Sweet Water Junction Band...a family tradition since 1949
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Sweet Water Junction Band...a family tradition since 1949

Rutherfordton, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1978 | INDIE

Rutherfordton, North Carolina, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1978
Band Country Cover Band

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August 2008
Two months ago I saw a Fabulous Band called "SWEET WATER JUNCTION BAND".
I haven't been able to stop telling my friends about this band, because they're just that good. Anytime I get goose bumps and the hair stands up on my arms, hearing a song or a band, it or they, have gone to No. 1. Well, I get that same feeling with SWEET WATER JUNCTION BAND. This band could win any nomination category in the BMAs (BREVARD LIVE MUSIC AWARDS), especially, ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR, "with no problem", they're that good and that talented.
They're an "all family band", and multi-talented. Once this band gets known, they will be very, very popular and hard to book because everyone will want them at their venue.
I've listened and watched live music in Brevard since 1968 and every so often a Band comes along that is just very unique and very special. This Band is just that; a very special Band. You can see their website on www.spacecoastlive.com and also at www.sweetwaterjunctionband.com and www.myspace.com/sweetwaterjunctionband

I truly hope you will go and see them when booked in your area because this band is simply remarkable!

Written By: Billy Rigg
321-259-6560
- EM


June 2008
I have seen many musical groups rise and fall over the last thirty three years of my career. I am always looking for something special that goes beyond the normal standard with regard to talent, presentation, and attitude from any artist or a band I encounter. When done right, music has a magic breaking the barriers of language and culture. It has the potential to heal or destroy your day, week, or even your life if you allow it to. Because of this love I have for music I make it a point to write about anything special when it shows up. This letter is about one very special musical family.

The Sweet Water Junction Band is loaded with history and culture. The band consists exclusively of all family members starting with the father and includes five of his children and one son in law he affectionately refers to as Billy Bob. These “children” range from 22 to 30+ years of age and are an extremely talented group of adults. There are two other family members, the mother and another daughter which work behind the scenes providing technical assistance for the group. What you get when you see and hear this group, is over one hundred years of combined experience producing a tight blend of instrumentation and vocals.

The year 1995 through 2001 this family traveled the nation with their own music, and released several songs to the radio industry. Those releases charted in such areas as the European Christian Country Charts along with hitting the top 10 in segments of the Georgia and Tennessee radio markets. Currently performing Classic Country, Modern Country, and Southern Rock in the state of Florida, they hope to once again expand their performance area. They have recently released two songs to the market, Cardboard Box and Beverly’s Hill. These two songs display the group’s versatility as Cardboard Box is Modern Country style while Beverly’s Hill is a folk / Bluegrass ballad.

This band has awesome style, vocals, and a hard driving attitude that will keep you on the edge of your seat and amazed. If you get a chance to check this band out you won’t regret it.

Written by; CMH
- Local town paper


Local Country Band Sweet Water Junction Band, gives new meaning to the phrase "family affair". With a history dating back to the late 1940's, the nine-member band has developed a sound that only a true family could produce. Raised on country music, Indiana native, David McDowell followed in his father's footsteps and created the Sweet Water Junction Band in 1979, a high energy country and southern rock group,which he lead alongside two other musicians. During its run, Mr McDowell's wife, Sherry, ran the band's lighting and sound operations. Eight years later, the McDowells decided to pack up and move to the Space Coast, where they spent the next few years raising eight children - all of whom developed a flair for music. In 1995, the entire family started off on a seven year music tour, singing and playing their own brand of Southern Gospel music. They performed at hundreds of churches, festivals and concert halls throughout the entire country, performing alongside some of the most popular names in the Gospel music industry. In 2002 the family returned home to Brevard where - between Titusville and Palm Bay - they all reside today. In between all of the weddings, children and grandchildren, the band formed once again - this time going back to Mr. McDowell's country roots. Sweet Water Junction Band is still led by Mr. McDowell, who plays rhythm guitar and shares vocals with each member of the band. Joining him is eldest son, Shaun McDowell on bass guitar, daughter Tasha McDowell Wadsworth on keyboard, son Sheldon McDowell on Drums, son Chase McDowell on fiddle, mandolin and lead guitar, daughter Reshana McDowell McGatha on percussion and Tim McGatha - Reshana's husband - on lead guitar. Other members of the McDowell Family still play a role behind the scenes of the band. Daughters Chandy and Chelsey McDowell run lighting for the group, while Chandy's husband, Jerry Reichert, is in charge of sound. "It's definitely a family affair," said Mrs. McDowell, who retired in January after serving 31 years as the band's sound manager. "It's been a journey since the beginning." Because of its strong family ties, the band brings something unique to the table, to which most audiences can relate to, Mrs. McDowell said. "They still have their little fights like most families do, but there's this charisma between them that really shows in their music." she said. "I've always dreamed of having a close-knit family and I got so much more than that." Sweet Water Junction Band has written several original songs in it's career, but is known for covering more than 90 popular country and southern rock hits. The band is known for its energetic performances and crowd-pleasing tunes. The members of the Sweet Water Junction Band said they are looking forward to performing at this year's Strawberry Festival March 9. "We love playing festivals because there is always such a wide-variety of people who come out to watch," Mrs. McDowell said. "There's a lot of fun that comes along with it." For information about Sweet Water Junction Band, visit www.sweetwaterjunctionband.com.

