Halfway through performing the single “Mexico” off their upcoming debut album during a recent promotional video, Bad Weather States drummer Will Thompson accidentally knocked over a microphone stand.
On cue, his four bandmates ended the song, laughed it off with a quick joke and took it from the top — laying out the 4-minute track seamlessly.
The throwaway moment, however, is indicative of the tight bond this Greenwood quintet has forged over the last several years as the band looks ahead to a future of touring around the Southeast as they prepare to release their first record, Nolichucky, this fall. Recorded at the home of bassist Duane Terry, it's named after the road he lives on in Waterloo.
“We’re all each other’s best friends,” vocalist Granger Smith says.
Like almost every other Lakelands-bred musician, Bad Weather States’ members can be seen playing with other bands. But they’ve all agreed this venture is their priority.
“We knew if this is what we were going to do we had to start taking it seriously, having practice once a week and get our butts in gear writing, collaborating on things and talking to each other,” Smith said.
Many of the group’s early shows featured covers of Southern rock classics, but the set lists have started to be taken over by original songs.
“I think if we knew that if we’re going to do this, we all silently understood that we'd have to start writing and if you had been a fly on the wall at every single one of our shows up to now, you'll notice that the number of covers has dwindled down to a minority of songs we do now,” Smith said.
Guitarist Nic Massey describes the sound as “Amerikinda,” a pastiche of Southern rock, blues and alt-country.
Bad Weather States started out as “Granger Smith and the 10th Division,” an homage to his grandfather’s military service. The name was difficult to get right on promotional materials, so Smith came up with the name during a trip into Abbeville looking into a classic South Carolina rain storm.
The group — whose members range from 29 to 39 years old — built up a strong local following with their high-energy sets at venues including Howard’s On Main, TW Boons and the Uptown Market.
Most recently, they played the Highland Brewing Company Pub in Asheville, North Carolina.
Several months ago, Greenwood attorney Brandon Smith signed on as their manager, helping to raise their profile within the state and securing dates in Georgia and North Carolina. He’s also gotten two songs, “My Misery” and “Little Man,” onto digital music platforms Spotify and iTunes.
Veterans of Greenwood’s music scene, the band says it owes a debt of gratitude to colleagues and predecessors who have built the region’s dynamic history.
“My big inspiration, and I feel like I'm speaking for these guys, is to make all these people over the years proud. Will played for a band called ‘Honeybone,’ and two of those guys have passed on,” Massey said. “I feel every day those guys are watching over us as we're perfecting our craft and that's one of the biggest things for me, to make the ones that are here and the ones that are gone proud, and just put the Greenwood stamp on everything.”
An album release party is slated for 9 p.m. on Oct. 27 at Howard's on Main in Uptown Greenwood, with a Sept. 29 gig planned as well. In addition to merchandise and CD sales during the October event, the album is available on Spotify, iTunes and Google Play.