The Chasers
Gig Seeker Pro

The Chasers

Band Country Americana


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


The best kept secret in music


"The Chasers - CD Review"

"My momma, she's a waitress and my daddy, he's a truck driver…" opens the Chasers' song "Country To The Bone." The tune might as well be their anthem. From the start, the band has been about returning to the heyday of Nashville; their debut album reflects that goal well, as there are plenty of songs about heartache, women and drinkin'. Anyone who's ever heard a Merle Haggard or George Jones country ballad can instantly imagine what a song called "I'd Do It Right This Time" sounds like, even if they've never heard it - and the Chasers flesh that out perfectly, from the opening, lazy strings to the song's booming chorus.

While there are plenty of tunes to bring a tear to your beer (which oughta' be domestic, cheap and plentiful if you're setting the tone for this record), the highlights are really the more up-beat songs on the album. The first, "Sad Song," is anything but what its title would lead you to believe. Singer Clay Leverett recounts the joy of singing along to the saddest of songs at a bar with the enthusiasm of anyone who's grown up with ‘70's country surrounding them. You get the sense that's how he learned to sing (though given his age, likely not at a bar).

Songs like "Love Is Blind," the aforementioned "Country To The Bone," and even the slightly silly "Catfish Mouth" keep up the pace of the album all the way through the closing song — a spot-on version of Waylon Jennings' "I've Always Been Crazy," surprisingly the only cover on Volume 1. And though the overall tone of the record is more self-aware than the country stars of days' past, the Chasers' musicianship, songwriting and even the vocals are good enough to stand among what would've been the band's ‘70s contemporaries.

Will Brooks
- Flagpole Magazine, Athens GA

"If That Ain't Country, Well...."

Clay Leverett has come close to finding the working musician's equivalent of driving a new car every day of the week. Leverett's currently a member of three local bands that have three distinctively different things going on. His rocking flagship band Lona has hung in there through lineup shifts and other conflicts and is currently preparing its second release, while Now It's Overhead - the dreamy, atmospheric project featuring Leverett and Andy LeMaster - has been overseas opening shows on the European leg of R.E.M.'s Around the Sun tour.

The dark horse - or black sheep, as it were - in the Leverett canon, then, is the Chasers. The genesis of this hardcore country act was Clay Leverett's Blue Ribbon Grin which became a gang of friends playing classic country songs care of Haggard, Jones and Cash, as well as a few originals in the lovin', leavin' and lyin' vein. Not very much except the name has changed in terms of presentation since those days. The Chasers are still a bunch of guys playing sad country songs and they're still the kind of band that's as in sync with a crowd like that of Foxz or Mel's Place as with patrons of the 40 Watt or Tasty World.

"My first country show was George Jones with John Anderson," remembers Leverett. "Shortly after that, I began writing that kind of song. So, there's really about 10 years worth of them by now. Some of the stuff that's on the record, we've been finishing up dates back that far, actually."

Also featuring Lona guitarist and Chase Park denizen Marcus Thompson, bassist Dave Gilliard, drummer Jeff Simpson and steel guitar man John Neff, the Chasers have been at work with David Barbe wrapping up work on the forthcoming full-length album The Chasers. Leverett's appreciation for classic country has occasionally shown up in the Lona repertoire, most notably with the live favorite "Love County" which was a highlight of Lona's 2001 To the Nth album. The Chasers, though, serve it up straight with little regard for augmenting the simple whiskey + women = woe equation that is honky-tonk country's mother seed.

"We're nearly finished with the record," notes Thompson. "It's pretty busy at Chase Park these days, so we're getting it in there when we're able. David [Barbe] recorded the basic tracks and is mixing the record. Dave [Gilliard], Andy LeMaster and myself have also done some work on it at various locations. It's chock full of megahits, I promise."

"Most of our songs have titles like ‘That New Slow One' or ‘The One With Three Verses' so I can't really be too specific about a track listing or anything like that," he continues. "It's basically the originals that have been in the set for a while and perhaps a cover thrown in there, too. It'll be something wholesome and reassuring, believe me. We've lost gigs because we're supposedly ‘not family-friendly,' what with every song being about drinking or women, or drinking and women. We have to watch out for that kind of stuff."

Actually, the goods on the upcoming disc look more like this: a heroic dose of Leverett's heartbreakin' originals, a new one penned by Thompson and one cover, thus far, of Waylon Jennings' "I've Always Been Crazy." Some of the cloudy water will likely be cleared up by the band's current run of shows. With Now It's Overhead back from Europe, Leverett plans to take the Chasers out on the town more often than usual, and may also add several solo shows; he was to open for David Allan Coe at the end of March until the redneck outlaw turned in a last-minute cancellation.

"This'll be the first Chasers album and we've been working on it off and on for over a year," says Leverett. "That's basically my fault for being in two other bands that've been touring a little bit this past year. But the Chasers have been trying to make it down to Atlanta and elsewhere more often. Whenever I've been home, we try to take off and play somewhere. So before the record comes out, we're gonna try and play a show or two somewhere in town every week. It might be Foxz, it might be the Caledonia, but it'll be somewhere!"

Michael Andrews
- Will Brooks, Flagpole

"Show Review Sept 2005"

Who better to open up for Shooter Jennings on Thursday, Sept. 22 at the 40 Watt than our own hard-rocking country group The Chasers? Clay Leverett's vocals range from warm, high and strong to deep-down and dirty, creating so much old-school country charm that it's almost enough to make you cry. The Chasers material is heavily reliant on classic standards like "Country to the Bone," but the sound has such depth and character that you can't help but be drawn in by its pull. Local pedal steel legend John Neff is out of the lineup tonight, but in his place, and pouring out great country licks, is Dave Marr (ex-Star Room Boys), and providing the honky-tonk guitar hooks is Marcus Thompson (Still Small Voice & The Joyful Noise), while Dave Gilliard (The Hoggy Bottom Boys) thumps out those classic country bass lines, rounding out the shuffling beats of Jeff Simpson. I've known for a long time that Clay Leverett was a great performer, and tonight he just reinforces how much of a consummate showman he is.

Ben Gerrard (September 2005) - Flagpole Magazine, Athens, GA


The Chasers - Volume 1 (2005)


Feeling a bit camera shy


OK.. So Athens, GA, with its glorious history of rock music, is probably the last place you'd look for a honkin country band right?? WRONG!! That's where The Chasers come in... Consisting of current and former mebers of bands like..Lona, The Drive-By Truckers, and The Star Room Boys...these guys are all about bringing back the country gold of years past. Sounding more like Haggard and Jones than Brooks and Dunn, The Chasers specialize in pedal steel driven bar room swingers and heartrbreak ballads. They are equally at home in a music "venue" or a down and dirty honky tonk. Spend an evening with these guys and you will want to run out and buy a Best of George Jones cd the very next morning! Bring on the PBR and make it cold!!!