Atlas Road Crew
Gig Seeker Pro

Atlas Road Crew

Charleston, South Carolina, United States | SELF

Charleston, South Carolina, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Local Band Aims to Restore Rock n Roll"

It is one of the great questions of our time — what exactly is the future of rock and roll? After all, there are some who claim the genre remains on life support after decades of reinvention and revolution, living out its greatest glories with pioneers like The Beatles, Chuck Berry and Freddie Mercury before giving way to more modern favorites like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana and the Pixies. So where does rock go from here? Fully ready to answer that question (and give the audience a wild time doing it) is Columbia's own Atlas Road Crew.

"We all love that classic rock and jam band style," lead guitarist Dave Beddingfield said. "Our goal is to be a modern-day rock band with a sound that would have existed in the 1970s."

Formerly a member of the ska-influenced group The Shakedown and hoping to recreate the classic rock sound of decades past, Beddingfield linked up with vocalist Taylor Nicholson, bassist Max Becker and percussionist Patrick Drohan, all of whom had been playing together in various music projects over the years. Soon came the addition of keyboardist Bryce James, who was interning in San Francisco when he received a Facebook message asking if he wanted to be a part of a new band forming on Columbia's horizon.

"I had never played in a band before," James said. "So when I came back from my internship and we had our first practice, I was totally in awe of what was happening."

Beddingfield echoed James' sentiment, saying he knew from the start the band had the potential to succeed.

"That first time we played together, we realized we really had something special," Beddingfield said.

Practicing in a storage unit on Atlas Road, (hence the name) Atlas Road Crew quickly began molding, tweaking and perfecting its old-school rock 'n' roll sound, vibing off of each other as well as off vintage favorites like John Bonham, Gregg Allman and Warren Haynes with a little Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin tossed into the mix. Despite the sweltering heat that often stifled the small unit, the band played on, stripping down the heavy technology in favor of the more guitar-driven, easy riding sound that seemed to come naturally.

"I was always exposed to older-style rock music through my parents," Drohan said. "So when we got together, we really boiled it down to the basics and just went back to the roots of everything."

Fast forward to 2012. Although the members still practice in that same storage space, the past few months have been good to Atlas Road Crew, with the band hitting stages all over the Five Points area as well as playing live gigs at Wofford, Clemson and Presbyterian College. Also in the works is a three-day event this summer, sponsored by Firefly Vodka. The band has even cut its first demo of original tracks, recorded after hours at local venue 5 Points Pub. The band attributes much of this recent growth to its relationship with Pub booking manager Vance McNabb, an iconic figurehead in both the Columbia and Charleston music scenes.

"Vance has really just taken ARC under his wing," Beddingfield said. "He's been such an important mentor in getting us where we are now."

Even though Atlas Road Crew started off playing at least one show a week at local venues like Pavlov's, the group has since edited its set calendar, with its next performance coming up on Feb. 10 at 5 Points Pub. But if you're planning on hitting up a Crew show anytime soon, be prepared to let loose and get a little loud. Coupling blues-y guitar riffs with deep bass, thundering drums, harmonious keys and Nicholson's down-low yet powerful wail may have you thinking you've stepped back in time to an era with The Who and The Dead presiding as rock gods. But one thing is certainly guaranteed: You're going to have a good time.

"We always have a fun crowd, but things can also get very rowdy," Beddingfield said. "We try to keep things no rules; whatever happens, happens. We're having a lot of fun, so we want the crowd to have a lot of fun."

"We definitely try to pay a lot of attention to the crowd," James added.

Currently, the band's set list consists of a variety of cover tracks and a few Atlas Road Crew cuts thrown in, with the hopes of adding more original material as the band continues to progress. When it comes to songwriting, it's certainly no one-man show for the band, which relies upon collaboration and the talents of each member in lieu of allowing only one individual's creative perspective.

"Usually we'll start with a little guitar, then add in the bass and sing or hum random words to the music," Drohan said. "We've all become really good friends, so it's an easier process."

Short term, Atlas Road Crew says it is driven to restore Columbia's former title as a jewel in the national music scene crown. But ultimately, it's the dream of playing to thousands of die-hard fans in sold-out arenas that keeps the band touring in a crammed Ford F-150 and juggling busy class and work schedules while - The Daily Gamecock

"Great Falls Native Finding the Beat"

Summers on Atlas Road in Columbia, S.C. can get very hot. Especially if they are five people and their various musical instruments crammed into a storage unit to play together. That’s how Great Falls native Patrick Drohan and his band, Atlas Road Crew, spend their time.

