Two of the most frequently asked interview questions poised to every band are “How did you come up with your name?” and “What does your name mean?” It’s trivia that everyone wants to know the answer to. It can give you a clue as to how the band is going to sound before you ever hear them play. It can tell you a bit about their history. It can also show you how the band sees themselves - as individuals and musicians - and also, how they want to be seen.
North American Misfits (N.A.M.) is the brainchild of Nashville insider Dannie Johnson. He’s been in and around the music industry for years in both the country and rock genres. He can call some of the biggest names in the business his friends. He knows good music.
Dannie never, ever, does anything halfway. After years of working hand-in-hand and side-by-side with other people’s bands (promoting their shows, managing them, road managing, problem solving, etc.) he decided that it was time for him to form his own. He was ready. He knew what he wanted to do, what it would take, and how to do it. He started by recruiting the best, most talented musicians he could find.
His vision: The North American Misfits (N.A.M.).
The N.A.M. artists hail from across the United States and Canada (hence the “North American” piece of the name).
A misfit is…an individual. A different breed. An original. And that’s the kind of band he wanted. Diverse social and ethnic backgrounds. Undeniable talent. Very different personality types. A wide age range. Youthful energy and vigor meets decades of knowledge and experience.
All members hand-picked and brought together by Dannie Johnston.
The signature N.A.M. sound? It’s still developing. Growing. With so much talent in this band – and so many different influences – it will be forever evolving. N.A.M.’s music is the nexus of where country and gospel music gives a nod to the best of the Blues, rock and Southern rock.
The members of N.A.M. utilize diversity as a defining characteristic:
At the age of ten (TEN!) drumming prodigy Kei “Taxi” Bland was granted full adult professional status by the American Federation of Musicians. Now fifteen, he has played with some of the most preeminent names in music. That list includes Bad Company, The Outlaws, and the Allman Brothers. Kei has also been featured in DRUM! Magazine and has the honor of being named by them a “SuperNatural Cymbals Artist.”
Kei studied under Frankie Lombardi (drummer for Dickey Betts and Great Southern) and John Blackwell (drummer for Prince). He’s also taken master classes with world renowned drummers Vinny Appice, Shawn Drover, Pat Petrillo, and Derrick Roddy. He finds time in his busy schedule to help raise money for many charitable organizations including Ride for Dime, Kids Charities, United Way, Fast Friends Greyhound Adoption, and Day of Giving (among others).
He’s endorsed by many extremely well-respected companies, including SuperNatural Cymbals Worldwide, Maxonix, Bympad, Evans Drumheads, Kickass Cables, Axis pedals and many more. Make no mistake – Kei is the real deal. He’s acknowledged as one of the best drummers in today’s modern music scene. Kei brings a fresh, young energy – along with some bad ass drumming – to N.A.M.
Son of country icon, Merle Haggard, Scott has joined N.A.M. as a singer and guitarist. True to Merle's legacy, Scott is a first-rate singer, guitarist and song-writer, and has brought his talents to the North American Misfit’s.
His life and his career are tightly woven into the fabric of country music history and lore. He is both legacy and legend with an unmistakable voice and a captivating style.
In 2008, Scott won the Horizon Award from the Mobile Alabama Country Music Association, which was presented "in recognition of (Scott's) outstanding talent and continued hard work promoting country music."
To date, Scott has headlined with the likes of Mark Wills, Jeff Bates, Charlie McCoy, and many other notables in country music. He has also performed at Robert’s Western World, Music City Bar and Grill, and The Nashville Palace, as well as the main stage on Fremont Street, in Las Vegas, and has performed shows with Roy “Willie “ Hammock at The Golden Nugget in Laughlin, NV.
Scott has emerged from the significant shadow of his father to create his own artistic identity. He has written and recorded his own composition “Living In The Shadow Of Merle,” which was released on his debut cd, recorded in Nashville in April 2012.
Vocalist and guitarist Dee Rock has managed to accomplish what a precious few of his colleagues in the business have been able to: success on both sides of the music industry.
Dee’s produced artists and written songs for some of the biggest and most well-respected record companies in the world, including Virgin, EMI and Capitol Records. He wrote the soundtrack for the Warner Brother’s film Divas. The Learning Channel’s (TLC) hit show American Chopper features Dee’s songs and guitar work. He wrote the theme song for The Discovery Channel’s biker show Southern Steel/Milwaukee Iron. Dee has also composed music for the Beach Body workout series, including the “P90X/Slim in Six” infomercials.
He has opened for - or played with - diverse acts such as Jackyl (featuring Jesse James Dupree), Lenny Kravitz, Sheila E, Warrant, Keith Anderson, the late Randy Castilio (drummer for Ozzy Osbourne), and Nashville’s Bekka Bramlet and Keith Anderson.
Dee is extraordinarily proud to be an American and is an ardent and vocal supporter of our U.S. Veterans. He has written several songs in honor of our military, including “The Uniform,” “The Colors I Fly,” “This is God’s Country,” and “Living Free.”
Although his first love will always be music, Dee is also an actor. He made his debut as an extra in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Terminator and has been in and around the entertainment business ever since. Look for him as a series regular in the soon to be released old-west style television series Big Sky. The series addresses the Native American culture and lifestyle, with the realities of slavery, bigotry, greed, and the mysterious ways of time, the coming of the military, forgiveness, and through it all, the pursuit of dreams.
Trevor Horsfall is quite the guitarist. The legendary Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones has on many occasions asked Trevor to play his personal events (Keith’s very own birthday party, for example). That is quite an honor in and of itself; Keith Richards clearly knows a good guitarist when he hears one.
Trevor was raised in Blackpool, England, moved to Toronto, Canada, and now spends much of his time in both North Carolina and Nashville. Horsfall, or "Trevor Luv" as he is affectionately known in the southern US, has traveled and played all over the world.
While he has certainly enjoyed his travels across the U.S., Trevor is particularly drawn to the Deep South. He loves the friendliness and warmth of the people, the weather, and of course, the music. Trevor has always been inspired by the south and the sounds that were born from it. That inspiration manifests itself in his guitar work; his signature sound is a heady mélange of Southern rock, rock, country and the Blues.
Music entered Gary's life at age 11, when his mother made him take organ lesson's; after 2 years on the organ, he picked up a bass guitar and never looked back. Gary began playing in cover bands, and upon graduating high school, with a new genre of music called Southern Rock making its way into his home town of Champaign Il., and across the Midwest, Gary found his calling. Gary quickly put together a band called The Jesse Ross Band and was signed by a prominent management company, and went on the road playing throughout the Midwest and North East U.S. After nearly 2 years touring, Gary left to join the English prog-rock band, Starcastle, which had just signed a 3 album deal with Epic records. After the first album and a year of touring, he realized that the band's sound wasn't his true love, so he left Starcastle, and moved to Atlanta to try to get back to his first love, Ssouthern Rock. Since leaving Starcastle, Gary has had the opportunity to work with and record with members of Kansas, Ronnie James Dio, and Jethro Tull, and has now found a new home and is a welcome addition to the North American Misfits.
The North American Misfits are: