guitar.
Wigger, who had started playing the guitar when he was 9, said, “I play a little bit.”
Wigger taught Civey how to play and soon after a neighbor who played bass heard them playing and joined. Later on, they got a drummer and lead guitar player.
The crowd also grew. Soon, they outgrew the living room and began playing twice a week at a local bar.
Like most bands, some of the members have come and gone. Wigger is proud of the band they have become - with a good group and the equipment they have wanted. When they started out, Civey didn’t even have a guitar case or a guitar stand.
They play because of the enjoyment they get as friends playing music. The most important thing is that the crowd has a good time.
They do a lot of benefits, playing music for cancer or accident victims, and organizations such as volunteer fire departments. They’ve played two benefits for the Bismarck Rural Fire Protection District. They participated in a Jammin for Joplin fundraiser in Potosi.
They will be doing a benefit for Jason Moise at noon March 31 at the Arcadia Valley Elks Lodge.
They play at local bars but they mostly play at Eagles and Elks clubs. “We will go anywhere and play,” Wigger said. They will play at 8 p.m. March 17 at the Arcadia Elks Lodge.
While other band members are country boys at heart, Earnest, the oldest of the group at age 48, is a city boy. He’s from Memphis and has been playing music since he was 5. He’s played in many bands and was able to run sound for Wilco and David Allan Coe. He joined the band in September.
While he misses city life, he’s made good friends in the Caledonia area over the past eight years and is attending Mineral Area College to become a history teacher.
Moore, who lives in Arcadia Valley, played 10 years in Nashville. He’s played with a lot of different artists.
Bell, a school principal lives in Arcadia Valley while Cossey is from Hillsboro.
The band now has a Facebook Page. Look for Cuzzins Outlaw Country.