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Dazed: An Old Timey Rock-n-Roll Type of Band

By Amanda Main

Dazed is an East Texas band consisting of three young guys playing their hearts out and performing classic-rock icons’ deeper tracks. The three 20-year-olds include Lance Hampton as lead guitarist and vocalist, Drew Theiring as drummer and vocalist, and Caleb Cannon as bass player and vocalist.

EGuide Magazine recently spoke with Drew about their band.

EGuide: How did you guys get together and form a band?

Drew: “Well, Lance and I — the guitar player — had known each other since we were just tots. We played baseball together. Dennis Nail (our former manager) really helped us get going. He does our booking for us. He was our baseball coach and he’s Lance’s grandfather. Both Lance and I grew up listening to rock ‘n’ roll and being rock ‘n’ rollers. Lance and I are both originally from Whitehouse and Caleb’s from Mineola. Lance and I got together to jam one day. We’d both been burned out on baseball by then and Caleb shows up to this music store in Mineola that Lance was at. Lance heard him playing bass and he said “Holy mess, come jam with us.” So he did and that was the summer of 2010. From then we just kicked off. We played our first gig on October 9th, 2010, at the Gypsy Market Festival in Mineola, on the main street there right in front of the Select Theater. From there, we played some bars and a lot of festivals. We also play weddings — haven’t played any funerals yet,” (he jokes).

EGuide: What’s your favorite venue to play?

Drew: “Oh, that’s a tough one. I guess it would be the AlleyFest in Longview. We opened for Starship. They were really, really great. Starship used to be Jefferson Starship and before that was Jefferson Airplane. They had tons of hits. We got to meet Mickey, the lead singer; he was really cool. He shook our hands after the set and said that he really enjoyed our music. That was kind of a high point.”

EGuide: Do you guys mostly play covers, or do you also write and play original music?

Drew: “We have written an all-original album and a few singles, but we mostly just play covers. That’s what people want to hear us do. They like our originals, but they sound so much like classics that anytime we’re playing them, people assume that it’s just a classic they haven’t heard, so we’re mostly a cover group.”

EGuide: How can people buy your album?

Drew: “They can come to the gig, or they can also message us on Facebook ( and request an album.”

EGuide: What would you say sets your band apart from other bands?

Drew: “Uh, talent. We’ve all sweated profusely for probably four hours a day, for several years, just learning how to play our instruments. When we’re sitting there playing, we feel every note we play, we put our ‘all’ into what we’re playing. You don’t get that a lot with bands. Some just sit there, not really paying attention, but when all three of us are on stage together, we really are just one. It’s not three different guys; it’s one group of guys playing.”

EGuide: What can people expect at your shows?

Drew: “You can expect to listen to some loud rock ‘n’ roll. If you had lived in the 70s or 80s, or even the 60s, audience can kind of relive that when they come to see us. They’ll get that feeling again. That’s how the three of us have had that feeling with the music. I guess because we weren’t born until the 90s, we don’t physically have a clue, but emotionally we feel like we have a sense of what it was to experience that era of music. As far as what you can expect at the gig, you can expect to have the experience of feeling and hearing that type of music again.”

EGuide: What artists does your band cover?

Drew: “We cover Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, ZZ Top, Thin Lizzy, Bad Company, AC/DC, some Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix — we cover a good bit of Jimi Hendrix — and The Doors, a lot of The Doors. Some nights it mostly consists of Black Sabbath, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Ted Nugent.”

EGuide: A lot of the stuff that’s big on classic-rock radio?

Drew: “Eh, no, we try to stick to the more obscure songs that they’ve written, like stuff that people don’t really hear every day on the radio.”

EGuide: What shows do you guys have coming up?

Drew: “We’ve kind of have cut down on giggin’. We’re just kind of slowing that down. We’re not bringing it to a halt; we’re just doing one gig a month because we were doing it so frequently that a lot of our time was spent getting equipment together (we use our own PA) and booking all the gigs. We’re at an age now where we’re working jobs and going to college, so you can imagine how divided our time was getting.”

