What is it to experience Sugar Lime Blue? Essentially vibrations of air manipulated by the voices & instruments of the musicians singing/playing that are interpreted through the ears of living beings and transformed in their brains to the sounds that soothe us, get us excited, spark emotions and even get us up to dance. Sugar Lime Blue is a real band where in the musicians are listening to one another and trying to create something new in the moment.
In this timeline, Sugar Lime Blue has its beginnings back in 1999 when Dave & Ashley Beth first met in Texas (Dave is originally from Maine, while Ashley is from Kentucky). They fell in love, got married and started playing music together. In 2004 after flirting with living in Maine & New Jersey they moved their family to Tennessee.
Sugar Lime Blue officially had its first shows in 2007 & for the next few years went through various musicians as the band tried to find its sound. They also began recording some of the new originals that Ashley & Dave wrote together – even creating a couple of videos for completed songs like “Go Home” & “Talkin’ To Yourself”.
There came a point in 2010 when the two would consider dropping the “band” idea and moving forward as an acoustic duo. This is when they met Russ Dean who had recently moved to the Nashville area from California. After bonding over a love of jam band music & specifically the Grateful Dead they began playing out as a 3 piece acoustically. Sugar Lime Blue would also get back to the “Electric” band sound with the addition of drums and keys.
Their first album “Far From the Tree” was about half completed at this time, so Russ added bass on the incomplete songs and a couple more songs were written and recorded (Title Track and No Road Back to Texas) and then released independently in 2011 to generally great reviews. There was just one problem… the recording defied genre classification & industry insiders were reluctant to work with the band without a way to market them to a specific audience.
So they continued to play out live at a rate of about 60 shows a year (which they still keep up) in the general area around their Nashville base (Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama & of course Tennessee), slowly building a following in the region.
The next step for the band was to start recording again. So in 2012, they set up in the Beth’s home and recorded five new songs for what was planned as the first half of their sophomore release. At this point the electric band had a steady line-up with Steven Brooks on drums & John Simpson on Pedal Steel/Guitar. Soon after this the band was again without a drummer again & began a long period of searching through about a dozen different ones over the next two years.
In the meantime, they kept playing shows when a drummer was in the ranks electrically and when wasn’t available they still played acoustically as a 3 piece. They were fortunate to also have friends and family (Junior Padilla and Mike Adams) as past drummers who could step in and help out the cause when available.
In 2013 they had the idea of filming a video once a week for their Sunday ShoutOut. The idea was to record a different song every week that would be dedicated to one of their Twitter followers or friends and then uploaded to You Tube. The first song was a cover of Steely Dan’s Do It Again which is the only song recorded more than once as it is now the traditional yearly anniversary of the endeavor.
In 2015 it was decided that the band had moved too far away from the songs already recorded for the next album and so it was decided to release these songs on their own with the addition of one song recorded in 2014 (Carve Your Name) and a cover of Melanie’s Brand New Key. They also created a video for the song Move That Earth with their cellphones at the Beth’s farm to help push the upcoming album.
Move That Earth was released in 2015 and thanks to a kickstarter campaign was able to be released on vinyl as well. Sugar Lime Blue is again in the groove and jamming on a new level with each show. New songs that are being thrown into the sets are being well received and they are getting ready to start the recording process again for the next album.
If you like music to be more than just the background noise in your life, check out Sugar Lime Blue next time they come to your town. The band feeds off the energy of their fans and puts their hearts into every show. We only have a short time on this planet and making the moment inclusive to all that hear and enjoy the sound is what it’s all about for them. Playing music is the ultimate group expression in creativity and Sugar Lime Blue is a family bound by love and music with the ultimate goal to be able to spread that music love around.