March 6, 2009 - Hometown News by Tammy Roberts March 6, 2009


SWEET WATER JUNCTION
This is a true Thanksgiving story. The Sweet Water Junction Band presents three generations of family tradition. Grandfather
Porter McDowell started this musical tradition in Indiana, and it became a part of American
music history. Page 11

Page11…
Nov. 7 At Space Coast State Fair
Nov. 8 At Space Coast Harley
All Aboard! This train takes you through the family history of Porter McDowellfrom Patesville Kentucky, who left home in 1931 during the Great Depression, worked his way through Seattle, Chicago, Illinois and ended up in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
There he called for his family to move up from Kentucky to this “prosperous” industrial
city, which they did. They left their home behind but took along the music they grew up with, and it became a family tradition!
Porter started playing home grown bluegrass music with his family when he was a child in Kentucky. Those were the days of the front porch gatherings which produced some of the finest talent that still influences our
music today. There was no television in those days and only the wealthy could afford a radio, so a community
would gather at a neighbor’s house and entertain one another. After arriving in Fort Wayne Porter decided to
work with a band to make some extra money and that was the start of a legend. In 1949 he started the roots of
Sweet Water Junction Band. He performed on the historical live Chicago radio station WLS, for the National Barn Dance. Porter was also a regular every Saturday morning on Fort Wayne, Indiana’s WOWO live country music program. He played with some of the legendary greats from those days like Roy Rogers, Tex Ritter, Little Jimmy Dickens, Carl Smith, Porter Waggoner, Roy Acuff, and Ferlin Husky to name a few. Porter helped develop the historical Buck Lake Ranch in Angola Indiana, and was also a Co-writer of a song that Tex
Ritter had charted in 1951. Today Porter’s name is in the Old Country Music Hall of Fame as one of the early pioneers of country music. He’s the grandfather of Sweet Water Junction Band. Porter’s son David McDowell was surrounded by the musical influence of his father as he grew up. In his early twenties, he met Nashville songwriter, Billy Nix who had a group called Billy Nix and the Ideals, and Dave started playing bass for him. During the mid 70’s David met and married his present wife, SherryJo. Then in late 1979 Dave started his own country/southern rock band called “Sweet Water Junction”. This band proved to be a popular, high energy country band in that tri-state area. David played lead guitar, sang bass and shared lead vocals with Sam Moffett Jr, the bass player, and Scott Page, the drummer. His wife, SherryJo ran the lights and sound board. The Sweet Water Junction Band has a past career that included working with many other Country artists, some as well known as Dave Dudley, Del Reeves, Sonny Wright and Peggy Sue Webb, sister of Loretta Lynn. In 1987, Dave, while continuing in music, moved his family from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Sunny Florida.
continued page 13

