Dressy Bessy sings into South Park
summit daily news
FAIRPLAY ” As Dressy Bessy’s fans and fame grow with every new release and appearance on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” John Hill’s juggling act gets more complicated.
The Apples in Stereo guitarist that picked up another gig ” Dressy Bessy in 1998 ” has suddenly found himself as a member of two headlining bands.
Not that he ever considered the up-and-coming Dressy Bessy a side project.
“I go full steam ahead with whatever band is currently working hard,” Hill said. “I’ve been lucky that it’s been kind of leapfrogged. It gets harder and harder every day.”
Mixing the two responsibilities hasn’t been a viable option. The two bands have played shows together, Hill said, but the shrinking gap in hierarchy is becoming complicated. And playing two shows in one night, he said, means somebody is going to get short changed.
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“It makes it so I can’t give 100 percent,” he said. “Most people wouldn’t notice; it’s just a little bit. It’s probably not fair to either band to do it that way.”
Although he plays guitar in both bands, each gig is satisfying in different ways. Playing lead guitar with Dressy Bessy, Hill said, as opposed to rhythm guitar with Apples, gives him “a little more room to screw around,” despite the structured nature of the band’s show.
“Tammy and the rest of the band get the songs pretty well fleshed out,” he said in reference to the Dressy Bessy founder/vocalist Tammy Ealom, bassist Rob Greene and drummer Craig Gilbert. “I don’t mean that as a bad thing. We try to be a song oriented band … rather than just jamming.”
Dressy Bessy plays a 5 p.m. show Saturday at Fairplay’s South Park Music Festival before embarking on an East Coast tour, including a stop at the CMJ Music Marathon and possibly another trip oversees.
The band has been spending a substantial amount of time in the UK, where its live shows have been strong, even if album sales doesn’t follow suit.
“It has to do with being an American band,” Hill said. “When you come, they may have heard our name … at least they think this might be the only chance they’re ever going to see you.”
Area fans don’t have that problem. The Denver-based band has no plans to leave the Front Range, regardless of what happens with its new record, “Electrified.”
“Through the years there’s been a couple times thinking we might want to (move),” Hill said. “(But) we can come back (here) from tour and just be ourselves.”
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