EGuide: Right. Where do you guys all live?

Drew: “Lance and I live in Tyler, and Caleb lives in Hoard, which is outside of Mineola.”

EGuide: What has being a musician or being in a band taught you about life?

Drew: “There’s always ups and downs. There’s a climax, and there’s a de-climax. There’s always a mountaintop and the bottom of a valley. It’s fun sometimes — well, it’s always fun. When you’re on stage, that’s a baseline of ‘Yes.’ That’s always fun. But as far as getting to the gigs and the places we play — we’ve been to a point where we were basically touring East Texas every weekend. It’s a lot to handle, because sometimes we were doing three gigs in one day. It’s taught us about hard work, it really has. Also, we’re not a band that does drugs or drinks; we strictly get high off the music. I’ll put it that way. So it’s kind of kept us straight and also, it’s taught us hard work. It has shown us a lot about the ups and downsides of constantly playing gigs.”

EGuide: What advice can you give to other aspiring musicians?

Drew: “Don’t ever stop in the middle of a song. Keep playing; just play on. Play on, play on, play on, just play, play, play your whole life. Don’t ever cut it out. I’m only 20 years old and have been playing since I was 8 years old. I’ve been playing professionally since I was about 12 or 13 – that’s seven years and that’s not even that long, yet it feels like forever. I could never see myself quitting playing, ever. That’s the advice I’d give, just play on. Play on, drummer; play on, singer; play on, bass player; play on, guitar player; cello, harmonica, tambourine — danged oboe player, play on. Trombone player, play on.”

EGuide: Well, is there anything else you’d like to say about your band?

Drew: “People are noticing that we’re slowing down (with booking shows). We’ve got a big fan base, and they’ve noticed that we’re slowing down a lot, and I’d kind of like to encourage people to not think that we’re going away; we’re just slightly slowing down, and we’ll never quit playing. None of us will ever quit playing music, because that’s something that we love to do. All the people out there that listen to us and support us, we love them, and we love them for just being there.”

Check out their Facebook page for announcements for any upcoming shows for this Tyler favorite.


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Around East Texas

Jason Herrin, Shooter Jennings, Dirty River Boys in Concert this Weekend

Upcoming Concerts

March 9th (8pm) Jason Herrin will be at Moore’s Store in Ben Wheeler. Tickets are available at the door. Cover is $7.

March 10th (8pm) – Shooter Jennings – Shooter Jennings is an American singer-songwriter, active mainly in the outlaw country music and Southern rock genres. He is the son of country music legend Waylon Jennings. Tickets range from $35 -$45. Liberty Hall is located at 103 E. Erwin St., Tyler. Tickets are available at

March 10th (8pm) – Dirty River Boys with Pushwater will be at Love & War in Lindale. Tickets are available at Tickets are $15 for general admission.

March 16th (8pm) – Parker McCollum will be at Coach’s & Cowboys. Tickets are available at Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Parker McCollum treats each song he writes with a painstaking level of dedication, reverence, respect and as he will readily admit, even a bit of obsession. His new album “Probably Wrong” follows the Austin-based performer’s ultimate goal is to reinvent himself with each record he makes. Tickets are $13-$20.

March 17th (8pm-1am) – St. Patrick’s Day Metal Massacre will take place at Click’s Live, 1946 ESE Loop 323, Tyler. The St. Patrick’s Day Metal Massacre features Edge of Misery, No Due Respect, and LowLife. Cover at the door. Doors open at 8pm.

March 22nd (7-10pm) – Zach Winters and Jason Barrows will perform at The Foundry Coffee House, 202 S. Broadway, Downtown Tyler. They will be performing songs from their new albums and changing every city they visit to the city of brotherly love. Early bird tickets are $10. Pre-sale ticket are $12. At the door tickets are $15. Doors at 7pm and music starts at 7:30pm. All ages are welcome. For more info go to or

March 24th (8pm) – Bibeau Record Release Party & Concert – will be held at Click’s Live. Tickets are available at the door with proper ID.

