Not the Same Old Story
It's the same old story, or is it? A group of school age friends form a rock 'n' roll band, write songs, play gigs as they get older, wiser, and eventually accept that they will never become the next Bon Jovi or play a set at Bonnaroo. A funny thing happened on the way to that revelation for the members of Columbia, South Carolina act Deleveled, however...they became professional, full-time musicians. It's not rock 'n' roll fantasy--it's real life, and it's music made for the right reason—for the music.
The current lineup of Deleveled showcases a diverse group of seasoned players, most of whom have played together for over a decade. Singer Jessica Skinner and singer/guitarist Jeff Pitts also perform in the acoustic duo Prettier Than Matt, but in Deleveled, Skinner sheds her ukelele and sensitive singer-songwriter stance for outsized vocal turns that belie her status off stage as a vocal coach. Pitts was raised on 80's arena rock and 90's alternative sounds, and his precise yet passionate playing is the unsung underpinning that provides a real musical personality to the band. As one of the main songwriters in the group, incidentally, Pitts currently hosts a regular original songwriter's open mike night in Columbia at Delaney's Pub, where he mentors and supports others. Add the solid rhythm section of Matt Biddle on bass and Sammy Roland, drums, and there is not much the quartet can't handle, musically speaking.
A trio of recordings over the past decade bolster the argument for Deleveled as a no-frills rock experience that's more about the substance of the songs than the style of the performance. 2010's Rock Is For Lovers set the formula of midtempo, slow building anthems and fun sing-along strummers that 2013's Midnight Radio continued, while 2015's self-titled effort signaled a new era with the full inclusion of Skinner and a pro recording with Kenny McWilliams at Archer Avenue Studio in Columbia, SC.
The band grew their fan base the old-fashioned way, however—playing live on stage anywhere they could, across the Carolinas and Georgia at every dive bar and chicken joint in every college town and small burg that would have them. It's a strategy that has paid off over the long haul, and when Deleveled gets together, in the words of Pitts himself you can always expect, “Jams!”
Jeff Pitts: Vocals, Guitar
Jessica Skinner: Vocals, Keys, Ukulele
Sammy Roland: Drums
Later Than Usual: 2003
Keep Them Closer: 2006