HANCOCK – Fishing may not be the first thing people think of when they ponder the various inspirations to start a band, but fishing is indeed behind the start of Chasin’ Steel, a self-described bluegrass band that carries with it a rock and roll attitude.
“We got together because of the interest we had in fly fishing,” said mandolin player and lead vocalist Adam Carpenter. “We started jamming at some open mics and then we ended up forming a band and getting hired at places. It kind of steam rolled from there.”
The band is made up of Carpenter, Jonah Kuhlman (guitar, harmony vocals), Jake Kuhlman (banjo, harmony vocals) and Evan Simula (bass, harmony vocals) and formed in the spring of 2002. Over the 11 years Chasin’ Steel been playing, they’ve opened for such performers at The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Trace Adkins and have played in a variety of places.
In previous years, Chasin’ Steel used to play over 100 dates a year, but now they’ve found themselves playing at a more leisurely pace, playing only two to four times a month.
“We typically play theaters,” Carpenter said. “We don’t play a whole lot of bars anymore. If we do they’re jam packed or they’re larger.”
Despite having played for 11 years, Carptenter said he and the band still love getting up on stage and performing for people.
“We love it,” he said. “We absolutely get off playing for an audience that’s into it. It’s the road that wears on you. When you got kids and mortgages and stuff like that, you just can’t do it for a living.”
This Saturday they’ll be playing at The Orpheum Theater.
They have played the venue a few times before and really enjoyed doing it.
“It’s a performance theater but it’s very intimate,” Carpenter said. “It’s laid back and there’s a huge dance floor, which we really like. We really enjoy the Orpheum crowd. Even though it’s a theater it doesn’t feel huge.”
Carpenter said one of things he and the band are very proud of is bringing together the two worlds of bluegrass and rock and roll.
“We couldn’t just play (bluegrass),” Carpenter said. “We had to adapt. We didn’t even do it on purpose. When you start out you have to play in bars and to do that we had to appeal to a lot of people. Our sound emerged as very high energy. We have a lot of traditional aspects to our sound but we’re definitely a progressive bluegrass band.”
Carpenter said that some of the people who were first exposed to bluegrass through Chasin’ Steel then discovered all different kinds of bluegrass music. A lot of people would come up to the band and say “Because of you I got into blue grass.”
The band also plays a fair amount of originals as well as covers. Some of their more popular original songs are “Lonesome and Blue” and “Drink My Dinner.”
Chasin’ Steel will be playing Saturday at The Orpheum Theater. Doors open at 7: 30 p.m. and the show starts at 8. Tickets cost $10 but are $7 for students.