Page 13 conti...Sweet Water Junction Band
Through-out this musical journey and move, David and SherryJo kept busy raising eight beautiful children. Although still interested in music after their move, most of their time was spent in raising the children. With the older children being musically inclined, in 1995 the entire family started off on a faith journey that lasted six and a half years as they traveled throughout the nation. During this time, known widely as The McDowell Family, they were singing and playing their own brand of, mostly original, along with some old favorite Southern Gospel tunes. They performed in hundreds of churches, festivals, and concert halls throughout
the United States. During this time they recorded seven musical projects and appeared with some well known National Gospel Groups such as The Hoppers, The McKiethens, John Rowsey with New Journey, The Freemans, Phiefers, The Wisnauts, The Primitive Quartet, Kirk Talley, and countless regional groups. As the children grew up and married, they again settled in Florida in 2001. Today this talented family is still busy at work performing primarily in Florida and Southern Georgia. They are in the process of expanding their performance area once again. In 2002 they changed the format of their music, going back to the father’s original roots of Country. They perform some of the best in hot kickin’ Country & Southern Rock. Their song
selections come from new and classic country, to southern rock and a little variety of some all time favorites. Performing popular cover songs, they are also busy working on two projects titled “Around the Bend” and “Sometimes it’s Blue”. Both are under the Tradition record label. These days, Sweet Water Junction includes Sheldon Mc-Dowell (drums), Chase McDowell (fiddle/mandolin/guitar/lead vocals) Dave McDowell (rhythm guitar/bass vocals), Shaun McDowell (bass guitar/lead vocals), Reshana Mc-Dowe - Brevard Live Entertainment Magazine


Shake, Rattle & Know: Sweet Water Junction Band
An impressive ensemble
By Mike Nunez
Special to Metromix
July 31, 2009
On the Web: www.sweetwaterjunctionband.com

The Sweet Water Junction Band may just now be making a splash on the local music scene, but the band has been an important part of Amusic history for more than 60 years. The band started in Kentucky with Porter McDowell in 1949. Playing hard and making a name for himself, Porter introduced his son David to the world of music, and the foundation for the Sweet Water Junction Band was set.

Today, the band includes Sheldon McDowell (drums), Chase McDowell (fiddle/mandolin/guitar/lead vocals) Dave McDowell (rhythm guitar/bass vocals), Shaun McDowell (bass guitar/lead vocals), Reshana McDowell McGatha (percussion/lead vocals), Tim McGatha (lead guitar), Tasha McDowell Wadsworth (piano/lead vocals) Jason Wadsworth (stage tech), Chandy McDowell Reichert (lighting) and Jerry Reichert (sound). Together they form an impressive ensemble, full of character and with a massive arsenal of harmonies. I spoke with Sherry McDowell, Dave’s wife and mother of the McDowell clan, about the band, family dynamic and the history of the band. So let’s Shake, Rattle & Know: Sweet Water Junction Band.
SRK: It is tough to keep all the members in a three- or four-member group happy. How do you keep a seven-piece band in check?

McDowell: It is very tough, and being that we are all family, it can be even tougher. One thing that makes it easier for us than other bands is the fact that we have a bond that goes far beyond the music alone. The dad (Dave) makes the final decisions. Everyone gives great creative input, and their opinions are valued, but at the end of the day, one person has the last say. You don’t get that in a lot of bands, and I think everyone needs one person to turn to in order to make the decisions you may not otherwise make as a group.

SRK: Has Brevard been receptive to country music, or is it challenging to find an audience?

McDowell: Brevard hasn’t been as receptive as we would like. Being that we are in a beach community, there is a lot of genres of music that are more popular here than country music. It isn’t as if we are rejected anywhere we go, it’s just the community isn’t as receptive as in other areas.

SRK: The band is all connected in some way. Can you tell me the relationships within the band?

McDowell: The band originally started in 1949 with David’s father (Porter McDowell). Our three sons (Sheldon, Shaun and Chase) are in the band, our daughter Tasha, (who) just had a baby, is in the band, as well as our other daughter Reshana. Our daughter Chandy handles lighting. Our son-in-law Tim plays guitar. Another son-in-law, Jerry, helps on sound and son-in-law Jason Wadsworth is a stage tech.

SRK: And other than being Mom, what role do you play in the band?

McDowell: My role has been sound support, but I’m retiring from that role and handing it over to our son-in-law. I do all the bookings, promotions, Web site, set-up and footwork for the band. I get a say in how the final product looks on stage and the atmosphere of the show. We started our publishing company (Golden Star Music) in 1983 and our production company (HIS Productions Inc.) in 1997, so I serve in a variety of capacities within the band. SRK: Up until recently, you primarily were a cover band, but you’ve started writing original music. What inspired the switch?

McDowell: We haven’t really switched; we are still a cover band. We only perform a couple of originals now. We realize we have a lot of talent inside this band that is being stifled by only doing other peoples’ music. Behind the scenes, we are doing our own thing and will introduce more originals slowly. We have a couple projects in the works that will feature all original music. We will take things one song at a time.

