Cottondale Swamp
Gig Seeker Pro

Cottondale Swamp

Weeki Wachee Gardens, FL | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | INDIE

Weeki Wachee Gardens, FL | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2016
Band Country Rock




"CD Review: New Music From Indie-Artists Remember Jones, Black Horse Motel, Welsh Avenue, Peasant Moon And Cottondale Swamp"

Finally, from the Florida bayou comes the debut album from Cottondale Swamp titled "Leave Me On The Suwanee." It has been out for over 6 months and is beginning get the notice it deserves with its southern boogie blues sound. Their new release begins with the straight-up rock of "Swamp King Troubadour" as lead singer Kenny Grube grabs hold of you with his bluesy vocals. The album continues with the Americana shuffle of "Leave Me On The Suwannee" and the country rock of "Land Rich, Money Poor." The guitars come out blazing on the rockabilly feel of "Temporary Border" and "Feral Baby," before the classic country feel of "High Horse" will have you on the dance floor with your partner. The album closes with the swampy blues of "Ole' Beelzebub" and the desert boogie instrumental"Tighten Up." To find out more about Cottondale Swamp and their latest release "Leave Me On The Suwanee," please visit -

"Cottondale Swamp's New Album - "Leave Me On The Suwannee""

Florida’s Sunshine Drenchy might not be the most prolific record company in the world but over a dozen or so releases they’ve yet to put a foot wrong. Always adorned by eye-catching art work the mixture of intelligent power-pop tinged folk music that has informed much of their roster has for the main part always evoked a picture that many have of the Sunshine State.

The latest release on Sunshine Drenchy came as a bit of a surprise; four-piece band Cottondale Swamp are based in Weeki Wachee, Florida and are fronted by Kenny Grube, who served his apprenticeship as an Elvis impersonator for a decade or so taking in a couple of hundred shows a year. Now if your image of Elvis impersonators is the same as mine this is where you switch off, but bear with me please. Firstly in the images available Grube doesn’t look like the type of guy you’d want to fall out with and he’s bigger than me so I’m not going to be negative about him anyway, and secondly there’s really no reason to as he’s one of the most impressive vocalists I’ve heard in some time. No doubt those years of belting out Elvis hits have helped hone his talent but, on these eleven songs at least, while there are shades of The King seeping through at times, Grube gives every indication that he has a fine set of lungs that he can adapt to any musical genre.

The other three members of the band are Chaz Winzenread on guitar (Grube plays rhythm), Michael Hoag on bass and Dan Eggleston who plays drums. All three provide backing vocals to Grube’s lead. Bassist Hoag wrote all the songs (one a co-write with Winzenread) except for one Winzenread sole composition, ‘Tighten Up’. Although this album has all the trademarks of a regular Sunshine Drenchy release and a number of the ‘Drenchy family are involved in some way with the album; Ed Woltil designed the graphics and it’s another stunning package, Brian Merrill co-produced the set with Eggleston and Hoag and Steve Connelly had a hand in recording some of the tracks (all familiar names if your ears have already been blessed by the sounds of any previous Sunshine Drenchy release), ‘Leave Me On The Suwanee’ is something of a departure for the label, but one that works well.

We are informed that Cottondale Swamp play "original Florida Swamp Rock with authentic country sensibilities and a heart of rock ‘n’ roll," and that sums up ‘Leave Me On The Suwanee’ perfectly. But there’s more; there’s the swagger of The Stones back when they meant something, a hint of Canned Heat boogie here and there and more than a dash of Southern Rock, especially on ‘We Always Deliver’ where the band name check Lynyrd Skynyrd and show just how an astute lyricist Hoag is. The last ninety seconds of that song take on a melancholy vibe, Grube recalling listening to Skynyrd LPs, “Southern Rock runs through our veins/That and warm brandy/We’re gonna open this show/A little nervous, man , but you never know/You see it’s all rock ‘n’ roll/It’s all rock ‘n’ roll.” And those few lines say it all really; stick whatever label you choose on Cottondale Swamp, at the end of the day what they produce is pure, 100% rock ‘n’ roll, in all it’s varying forms. While the band have their own distinctive sound no two songs on this album sound the same and as the last song fades; ‘Tighten Up’, a Dick Dale inspired instrumental surf corker of a tune, it leaves the listener with one thing on their mind; when can I get to see this band live? The energy and passion that the band and producer Merrill have captured here is infectious. It leaves little doubt that the band are going to be scorching hot on stage.

‘Swamp King Troubadour’ which opens the album gives notice that Cottondale Swamp are special; Winzenread’s lead guitar almost shreds the speakers, the song paints a picture of '(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone' played by the snottiest garage band you’ve ever heard and it leaves you breathless and completely unprepared for the following title track, Grube’s vocals at their most longing while the band produce the perfect subdued, twangy backing, until Winzenread’s lead guitar lines take your breath away once again.

There’s a country feel to ‘High Horse’ and, as with all the songs on ‘Leave Me On The Suwanee’, it’s the owner of an irresistible melody; these guys can be walking that country lane as on this track or deep in the swamp as on the bluesy ‘Ole Beelzebub’ and you’ll still find yourself singing along. It’s an album that you simply can’t fail to get involved in. ‘Leave Me On The Suwanee’ is the first true rock ‘n’ roll album of 2017.

