Sol Driven Train is a 5-headed musical monster emerging from the swampy South Carolina Lowcountry. Generally seen at night in clubs and bars around the Southeast, it can be identified by its distinctive call: a blend of fiery world-beat, southern funk, and melodic rock. Listeners Beware!! Several researchers attempting to study the Train have succumb to its hypnotic call and found themselves twitching and gesticulating uncontrollably on the dance floor. Reports of punchy horns, three part vocal harmonies, and a slamming rhythm section are common. Often mistaken in the field for the genus Jamus bandus, the careful observer will note an emphasis on songs and lyrical message that separates Sol Driven Train from the herd. Though phylogeny is still unclear at this time, some have suggested evolutionary descent from groups such as Paul Simon, Little Feat, The Band, Buena Vista Social Club, Stevie Wonder, and Bob Marley and the Wailers.
Sol Driven Train was first sighted in 2000 on Folly Beach, though its members have a musical history dating back to middle school band. The lineup consists of Russell Clarke on saxophone and vocals; Ward Buckheister on trombone, guitar, and vocals; Joel Timmons on guitar and vocals; Rusty Cole on bass; Phill Eason on drums, keys, and vocals. All of the band’s members contribute to the songwriting, with Russell, Ward, and Joel sharing the majority of the lead vocals. The constantly shifting lead role along with the band’s multi-instrumental talent, make live shows an exciting, eclectic experience. The joy of childhood friends writing and performing music together is apparent and quite contagious when Sol Driven Train takes the stage.
Some of the band’s extensive original repertoire is featured on three studio recordings. The self-titled debut album was released in 2001, followed by Churning Burlward in 2003. Tajar Tracks, a children’s album recorded with pianist Debbie Debord at Camp Gwynn Valley in Brevard, NC was released in December 2005. With the release of Tajar Tracks, the band has broken out of the bar band niche and into the children's market, performing their interactive and educational kids show at parties, festivals, community centers, and schools. The band's latest release is a live album, showcasing the tightness and energy found in their live performances. "Live on the Outer Banks" was recorded in November of 2006 at the Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills, and was released as a 13 song album in January of 2007.
Sol Driven Train has performed at a wide variety of venues: festivals, horseshoe tournaments, summer camps, dive bars and theatres from Georgia to Upstate NY and as far west as Indiana. They have played shows with diverse artists such as Blueground Undergrass, The Samples, The Blue Dogs, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, Billy Jonas, Ryan Montbleau, and Chubby Carrier.
In the fall of 2005, Sol Driven Train made the commitment to become a full-time band, and has been touring rigorously since. With the formation of Sol Driven Train, llc., the hiring of Moonstruck Promotions as booking and publicity agent for the band, a 5,000+ mile tour through the Northeast and Midwest, an appearance at the Lake Eden Arts Festival in Black Mt., and over 200 live shows, 2006 was a year of exciting growth for the band. Playing 3-6 nights per week around the southeast, Sol Driven Train is establishing itself as one of the region’s hardest working and most promising up-and-coming acts. "Prepare to be devoured by the beast." - ENCORE Magazine, Wilmington, NC