#"It definitely has its pros and cons. We can go there anytime and play, 24 hours a day, but it gets really hot in there," Drohan, a graduate of Langley High School, said. "It’s not great for the wooden guitars and drums, they tend to need to be tuned a lot. I’ve even had a few drumheads just crack without playing them."

Photo Contributed
Patrick Drohan, a native of Great Falls, playing the drums in his band Atlas Road Crew. The band is preparing to release their first EP in October.

#Drohan, the band’s drummer, vocalist and rhythm guitarist Taylor Nicholson, lead guitarist Dave Beddingfield, bassist Max Becker and keyboardist Bryce James met while attending the University of Southern Carolina, of which Drohan is a recent graduate.

#THE BAND started out as four classic rock aficionados getting together to jam on their favorite tunes by the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin. After hearing a few stories about James, they met with him, and soon their group was born.

#"It was just a bunch of us having fun in our living room but one day one of the guys told us about a fraternity brother they had. The rumor was going around that there was a party going on with a piano around, and he got on it, and really rocked the party," Drohan said. "So we met him, and we decided to jam with him, and he just hops on the piano and we started going into ‘Free Bird’ and there was an immediate buzz in the room."

#They came up with the name Atlas Road Crew the day before their first show, after the road their storage unit is located on. They began playing cover shows at the local college bars, before one bar owner said he would be able to arrange a meet and greet with Mark Bryan, guitarist for Hootie and the Blowfish.

#"We set up a meeting, and sat around for a little bit jamming on acoustic guitars, and he sort of guided us into songwriting mode," Drohan said.

#The group wrote around 10 songs, and used five of them for their latest project, the release of their EP. It was recorded over a week period at Bryan’s house in remote Awendaw, S.C., a small fishing town.

#"We lived at the house for the whole week, working around 14-15 hour days recording," Drohan said. "We were much more of a live band before, we had no idea how to record, and it was very different. We spent two straight days on drums, doing like 12 takes. It could be tedious, but it was also sort of like a vacation, because when we weren’t recording we could go out and fish and hang out."

#AS A DRUMMER, Drohan learned firsthand about making sure he was keeping perfect rhythm during recordings, he played to a click track for the first time.

#"I’ve been playing drums since I was about nine or 10, and was in a few bands when I was at Langley. I took lessons for a few months at the Melodee Music in Sterling, but didn’t feel like I was getting much out of it," he said. "I think I learned more from Mark during that week recording than I did during all my lessons. He showed me how some of the drum fills I would do might work live, but they would be too busy for a recording. I learned that simple can be good, that I shouldn’t be afraid to keep it simple."

#The band is influenced by their classic rock leanings, but also by more modern rock groups such as the Black Keys and the White Stripes. Nicholson’s vocals evoke the Southern, visceral style of the Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson or The Band’s Levon Helm.

#The songs on their EP go directly back to their roots, with "Sweet Southern Woman" featuring heavy riffs resembling The Doobie Brothers’ "China Grove" or "Betty," whose booming drums and clipped guitars call back to Montrose’s "Rock Candy."

#"We’ve gotten a pretty good response locally, our shows usually sell out pretty quick, and we’ve branched out to some of the other universities nearby," Drohan said. "We’re thinking about a mini-tour to the Southeast later on, and next summer it would be really cool to go up the East Coast." - Great Falls Connection

"Atlas Road Crew Hits Streets with First EP"

It’s time.

After many days of planning, picking and old-fashioned penny-pinching, the gentlemen of Atlas Road Crew are finally ready to bare their gypsy souls on the national stage. And what better way to bring the ruckus than by inviting you to bare yours at the EP release party at the 5 Points Pub tonight.

“It’s a really exciting time for us,” said guitarist Dave Beddingfield. “All the love we’ve been receiving from friends, family and even total strangers has really just blown us away. It’s amazing and humbling at the same time.”

“It’s been a lot of luck, but also a lot of other things thrown in,” added bassist Max Becker.

Of course, just a few months ago, the dream of recording and releasing the first Crew EP was still that; just a dream. But with the help of a successful campaign launched on Kickstarter, the Crew was able to raise $4,467, an 11 percent over-and-above increase from their intended goal.

Tonight, that EP, titled the Awendaw Sessions EP and recorded alongside Hootie and the Blowfish producer Mark Bryan at his home in Awendaw, S.C., will grow its groovy walking legs, taking the Crew sound out of the south and transplanting it in music scenes across the United States.

“Our goal has always been to play good music and have that music be heard everywhere,” said keyboardist Bryce James. “I want to have that day where I turn on the radio, and hear myself playing. It’s such a defining moment.”

