​Southbound changes direction

From all cover songs to releasing all-original CD.

​Southbound formed as a Southern rock cover band in January 2013. However, like any healthy creative endeavor, the original vision was subject to change.

Dave Benson (guitar, vocals), Allen Seals (guitar, vocals), Michelle Scarpelli (keyboards, vocals), Tom Scarpelli (bass, vocals) and Jeff Friend (drums, vocals) enjoyed playing the popular songs of the genre, but they’re finding even more enjoyment since they began writing original material in 2014.

The result of this new artistic direction is Southbound’s stellar debut CD, “Hands of Time,” which gets its official release at Riff Raff Tavern on the Canal in Dayton on Saturday.

Four of the five musicians sat down recently at Riff Raff to discuss the band’s change of focus. Seals, who will perform Saturday despite recently moving to Virginia, joined in over speakerphone.

Achieving goals

Tom Scarpelli: “I set these goals for myself, and one of them was that we’d have our own original music by the end of 2014. I mentioned it to the band, and they were receptive. Before we knew it we had a whole list of originals. It’s amazing how quickly it went.”

Benson: “Once it got started, everybody was bringing out songs. It’s like, ‘I’ve got this. It’s only half-finished, but check it out and see what you think.’ If it fits the bill, we’ll collaborate on it.”

Laying it down

Friend: “We recorded at my place. I was in advertising for years, and I did a lot of music for radio and television jingles. I have all the gear, and I really don’t do much of that anymore. Then Tom said, ‘We should do a CD.’ I’m like, ‘We can do that. I got that.’ We recorded everything at my place over a period of time, and it’s worked out really well.”

Michelle Scarpelli: “It was super cool to get in and record. It’s an opportunity I never dreamed we’d be doing. Everybody has their own ideas, and it’s a really cool process to see how things work together.”

Sticking with the team

Seals: “I moved for work, and it’s a rotational deal, so my plan is to come back, slide back in and pick up where I left off. It’s such a unique blend of people, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to keep playing with them. I’ve been in various bands over the years, but there’s something really special about this band. We all click, and there’s the creative side, the songwriting and performing, I’ve not had in any other bands. I don’t want to lose that.”

Contact this contributing writer at donaldthrasher8@aol.com.