Covert Operations
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Covert Operations

Band Rock Reggae


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The best kept secret in music


"Covert Happenings"

Covert Operations By Nick Brandon
GO & DO Editor » See more local bands

The members: Covert Operations is Dallas Barr (guitar, banjo and vocals) from Brighton, Derek Young (keys, synthesizer, guitar and vocals) from Flint, Damon Young (drums, percussion, vocals) from Flint, Alastair Nix (bass) a native of England who lives in Oxford, Kedree Young (guitar, mandolin, banjo and vocals) from Flint and Marc Dixon (drums and percussion) from Flint.

The history: Based around the Young brothers Derek, Damon and Kedree, the group formed in April 2003. With ears trained from singing in church growing up, the trio’s harmonies are tight and well practiced. After meeting Nix at a Indiana campground, he was next to join Cover Operations due to an obvious chemistry with Kedree — the next piece, Barr, met Damon through work (and a loaned Phish tape), and, urged by a fan of the band, joined in March 2004. Finally, Dixon’s energetic percussion style completed the lineup, and the band had its first show as a sextet at the Soggy Bottom in Flint soon after.

What's up with the name: The name was picked because the three Young brothers grew up on Covert Street in Flint, and according to Barr, live by that motto.

The style: Covert Operations freely admits to being a jam band, first and foremost. As a group, its three favorite acts are Grateful Dead, Phish and The String Cheese Incident, but they also are inspired by Bob Marley and The Allman Brothers Band too.

“It’s funny though, we have so many influences that we are unique,” said Barr. “Our shows are like a roller coaster ride from one style to the next.”

Got anything recorded? The guys are recording at North Coast Productions in Brighton, and once finished will be sold through the group’s official Web site found at for $15.

“Just wait and see how much creativity we are pouring into our debut album,” Barr promises.

Tell us your future? “Music is everything to us — it’s all we want to do, it’s all we will do,” Barr said. “We have sacrificed so much to get where we are.

“We realize we are here for this reason and we won’t stop until we are on top.”


- Go and Do, Detroit

"Their journey to 10klf, 2005"

Check out - Covert Operations
Sunday, July 10, 2005
By Nikki Poisson

HOME BASE: Flint. Flushing. Brighton. Oxford. Take your pick. One thing’s for sure: Wherever this band calls home, its loyal following isn’t far behind.

STAFF:The Young brothers, Derek (Hammond organ, piano and vocals); Damon (drums and vocals) and Kedree (guitar and vocals); Dallas Barr (guitar and vocals); Allistair Nix (bass); Marc Dixon (percussion); Mike Even (sound).

SOUNDS LIKE: The group cites influences ranging from Phish to the Allman Brothers to James Taylor. “It’s hard to compare us to any one particular band because we all have our different influences. We have a really unique sound,” Damon says.

ON THEIR POTENTIAL "BIG BREAK": The Covert operators were chosen from dozens of bands across the nation to play the 10,000 Lakes Festival in Minnesota, with the Black Crowes and G. Love. “It’s like my dream is coming true,” says Damon. “I’m sure I speak for the rest of the band when I say it’s been a long time comin’! To all of us, this is kind of our big break. Having been chosen is just a blessing, not to mention a huge surprise. Regardless, we’re really grateful for this opportunity, and will not let our fans down at our performance.”

ON THEIR NAME: “The band name was an idea that I threw out there after the split up of (our) old band because it was down to just us three brothers in the band,” Damon says. “We all grew up on Covert Road, and we like calling our shows operations, hence Covert Operations.”

ON TOURING AND DEDICATED FANS: Covert shows are full of heart, soul and devoted fans. “We are trying to make this our full-time jobs because of our love for music and all of the great things surrounding it, so we’d play 24/7 if we could,” Damon explains. As for the following? “We are a band committed to our fans! The stage is home to all of us and we want nothing more than to share in the groove with those fans!”

LOVE YOU LIVE: Covert Operations jams on July 16 at Rendezvous on the Grand in Lansing; July 21 at Mo Doggie’s in Fenton; July 22-24 at the 10,000 Lakes Music Festival in Detroit Lakes, Minn. (it plays The Saloon there on July 23); and Aug. 2 at The Intersection in Grand Rapids.

FOR YOUR EARS: Covert Operations’ long-awaited studio-produced CD has finally arrived. Recorded in Brighton at North Coast Productions, it’s available at any live show or through the band’s Web site. Plus, a live self-titled CD will be available beginning July 21 at Mo Doggie’s.

NET WORKS: - Flint Journal


Currently Covert Operations is filtering through all of the 100 shows they played in 2006 and building a double live album. Covert Operations released their first full length album the same day they played at the 10klf music festival on Saturday, July 2005. The band has 3 songs that are streamed from Internet Radio. Also, they rotate songs on the ever popular for fans to keep the grooving fresh!

Covert Ops has had local radio play at various colleges like U of M, MSU, Western Michigan and lately have been getting there live show recordings played every Friday at Northwestern college (90.7) in Traverse City, Michigan! Covert Operations has also been played and interviewed on 93.5 whmi, Flint Banana and the monstrous Mitch Album show (760 am).


Feeling a bit camera shy


The band is a five piece centered on a three-brother core consisting of Derek, Damon and Kedree Young. All three brothers are singer/songwriters. They grew up on Covert Road and grew up gospel! Drawing largely on three-part gospel harmony, they bring a refreshing change from the vocally challenged bands of yesterday. All three brothers play multiple instruments too, so it's not surprising to see them change things up from time to time. Its quite awesome to see how they become one on stage!

On bass guitar, Alastair Nix has impeccable talent and grooves it in to your bones. He is a large reason why people leave shows soaked from head to toe and consider Covert Ops their own personal “weight loss program”. Thankfully, Al is also very handy with the soldering iron and is a backbone of Covert Operations.

Dallas Barr is the fourth singer/songwriter in the band and has such a quirky side to it all. Dallas for the most part of the night paints pretty pictures and melts your face with his electric guitars and tone to the bone. People say Dallas is their favorite to watch…oh those facial expressions and frontal flashes!

Nixon is the silent 6th member of Covert Operations and has to be the most awesome sole on planet Earth right now. He does the bands sound at live shows, programs and runs the bands light shows, drives the van and trailer to gigs, designs all the art and text placement on the Covert Flyers, roadies and most of all REALLY CARES!

Selling Merchandise is key to a bands success and Covert Ops uses Todd Weber. What a guy - a class act. Weber has more ideas and awesome humor then can be mentioned. He is so entertaining - you should visit him at a show (and buy something)! He coined the "F.O.Cers" (Fans of Covert) slogan and will probably end up getting rich off of it.

Paul North and his family are a true blessing as well. Paul runs the official website. Paul had no idea how to program "HTML" (a language used in website creation) but was so inspired by the band that he learned how to do it and built Covert's site. The site is going on three years now!

Covert Operations gear is pro and can provide an incredible sound system and light show! The band has been told numerous times that their sound is unique, unmistakable and even “cutting edge”! Their first album (self titled) was completed the summer of 2005 right before they played at the amazing 10,000 Lakes Music Festival in Minnesota. They really enjoyed sharing the festival with amazing acts like Trey, Les Claypool, Widespread, Buckethead and Cyro Baptista! Covert has played many other festivals and this is really the direction the band wants to follow. Covert has built up quite a vault of live recordings and will be putting some together to sell. really needs to be updated by the way! GEEZE!

As of late, Covert Operations has been putting larger shows together, renting out halls and theaters and packing fans in. When you see “Covert Party” on the schedule, you will know that all the stops are being pulled. It will be the show of shows and the party wont stop when the music does.