March 25th (8pm) – Texas Sunday Returns with Brandon Rhyder at Love & War in Lindale. Tickets are available at Tickets are $15 for general admission.

April 7th (9pm-1am) – Post Profit with Travis Christian will be at Garage Bar, 418 E. Erwin St., Downtown Tyler. There is a $5 cover.

April 7th (7pm) – Sam Riggs will be at Coach’s & Cowboys. Tickets are $15-$20 and available at

April 8th (8pm) – Texas Sunday: Jason Boland & The Stragglers will be at Love & War in Lindale. Tickets are available at Tickets are $20 for general admission.

April 12th (8pm) Wesley Pruitt will be at Moore’s Store in Ben Wheeler. Tickets are available at the door.

April 12th (7pm) – The Legendary Johnny Rodriguez in Concert – Texas Country Music Hall of Famer, Johnny Rodriguez, has had fifteen top-ten singles and 6 number-one hits since 1973. Some of Johnny’s classic hits include: “Pass Me By,” “You Always Come Back (To Hurting Me),” “Riding My Thumb To Mexico,” “That’s The Way Love Goes,” and “Just Get Up and Close The Door.” For tickets call (866)710-8942. Tickets start at $35.

April 15th (8pm) – Texas Sunday: Chris Knight will be at Love & War in Lindale. Tickets are available at Tickets are $20 for general admission.

April 21st (8pm) – Mouse & The Traps – After more than 50 years together, Mouse & the Traps continue to be one of the best examples of “Texas Rock & Roll.” Formed in Tyler, Texas in 1965, Mouse, Nardo, Dave & Larry continue to give the public just what they want – great rock and roll. Whether you remember “Public Execution,” “Hit the Bricks,” or not, Mouse & The Traps has something for everyone. Tickets are $20-$25.

April 21st – Bowling For Soup at Clicks Live (8pm) – American pop-punk band Bowling For Soup emerged in Wichita Falls, Texas in 1994, but have since relocated to Denton Texas. Tickets are on sale at the door for $19, and may be purchased in advanced online for $15 at

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The Blacksmiths: Still Like That Old Time Rock & Roll

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By Johnny Griffith

Bob Seger has a well known hit from the early 80’s called “Old Time Rock And Roll.” This song laments the lack of soul in the contemporary music of that time period and declares his intent to keep playing classic rock as a solution. I’ve never gotten the chance to meet Mr. Seger, but the closest thing we have here in East Texas is Chris Austin of the local classic rock band, The Blacksmiths. A native of Chapel Hill, Chris played drums on the drumline at Chapel Hill High School and went on to graduate from the Dallas Sound Lab with a degree in Audio Engineering and Sound Techniques. Blessed with parents that loved music and supported him in his endeavors early and often, Austin developed a love for classic rock through the sounds he heard coming from his parents’ collections and eventually started a band and is still playing to this day.

We managed to get a word in with Chris recently to find out more about The Blacksmiths

Johnny: What is the current lineup of the band? Any changes over the lifespan of the band?

Chris: The current lineup consists of myself on lead guitar and vocals, Joshua Stewart on drums, Angelo Lopez on bass/rhythm guitar/vocals, and Ben Carter on bass and vocals. Angelo and Ben have both been filling the shoes of bass player when available, but recently we decided to shake it up a bit and go with a 4 piece instead of 3 with Angelo on guitar as well…as our busy schedules finally allowed. The lineup has changed immensely over the years. I haphazardly started this project about 6 years ago with a couple of friends just messing around in my kitchen,,,which was the only place we had to set up all the equipment at the time…typical broke musicians haha. We eventually gained a keyboard and rhythm player and were a 5 piece band by the time we started playing shows. We decided to go back to a 3 piece after about a year for convenience and scheduling issues. Our drummer at the time had to move for work but introduced me to Joshua before doing so. Joshua had played with Angelo before with “Something Blue” and I met Ben after watching him play for “King Richard and the Bayou Boys” …and as they say, the rest was history.