SRK: Who are some of the other local bands you follow when not playing yourself?

McDowell: We are always doing something with the family, so we don’t have a lot of time to check out other bands. When we do, we follow The Last Chance Band, Steve Thorpe, Showdown and a few others.

SRK: With a band as large as yours, how do you balance everyone’s schedule?

McDowell: We always practice once a week. If we aren’t performing a show, we still do family stuff together. Everyone loves the music so much that it isn’t difficult to keep people dedicated and keeping with a schedule. Sometimes we may have to change a day or shuffle things around a little, but that’s rarely a problem.

An impressive ensemble
By Mike Nunez

- Florida Today Newspaper, TGIF


Discography

Project One: " Around The Bend" If you have read the history of the SWJ Band you will understand the meaning behind the title "Around the Bend" for this project. For a sneak peek at this project check out the tunes; "It all Comes Back To Me" or "Prove Me Wrong". A collection of original tunes sure to to entertain you from one of the best Country/Southern Family groups in America today ! Look for this project release to appear this winter 2013!
Project Two: "Sometimes it's Blue" Already working on their next project, the title tells it all. Including original tunes this project centers around Blue. The color blue, the mood blue, even a flare of bluegrass will be found on a song from this project, slightly different but never-the-less entertaining ! Look for this one to be out by Summer of 2013. For a sneek-peek check out the songs; Beverly's Hill or Cardboard Box which are included on this project.

All singles released at this time have streaming and radio airplay.

For more video clips and audio demos go to :
www.sweetwaterjunctionband.com
or www.reverbnation.com/sweetwaterjunctionband

Photos

Bio

THERE REALLY IS FAMILY & LOTS OF TRADITION SURROUNDING THE GROUP, SWEET WATER JUNCTION BAND ...TOUCHING THE PAST, THE PRESENT & THE FUTURE WITH MUSIC.....Sweet Water Junction Band is proud of it's history. In fact there is so much history to this family band that it can't be written in one letter. This page will go back to the very start of this band's musical journey. It all started with David McDowell's father Porter McDowell. On February 29, 1916 Porter was born in the small community of Patesville Kentucky. Porter was raised with three brothers & two sisters and got his education working in the family coal mine. During the Great Depression at the age of fifteen Porter left home by hopping a freight train (which was common practice during the depression) & joined the CCC in Seattle, Washington. This was one of President Roosevelt's New Deal plans to help people help themselves during the harshest of economic times. After Seattle Porter set out for the Midwest, he worked his way through Chicago, Illinois and in 1936 ended up in Fort Wayne, IN. There he called for his family to move up from Kentucky to this "prosperous" industrial city, which they did. Porter had started playing home grown bluegrass music with his family when he was a child in Kentucky. Those were the days of the front porch gatherings which produced some very awesome talent that still influences our music today. Keep in mind there was no television in those days & only the well off could afford a radio, so a community would gather at a neighbor's house and entertain themselves. After arriving in Ft Wayne Porter decided to work with a band to make some extra money & that was the start of a legend. By 1949 Porter was working with bands that opened doors & future possibilities for his son, David, as he started his career in music. Porter along with "SLIM" Adams performed many times on the historical live Chicago radio station WLS, for the National Barn Dance. Porter was also a regular every Sat. morning on Ft Wayne, Indiana's WOWO live country music program & radio station WANE with band members, "Slim" Adams & Johnny Loveday.. He played with some of the legendary greats from those days like Roy Rogers, Tex Ritter, Little Jimmy Dickens, Carl Smith, Porter Waggoner, Roy Acuff, & Ferlin Husky to name a few. Porter along with "SLIM" appeared many times at the historical Buck Lake Ranch in Angola IN. Porter was also a Co-writer of a song that Tex Ritter had charted in 1951. Before the fire and move to the new building, Porter's name was in the Old Country Music Hall of Fame as one of the early pioneers of country music. When you would listen to some of the stories that Porter had to share you could hear history in the making. He used to say "We traveled with a five piece band in a 1941 Packard Hearse with my old stand up bass fiddle stuffed in the back". My, how times have changed. Porter McDowell is the Grandfather of the Sweet Water Junction Band. If you take time to really listen to this excellent family's music, you will hear the product of those seeds that he planted so many years ago. History is still in the process of being made...   for the rest of the story go to www.sweetwaterjunctionband.com/david.html