Tripwire Blues Band
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Tripwire Blues Band

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"A trip to Memphis ahead for"

The International Blues Challenge (IBC) is an event held once a year. Blues societies from around the world hold their own competition and choose one band and or solo artist to represent them. The IBC has been going now for about 20 years.
Tripwire had its first opportunity to be a part of the IBC in 2002. They said it was a great experience to see so much talent and really get a first-hand look at what blues is from so many different perspectives. Tripwire represented the Blues Society of the Ozarks in Springfield that year and made it to the semi-final round placing in the top 20 out of about 55 to 60 other bands that made it to Memphis.
Tripwire is a three-piece band with an explosive, high-energy sound. Their members include Stoney Lee Cottengim, vocalist, bass, and harp. Jody Guy Cottengim, vocalist and drums and Nathan Bryce Melton, on vocalist and lead / rhythm guitar.
This year Tripwire won the preliminary round in Fayetteville and secured another shot at winning in the 2004 International Blues Challenge.
“Since we have been there before, we know what we need to do to have a better chance at winning,” said Stoney Cottingem.
This year the IBC competition will be a three-day event January 29 through 31, and will be held in 13 different venues all along Beale Street. This year there will be 90 different acts from all across the nation competing in solo and band divisions.
Until then, Tripwire will be performing on Friday, January 9, at the Gypsy on Dickson Street in Fayetteville. They will be recording a live album and taping an episode for the Rubber Chicken show that evening.
The main thing Tripwire wants everyone to know is how much they appreciate all the people who have supported them by coming to the shows, buying shirts or CDs, or e-mailing them with suggestions and positive feedback.
Please visit, come out, join the party, and help support the band that is representing the Ozarks Blues Society of Northwest AR in the International Blues Challenge of 2004.
- The Official Newspaper for Living, Fun & Entertainment In Northwest Arkansas

"Hometown Heroes"

The Tripwire Blues Band is a classic
three-piece Blues band featuring
Stoney Lee Cottengim (bass), Nathan
Bryce Melton (guitar) and Jody Guy
Cottengim (drums).Besides performing
Blues, Nathan and Jody Guy work daytime
“suit & tie” jobs and Stoney Lee is
finishing up his education at MSU with
a major in Music Theory.Stoney Lee and
Jody Guy grew up in a musical environment
(sons of Jimmy Guy Cottengim,
profiled in last issue of CFP) and traveled
along with their father as youngsters
(“eleven different schools while
we were growing up”).All family men,
their goal is to eventually reach a point
where they can support their families
through their musical endeavors.
CFP Midweek: When did you form?
Nathan Brice Melton (NM):We formed in
the summer of ’99.August.
Stoney Lee Cottengim (SL): Jody joined
us right at the end of 2001.
CFP: Always a three-piece?
SL: Yeah. Jacob (Hiser, 14-year-old keyboard
and electric fiddle for Johnny G
& The Allstars) was in the band for
awhile—three or four months—but
other than that we’ve always been a
three piece.
CFP: Were you in any other bands
before Tripwire?
SL: Nathan had his own band called
Loaded Dice.They did really well. Jody and I were in the Cottengim
Band (with their father, Jimmy Guy
Cottengim). Jody had a lot of bands
throughout the eighties. Rock ‘n’ roll
CFP: Do you play a lot outside of
SL:We play more outside of Springfield
than we do in town.
JG:We don’t want to wear out our welcome.
SL:We play Eureka Springs, Osage Beach
and the Lake of the Ozarks area a lot.
JG: Fayetteville (Ark.). A place called
The Gypsy And George’s. Both on
Dixon Street (University of Arkansas
hot spot).
SL: Branson a lot. Obie’s Bar-B-Que.
They’ve hosted two Blues festivals in
Branson. They have a big deck out back and do a “Blues & Bar-B-Que” on
Sundays. Around Springfield,
Bumstead’s and Casey’s have been big
supporters. We play both of those
places when we’re in town.
CFP: You play a more rock…
SL: More of a modern electric blues. We are trying to get a
younger generation, our generation,
into it. Like a Kenny Wayne Shepherd, johny Lang
JG: We really do love playing that
CFP:You put a lot of showmanship into
your stage performance. Playing guitar
behind your back and that sort of
thing. It’s pretty amazing how well you
do that. Is it done purely for crowd
NM: That and it feels good. It feels good
to do it. I just do it when I feel like it.
SL: Doing it and really pulling it off are
two different things. Nathan can
pull it off. That’s something that we,
Tripwire, have had to endure from a
number of judges in Blues competitions—
that we have too many gimmicks.
From the suits and the hats that
we wear to the way we play. Some
judges have even suggested that we’re
very arrogant the way we come across
on stage.
JG: Some say we carry ourselves with a
swagger. Define that word. Some people
consider that arrogant, some think
of it as confidence.
SL: I think in reality, it’s passion. We
have a passion for music that you rarely
JG:We’re not bringing rabbits and hats
and a magic act to the show. But we do
bring talent and enthusiasm. But honestly,
if we were to take that into a bigger
city with a wider mind frame it
might not be thought of as a negative.
It might be thought of as a positive.We,
by no means, have ever presented ourselves
as arrogant.But when you’re 6’8”
and 6’6” and you have a guitar player
who can play with his teeth and you
dress-up sharp and you’re not showing
up in jeans… We work hard and we
work professionally and we rehearse.
And we do have beginnings and endings. I think a lot of what is
being interpreted as “arrogant” is, in
reality, confidence.We get on stage and
we are very confident.That comes from
being very well rehearsed and working
hard. If there is any way to get this
across to people, I hope it can be done.
If the Tripwire Blues Band’s show
during the Memphis Bound competition
is any indication, not to mention
how amiable and friendly they were
during the course of this interview, any
accusations of arrogance are completely
misplaced. What I witnessed was a
band who obviously had worked
extremely hard to give a tight and
enjoyable performance. As for the suits
and hats, any judge who thinks that
dressing up for the stage is a gimmick
probably shouldn’t be judging a Blues
competition. It’s not a gimmick. It’s a
tradition.When is the last time you saw
B.B. King show up in jeans and a flannel
shirt? - CFP-Bill Glauhn

"Cd Review"

By Cornbread

Tripwire – Get It On

Get It On marks the debut release for Tripwire, the smokin’ hot blues trio from Springfield, Missouri. The rhythm section is made up of brothers Stoney Lee Cottengim (bass, harp & vocals) and Jody Guy Cottengim (drums & vocals) leaving Nathan Boyce Melton on guitar and vocals. These dudes are good, real good. I had opportunity to catch them live in St. Louis for the Blues Royale. While this CD is really good it doesn’t compare to the live show these three put on. Melton can tear that strat up like it’s nobodies business. The Cottengim Brothers are tight and do a great job filling the blanks and giving Nathan plenty of room to roam.

I really get a thrill hearing a new CD like this – whatta’ rush. I think these guys are outstanding and are one of the best blues bands to come from Missouri! Albert King once said “If you don't dig the Blues you gotta have a hole in your soul!" This is in your face intense blues – you gotta like it otherwise, you need help.

Ciao' for now, peace.
Peter 'Cornbread' Cohen, CBP
~ ~



2001 Tripwire - Live at the Players Club
2005 Tripwire - Get It On



Tripwire formed in the summer of '99. Performing with the showmanship, intensity, and energy of souls on fire, Tripwire continues to carry on the blues tradition, performing as headliners, as well as sharing the bill with some of the most popular names in the business. The band also finds time in their busy schedule to perform at some of the regions biggest charity events, promoting awareness of the blues while raising money for many various charitable organizations and blues society projects.