Johnny: Who were some of your early musical influences?

Chris: My parents were very into music and had a plethora of vinyl records to dig through. I was turned on to The Doors, The Who, The Allman Bros, Deep Purple, Grand Funk Railroad, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, CCR, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, SRV, David Bowie…but most importantly Led Zeppelin. When I was 12 I received a cheap electric guitar and Led Zeppelin IV on cassette tape for Christmas and that changed everything..

Johnny: At what point was the decision made to be a primarily classic rock band? Have to say you guys are a bit younger than most of the other ones in the area.

Chris: That’s really the stuff I always enjoyed playing the most and felt most comfortable with, because those tunes were ingrained in me from a young age. When we first started, we tried a lot of 90’s stuff and some 80’s Metallica and Misfits which we were pretty decent at but learned pretty quickly what we had more fun with. Even though we’re a bit younger, I feel we were all entranced by that era of music growing up. We were very lucky to have Miss Robin Griffith from XLN on 5th street give us the chance to really explore our potential. We played every Sunday there for quite a while as the house band which gave us a lot of quick feedback from the crowd…and from the venue owner haha.

Johnny: Is there any specific period of classic rock you guys gravitate towards over others?

Chris: Not really, I’ve just personally loved the 70’s era most, but we cover the 60’s and 80’s as well. We do seem to cover a lot of Creedence Clearwater and The Doors though, if that says anything.

Johnny: Where did the band name come from?

Chris: The guys from the original lineup and I were hanging out after practice having a beer or two and trying to come up with something, After a length of time and much pondering, we looked around the room and noticed the main theme of what we were looking at…which was old, broken down, second hand, very junky equipment that I had been hoarding and frankensteining together with duct tape and zip ties for years. I’m really not sure how we didn’t shock or hurt ourselves but I remember us saying…”well, we sure know how to make something out of nothing…like a dang ole’ blacksmith” (speaking of the ramshackle but playable equipment). And just like that, it stuck.

Johnny: do you guys do any originals at this point or is it primarily covers?

Chris: I’ve had a couple of blues tunes in the works for a while but we’ve honestly been so busy playing shows and working full time day jobs or careers it’s been tough to find time, but I think this is our year to shine.

Johnny: You’ve been playing music in this area for a while now, do you have a favorite memory so far?

Chris: I’ve had a lot of really cool experiences along the way getting to play with some amazing musicians. I was the guitar player in a band with Jonathan Scott from Resident Hero for a while and grew up with the singer Ryan White. I also toured a bit as guitar player for Stewart Mann and the Statesboro Revue out of Austin. I’d have to say though, my favorite memory thus far is a recent one. Joshua and I were both taught drums by Nardo and I learned guitar from Larry Stanley. We had the opportunity to open for Mouse and the Traps for the New Years Eve party at Love and War in Lindale and man was it an experience! We got to open for the guys who taught us everything in a packed room. Too cool

Johnny: Where can people get their Blacksmiths fix over the next couple of months?

Chris: Our next scheduled gig is March 31st at Club 155 on Frankston highway…at least for the public. We do a lot of private parties, bike rallies, and events as well. But always keep an eye out for us at XLN on 5th street…that’s our main stomping ground

Johnny: What do The Blacksmiths have on the radar through the rest of the year?

Chris: We have a lot of new stuff planned for this year. A whole new set of songs, some killer merchandise and a new demo ep. Also, I’m told that you might see us opening for Mouse and the Traps again in the near future…so keep your eyes peeled

Johnny: What can a new listener expect to see at a Blacksmiths show?

Chris: A good ole’ Rock show with lots of classic favorite tunes played by guys that do the best they can to respect and represent the music for what it is….life and love


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