Now it seems the band has made the transition from the underground buzz to full-fledged local legends, stomping, howling, and guitar-licking their way through the worn-down corridors of other Columbia bands long passed. They’ve hired a manager to help light the way, and more recently, the band released a single featuring Ben G and Regina Ferguson, aptly titled “Bottom of Love” on iTunes.

And if this cut is a foreshadowing of the tight yet laid-back earthiness of their upcoming EP, then fans (and soon-to-be fans) are in for a real down-home delight.

Put it this way: if the Black Keys and Phish had some sort of cosmic intervention that melted into a musical offspring, this single would be their rustic, wailing baby.

“A lot of the work we did in the studio really made our traditional influences stronger,” explained vocalist Taylor Nicholson. “Artists like Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones: those are the people we’ve always infused into our music and those are the ones we’ll continue to look up to.”

The Atlas Road Crew EP release party will be at the 5 Points Pub tonight at 9 p.m. Tickets are priced at $6 to $8 (depending on your legal status) and the night will feature a few surprise opening acts to get the crowd amped up for the Crew to take the stage. The Pub will be fully loaded with Crew gear — EP copies, t-shirts and other merchandise will be up for grabs to paying customers. Sure, it’s a chance for fans to nab a hard copy of the band’s music, but more importantly, it’s a celebration of the rebirth of classic rock and toasting how far the little storage-unit-band-that-could has come. And maybe the perfect time to embrace the calm before the storm.

“We’re so proud and thrilled to show everyone how much work we’ve been doing,” said drummer Patrick Drohan. “Atlas Road Crew has so much to offer to every music fan and we’re ready to keep steering this rig in the right direction. It’s been a wild ride so far and we hope it just keeps getting wilder.”

Atlas Road Crew will also be playing in Charleston at the Midtown Bar and Grill Nov. 15, and back at the Pub Dec. 1.

For a full schedule and more information on the band, visit their website at - The Daily Gamecock

"Columbia Band Infuses Soul, Classic Rock"

Good rock and roll music is like a beautiful woman. Sultry, hip-swaying rhythms, lean, lithe legs. Lush harmonies and achingly long chord progressions trace the lines of a slender body, perfectly curved in all the right places with inflections of tone and deep melody.

Rock has many faces, but what really matters is the body’s inner workings — all the little pieces that glide together smoother than B.B. King and his beloved Lucille. In the words of Jimi Hendrix: “Rock is so much fun. That’s what it’s all about — filling up the chest cavities and empty kneecaps and elbows.”

So, what’s that new soul pumping through the veins of classic rock? Why, it’s none other than Atlas Road Crew.

It’s been a long year for the Crew, but that’s not to say it hasn’t been a good one. In fact, if you’d asked any of the guys 12 months ago where they thought the band would be today, their answers probably would have been far different from reality.

“We’ve really taken some giant leaps in just a matter of months,” said lead guitarist Dave Beddingfield. “We used to think it would take us a lot longer to get where we are now. It seemed much farther down the road. The band’s just gone from the bottom to the top a whole lot faster.”

Although they still practice in the ol’ reliable storage unit — albeit the times have been a little rougher for their jam space since a broken door now forces them to use the “drop and roll” to even enter — it was with the help of a famous Columbia face that the Crew’s feverish, colorful music finally got the dose of guidance it had long needed.

Earlier this year, the band hooked up with Hootie alummus and local music staple Mark Bryan. Dropping everything to keep the Atlas sound alive and thriving, the band headed to Bryan’s home in Bulls Bay, Charleston to get a taste of their first professional studio recording experience.

Trading the Five Points cacophony for the silence of the Intercoastal Waterway, Atlas Road Crew delved deep into their musical roots, and soon found themselves on the cusp of something brilliant, growing in their own way as they grew closer to their music.

Several late nights of grinding practice, song mapping, mandolin playing and plenty of cold beers later, the boys of Atlas Road Crew came out no worse for the wear; they had a new EP in hand and a fresh outlook on the direction of their soulful sound.

“It was difficult to start out with,” said lead vocalist Taylor Nicholson. “But it was great experience for future recording.”

“We really learned so much about the music industry,” continued drummer Patrick Drohan. “We learned what actually goes into making music.”

Structure seemed to be the word of the day for the band’s studio sessions, as each member reiterated how Bryan pushed the band into the wee hours of the morning, asking for multiple takes and the ultimate perfection when it came to tweaking the Crew’s signature sound. But for a band known for its improvisational live shows and impromptu jam freestyling, it wasn’t always easy to throw on the headphones and play several cuts solo.

