Originally from Louisiana by way of Nashville, TN, The Levees combine high energy, soulful and dynamic vocals, expert musicianship, and good-old fun as hallmarks of their live show. In fact, the Nashville Scene got it right when they wrote, "(The Levees) smashed the quiet smoky vibe with their rumbling Louisiana swamp rock" during the band's debut show. With well-crafted songs featuring appealing characters in real situations, these four musicians blend the various strains of rock n' roll, country, blues, southern gospel, zydeco, and bluegrass born in their own backyards to deliver a style and sound exclusive to them.
The Levees take their name from the earthen mounds built to keep rivers from flooding and are specific to the state from which the band draws its musical influences. Adam Jones (vocals/trombone), James Cook (vocals/bass), Dan Cohen (vocals/guitar), and Derek Mixon (drums/percussion) formed the band in Nashville, TN in 2006 – although, this band has been a long time in the making.
James and Derek played their first gig together in 1991. While attending college in 1995, the two were introduced to Adam. The three musicians would spend the next four years performing a variety of music. In 2001, James and Derek relocated to Nashville. Shortly after arriving, they joined forces with virtuosic, New Orleans-born guitarist Dan Cohen. They would create a tight, diverse rhythm section that would back some of the most respected names in country music on stage and in the studio. As fate would have it, in 2005, Adam moved to Nashville and the four musicians were able to unite and focus on the goal of writing and playing music that inspired them.
On their first self-produced album, they rock and roll through twelve songs, taking the listener on a journey through the famous boot-shaped state of Louisiana. The straight up rock-n-roller "Electric Shoes" is about the tap dancing kids in New Orleans making their living on the sidewalks with make-shift shoes. "Louisiana Poor Boy" combines a legendary New Orleans riff (by The Meters) with the strife of a struggling mill family. "Blood River" tackles the hard topic of race in the South with the story of a "dark-skinned drifter"; the tune flows steadily until suddenly crashing into an all-out rage. "Preacher's Daughter" and "Our Love (Keeps Draggin' On)" are outright fun country/bluegrass/rock-n-roll sing-a-longs. The great thing about these songs is that nothing gets lost in translation when hearing them live. In fact, a live show is nothing short of magical as the intense mood shifts between darkness and light-hearted, leaving die-hard fans. The Levees begin touring in the spring of 2008.