The Pedal Stills to bring rock ‘n’ soul sound to Mojo’s

After many strange sights, touring brings the band to CoMo this Saturday.

By Tess Hart | June 20, 2013

Tags: Concerts Downtown Columbia Music

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When: 8:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Mojo’s

Tickets: $5

Not very many bands can say they have hitchhiked with a man who probably has killed a few people, played a gig with a band that's dog did his business on the floor of the venue, ran out of gas twice, played in a bar that displayed caged snakes and witnessed an old woman pull out a sword during a fight. Needless to say, The Pedal Stills, a young “rock ’n’ soul” band, have had some unique experiences on the road in just the two years that they’ve been together.

The band consists of four members: Cory Kelley on lead vocals and guitar, John Hollier on lead guitar, David Nichols on the bass and Trev Shackelford on the drums. Above all, the boys agree that the most memorable incident they’ve had together was being hit by a drunk driver and consequently losing almost everything in their trailer.

“We were in a terrible accident on St. Patrick’s Day and lost almost everything we had after being hit," Kelley says. "It was extremely traumatic and hard to get back on our feet, but I think that experience brought us closer and reassured the group of our work ethic. We all really love what we do."

After learning to appreciate all that they had from that experience, the band has continued to tour, but with a much stronger awareness of their fellow drivers and more appreciation for both the ups and downs of living on the road.

“One of the biggest things was starting off and playing to only a handful of people," Nichols says. "It’s so discouraging to see so few people there, but being able to hear someone say they enjoyed the show or buy an album makes up for it.”

While traveling from venue to venue, The Pedal Stills also took the time to record and release their second EP, “Night and Day,” in May.

"We live tracked this EP, so every song is more real than anything else we’ve recorded," Hollier says. No producer or much production, so what you hear is a performance more than a polished idea."

The Pedal Stills' upcoming performance at Mojo’s will be their first experience playing to a Missouri crowd, and they plan on bringing their fresh, new tracks to the stage.

Hollier says the boys are most looking forward to “meeting the locals, discovering new beers, and playing some music.”

Despite all the crazy things they’ve been through, the band truly believes that hitting the road is an important part of developing as a group.

“There are too many artists that skip roughing it on the road, and I believe that’s an extreme disadvantage in the long run," Kelley says. "If you want to hone in your skill and your musicianship, you have to go where the people are that listen to your music. The road teaches you to plan, improvise and survive. I think it’s vital."

One thing is for sure; The Pedal Stills are more than ready for any craziness that might find them in Columbia on Saturday. That is, as long as they don’t have to encounter another intoxicated driver.

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