As a footnote it’s worth mentioning that it’s reassuring how great musicians return into our lives; while producer Brian Merrill’s name was familiar from his other work with Sunshine Drenchy and the Ditchflowers it’s only just now that I’ve realised that Michael Hoag who wrote the bulk of this album contributed to one of my favourite albums of 2003 along with Merrill, the punky, power-pop infused ‘Last Day Of Summer’ by Barely Pink on the wonderful Not Lame label. Small world, great music. - Penny Black Music

"“COTTONDALE SWAMP” (a review)"

By Robert Lloyd (Email:

Once in a while you run into an interesting group on the internet in the entertainment area that surprises you. This is one of those occasions. And in this case, it's the north Florida quartet “Cottondale Swamp”. They perplex me. And no, don't expect to see them in the near future at your local Holiday Inn. Let's just say they wouldn't fit in.

I've been a fan of Cottondale Swamp for a while and surprised when I heard the Americana Community Music Association (ACMA) had booked their performance here for May 26, 2018. And guess what? I am leading off the show. That could be scary! These 'hoodlums' (I will affectionately call them) are coming into the renowned ACMA 'Listening Room' and it should be quite a shock. I love their music, especially the song “Leave Me On The Swannee”... here is a link of them playing it live.

Are you back? Take a deep breath. Ok, did you enjoy the song and performance? Great. Let me introduce you to this lineup of suspects... oops, I mean musicians. The band formed back in 2015 with some session players and maybe burned out rockers in need of a new direction. The boys are Michael Hoag (bass), Chas Winzenread (lead guitar), Ken Bailey (drums), and Kenneth Grube (acoustic guitar and vocals). I was talking to Michael on the phone the other day and just loved the story of the band.

First up, I want to talk about Kenneth Grube... and with a startling factoid of Kenneth is that he does 150 shows each years doing an Elvis tribute. That feeds his family. But then he plays in Cottondale Swamp and in a total different musical direction. But what is so cool, he gives the aura of being this bit player in a Quentin Tarrantino movie with his swagger and roughed up dress in his performances. I can't say I know of another character so out of kilter with the modern pop/country scene in today's entertainment field. You've got Justin Timberlake types, with their slick marketing side for the kids. Then you have the 'attitude junkies' of the modern pop female genre. You have the hip hop with a twang country pop stars. Then you have something totally different... Ken Grube fronting this growling swamp-rock group Cottondale Swamp. I just love it.

Michael Hoag is on bass, originally from Boston, and he played in about every band within a hundred miles of the seaboard. But Michael was most personable when I visited with him by phone one afternoon. Not an embittered hard rocking interview whatsoever, but surprisingly personable. And he is probably the central player in the songwriting part of Cottondale Swamp. They all are a part, but Michael was important to the writing of the song “Leave Me On The Swannee” (and yep, that is how they spell it in the old Florida way). On a side note, Michael's sister, Judith Hoag, is an actress in the hit show “Nashville”...
Chas Winzenread, lead guitar, and a great performer with the sounds he brings into the group's songs. I love his playing! He is a super experienced musician that knows the trade and what the business is all about. He has performed all over the world and will bring that knowledge into this concert with the band. Originally a small town boy from the mid-west, Chas cut his teeth in the Hollywood/LA rock scene and played in that strange world there for some time.

Ken Bailey, drummer and vocals, and also a member of the Drummers Collective. You'll have to look that one up! LOL. This guy has done it all and has even been a session player in New York City. He was a technical director and staff drummer of one of the large studios in the metropolis. He brings his chops to Cottondale Swamp while giving them their unique swampy sound.

Finally, (from their website) Cottondale Swamp and its members have shared the stage with, opened for, or played in the bands of many of our favorite artists, including: Dickey Betts, Bellamy Brothers, Artimus Pyle, Sammy Hagar, Southern Culture on the Skids, Dale Watson, Leon Russell, Cheap Trick, Dick Dale, Melanie, Gin Blossoms, Live, Avril Lavigne, Marilyn Manson, The Fixx, and many more.

I'm gonna love leading off for them. I hope they don't bite. - Robert Lloyd


2016 - Sunshine Drenchy Records / Album: Leave Me On The Suwannee
2017 - Sunshine Drenchy Records / Single: New Shade Of Red
2018 - NEW ALBUM in JULY 2018!



Cottondale Swamp is an original Florida based Swamp Rock and Outlaw Country Band. Weeki Wachee, FL is our ground zero. Mermaid Shows and the Gulf of Mexico, it doesn't get anymore "Old Florida" than that. We play original Florida swamp rock with authentic country sensibilities and a heart of rock 'n roll. 

Cottondale Swamp plays a club dates and festivals. The band often opens for touring bands passing through the Tampa Area. Notable shows in 2018: The Kentucky Headhunters, Reckless Kelly, Melody Trucks Band, Dale Watson

Cottondale Swamp is a very entertaining band that loves to play festivals, concerts and club dates. We can play one or two sets of original music or play an all night club date that mixes up originals and interesting covers, some of which are well-known favorites and others more obscure deep cuts. We are comfortable performing on a large stage or in an intimate nightclub.

Band Members