“It really was the least stressful environment for one of the most stressful things,” said bassist Max Becker, laughing. “We’re a live band and we like to extend and jam a lot, so each of us trying to take turns was hard. But it really changed our outlook on recording and writing songs.”

“We even got the sound guy to change his mind about us,” added keyboardist Bryce James with a grin. “He thought we were just a jam band who could play forever, but then he ended up telling us he was pleasantly surprised.”

These days, the product of the band’s hard work in the studio is still up in the air. Although they’ve turned up their fans’ anticipation needle full blast (even Darius Rucker and music management kingpin Doc McGhee are excited), it’s going to take a little bit of love from fans’ wallets to get the Crew up and going.

“Until Sept. 13, we’re running a kick-starter campaign to help cover the studio costs,” Beddingfield said. “We’ve had some amazing support, so we’re already at almost $3,000 of our $4,000 goal. Even if everyone just gave a dollar, it would help out tremendously and we could get the EP out there.”

The EP is currently slated to drop on Oct. 25 with a release party at — where else? The band’s old stomping grounds at the Five Points Pub. And if you’re worried the boys have sewn up their earthy, laid-back style, fear not — they’re still determined to rock you, maybe just a little bit harder. There’s something to be said for a band that truly enjoys their craft; some groups play with each other while Atlas Road Crew plays off each other, sustained with invisible vibes radiating off their instruments and their audience. And no matter how many venues or long road trips they take together, that positive energy remains the same. Just don’t expect the fame to go to their heads.

“I’m not really out to make it on the cover of Rolling Stone or anythi - The Daily Gamecock

"Atlas Road Crew"

Back when I was a USC student, there were a couple of bands that from their inception drew capacity crowds at local bars. The only thing that’s changed in the past 25 years is the names of the bands: Back then it was Tootie and the Jones or Hootie and the Blowfish; right now, one of those names is Atlas Road Crew. Playing familiar covers and some blues-rock based originals to a collegiate crowd, the band sold out its first gig at the Five Points Pub. This show’s being billed as an afterparty to the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert. K. Oliver - Free Times Magazine

"Atlas Road Crew"

Atlas Road Crew — Quietly one of this town’s biggest draws, Atlas Road Crew’s has caught the attention of one local with a few connections: Hootie & the Blowfish’s Mark Bryan, who produced the quintet’s forthcoming EP, slated for release in October. (The group’s Kickstarter campaign has about a week left, at press time.) There’s a little Hootie swing on “Hideaway,” but Atlas Road Crew’s swagger is more indebted to The Black Crowes (see: “Betty”; “Sweet Southern Woman”), and its loose, easygoing Southern rock leaves plenty of room, in a live setting, for live jams that aspire to Allmans-level heights. P. Wall - Free Times Magazine

"Atlas Road Crew"

Atlas Road Crew, a band that punctuates its rock vibe with Southern gentleman swagger, will release its self-titled EP at 10:30 tonight at 5 Points Pub. The five-song effort, produced by Mark Bryan of Hootie & The Blowfish, mixes in Southern rock traditionalism (“Sweet Southern Woman” sounds like decades-old classic rock without sounding, well, old) with a penchant for instrumental patches that allow the players to flex their muscles. This band’s jams are heavy and precise - The State Newspaper


Still working on that hot first release.



Originally based out of Columbia, SC, Atlas Road Crew is the next big breakout artist from the Southeast. Now calling Charleston, SC home, ARC is stepping into the spotlight with an ambitious Fall 2013 tour. 

It's no wonder that they caught the attention of Grammy-Award-Winning Mark Bryan of Hootie and the Blowfish who produced their debut EP Atlas Road Crew to rave reviews in the Fall of 2012.

It seems as if Atlas Road Crew has arrived from another decade as their old-school sound oozes vintage 70s rock dripping with influences ranging from the Rolling Stones to The Band to the Allmans but with modern influences like The Black Keys and Kings of Leon. With an extensive catalog of over 100 covers and a rapidly growing list of in-demand originals, Atlas Road Crew has been the rarest of Columbia, SC area bands able to sell out Columbia's premiere music hall (400 capacity) at every performance and even on multiple night runs. Their time on the fraternity circuit over the past 18 months has brought their name to thousands of new faces, quickly establishing them in multiple markets and earning a legion of new fans.

Practicing in a storage unit on Atlas Road in Columbia, SC (hence the name), the band quickly begun molding, tweaking and perfecting its old-school rock 'n' roll sound. Despite the sweltering heat that often stifled the small unit during marathon practice sessions, the band stripped down heavy technology in favor of the more guitar-driven, easy riding sound that seemed to come naturally.

Band Members