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Flat River Band

Flat River Band - Finding A Niche in Nashville

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Photo Courtesy of Flat River Band

Flat River Band

Nashville is home to literally thousands of musicians, singers and songwriters who have risked everything to "make it," but who quite often don't have the goods. But one Nashville act that does seem to the goods, and is getting the recognition of some people who matter, is the Flat River Band.

Comprised of brothers Chad, Dennijo and Andy Sitze (pronounced "sites"), the Flat River Band has a distinctive sound that relies on tight, in-tune harmonies in an age when many performers have to rely on computer programs to enhance their vocals. The band came to Nashville from Missouri in hopes of finding a niche in Nashville, with big brother Chad making the trip first Dennijo and Andy and following soon after. The brothers grew up as part of a family musical act that performed at such venues as Dollywood and Silver Dollar City, as well as fairs and festivals throughout the South and the Midwest.

While the Flat River Band is gaining a following by performing live shows in Nashville, the goal is the same as nearly everyone else's: to get a recording contract. "We're looking around to get signed," said oldest brother and usual lead singer Chad Sitze. "We're just having trouble finding the kind of deal that's right for us, so far, with the major labels, so we're also looking into what an independent might have to offer." In addition to being the group's primary singer, Chad is an accomplished songwriter, having had original songs on the Americana and bluegrass charts.

With Chad on guitar and banjo, Dennijo on guitar and mandolin, and Andy on bass, the group performs often with John Scott Sherrill, a legendary Nashville songwriter whose work has been recorded by everyone from Brooks & Dunn to Josh Turner. They frequently perform at such Nashville-area clubs as Elevation and Norm's River Road House, a backwoods club west of Nashville that attracts a regular clientele looking to get out of the city.

"It's kind of small," Dennijo said of the intimate venue, "but it's perfect for us and our fans." The group has also opened for such notables as Paul Overstreet and Michael Smotherman.

On first listen, it obvious that the band has been influenced by such acts as Alabama, the Eagles and Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys. But the trio has a distinctive vocal blend that only happens when family members sing together. While no band likes comparisons, it's a fact that acts from the Everly Brothers to the Osmonds have had that vocal magic that only comes from singers with the same DNA. The Flat River Band could well be the next big act to fall into that category.

While the Sitze brothers are hunting for a deal, they aren't waiting for a label to step forward before they get something out there for their fans. They're currently recording a full-length CD of mostly original material they hope will get them noticed, and that will give them product to distribute in the meantime.

"We just want to do what we do best," Chad said, "which is to be ourselves and play our own style of Flat River Band music."

For more information, visit www.flatriverband.com.

Article Written & Submitted by Rick Moore

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