The WaCo Ramblers
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The WaCo Ramblers

Band Americana Bluegrass


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"Unplugged or Not, WaCo Ramblers Are Electric"

The WaCo Ramblers’ rhythm guitar-brandishing front man Jeremiah Campbell, a/k/a “The Red Rocket,” steps back while the other musicians warm up outside Blue Mountain Beach’s Chateau de Vin. If they sound this good jamming, I can’t wait to check them out inside.

“When we started, there were four of us,” Campbell says. “We were doing strictly traditional bluegrass and string band stuff.” Eventually, other influences speckled in. “I like country. The guitar player is into old school rock, and the fiddle player is into punk.” Put it all together and you have the WaCo—Walton County, get it?—Ramblers.

The Ramblers spun off from two groups — the Schedule 3 Hard Strung Band and Flatland Revival. “We conjoined the two and never looked back,” Campbell says. The new band’s energetic sets include traditional string band, jug band, and mountain music. Their original songs fit right in with chestnuts like Bill Monroe’s Fire on the Mountain, re-dubbed Fire on Blue Mountain for the locals. “I grew up on the outskirts of every town I lived in. There’s no secret where we get that from.” I assume Campbell is referring to the band’s authentic rootsy style—these guys would get Jed Clampitt and his kin into their Sunday clothes easy. Listening to the WaCo Ramblers is like being sucked into a time machine, one from which you pray there is no escape.

The Ramblers formed six months ago as a four-piece with Jared Reynolds on fiddle, Bud Dillard on mandolin, and Brian Wise playing lead guitar. Banjo player Dan “Danjo” Costello came along in July, and Neil Sebree of the now-defunct Space Medicine strapped on his electric bass a couple months ago. The WaCo Ramblers played their first gig at an Easter Sunday birthday party for Joleen Jones of the Sweater Puppets.

Since then, they’ve worked steadily — at Bitburger, Scully’s, Grayton Beach’s Pandora’s, the “HalloWaCoween Bash” with Reed Waddle at the new Funky Blues Shack at Baytowne Wharf, and what Campbell calls “smaller, intimate gigs.”

It doesn’t get much more intimate than Chateau de Vin, a smallish but friendly bar on Scenic 30A, where more than a few patrons use the narrow space to get their dance on. I’m impressed with the Ramblers’ harmony singing and the individual players’ prowess. Campbell sings about cocaine, the devil, and “a dirty, slimy, naughty old bear”—his voraciousness suggests he’s spent as much time listening to rock and blue-eyed soul as his “beloved country music.” Reynolds steps up to sing Mountain Dew, a hillbilly staple that is not about the popular soft drink.

“We’ll have a record out sometime in March,” Campbell promises. “We finally have our lineup secure, so we can evolve our sound, start delving into some s--- people don’t expect us to do.”

Fans can keep up with this exhilarating group by logging on to The page has already gotten over 6000 hits — very few of those from the band members themselves, Campbell is quick to point out. “We wouldn’t be out here dickin’ off if people didn’t like us,” he says. “People are definitely diggin’ on it.” - Chris Manson of The Beachcomber

"High Octane Bluegrass"

SANTA ROSA BEACH - The WaCo Ramblers – a high octane, rowdy bluegrass band – has the right mix of personality, good looks and talent.

The WaCo Ramblers include the musical talents of:

Jeremiah Campbell , the big, tall, rugged and handsome, rhythm guitar playing, lead singer called “Red Rocket.”
Jerad “T-Bone” Reynolds , the punk rock pretty boy who sings tenor vocals and plays a mean fiddle.
Neil Sebree , the fun-loving hippie called “Teddy Bear,” plays the bass and sings.
Bud Dillard , the young, non-threatening college student, plays mandolin, fiddle and sings.
Dan Costello , the clean-cut, self-proclaimed math geek, plays the five-string banjo and goes by “Danjo.”
Brian Wise , the wild man with a wooly red beard known as “B. Wise,” plays lead guitar.
In the beginning
In 2005, the WaCo Ramblers did not yet exist but the musical talents were already in the works.

Jeremiah and Jerad started performing together in a three-piece band called “The Schedule Three Hardstring Band.” Brian and Bud played together in the “Flatland Revival Band.”

Jeremiah, Jerad, Brian and Bud knew each other from the local music scene and decided to play together at the Mossy Head festival on April Fool’s Day in 2006. On Easter Sunday, they performed at the SeaBar and did a “Go Team” four-way handshake to commit to form a new band.

With the band already starting to take shape, Jeremiah, Jerad, Brian and Bud were still in search of more flavor to add to their sound.
The four identified the need for a banjo player and contacted Dan. Having played with Jerad in “Mane Squeeze,” Dan happily accepted the challenge. However, something was still missing.

When the five members met up with Neil, they knew they had found the missing link, changing the two-part harmony to a three-part harmony.

With the sound starting to take shape, the talented six took on the name “The WaCo Ramblers.”

The song writing process
The members of The WaCo Ramblers have brought their skills, influences and experiences together to form a unique and entertaining bluegrass sound that appeals to people of all ages from all walks of life.

“All of us were cut out of the mold to do this – it’s our niche,” Jeremiah said.

Each member of the band contributes to the unique sound in his own personal way.

Jeremiah pounds out the lyrical side of the song writing process.

“Whatever I’m in the throes of, I write about. Then once I get the hook, the song writes itself.”

Bud is the instrumental composer. He describes the process as “just practicing and playing until I come up with a new melody. Then I add to it until it becomes a song.”

After the melody and lyrics start to surface, all six members work on the songs as a band to bring the sound together.

“Everyone helps arrange them to make them what they are,” Neil said.

The fans make the band
The WaCo Ramblers, known locally as “Walton County’s Finest Goodtime String Band,” has developed a strong following on the Emerald Coast. The success of the WaCo Ramblers on the local music scene is shared with the fans.

The WaCo Ramblers credit the loyal fans that come out to performances, buy the records, buy and wear the t-shirts and merchandise, and support the band’s mission to provide high octane, rowdy bluegrass music to the Emerald Coast.

Fans of The WaCo Ramblers are not necessarily bluegrass music fans.

“People will tell us that they don’t like bluegrass but they like us,” Jeremiah said.

Why? The WaCo Ramblers bring personality, they have the look and the talent is there. It is hard to resist bluegrass this well put together.

“Sometimes new people will walk into a place where we are, look at us and leave,” Neil added. “If the people stay, they start tappin’ their feet and end up on the dance floor by the end of the night.”

Their songs are fun and easy to listen to with a lot of personality. They sing their stories and make you want to get to know them.

The road ahead
The WaCo Ramblers have a full schedule of festivals, concerts and nightlife gigs. But, they are not limiting themselves to the Emerald Coast. They recently booked a show in Delaware for 2009.

The band has also signed on to perform at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park Springfest March 27-28 in Live Oak, Fla. The band will be playing next to well-known national acts.

Their new album, self-titled “The WaCo Ramblers,” was released earlier this year. With a new album out, concerts, shows documentaries and more, these guys stay busy. But, they are not necessarily looking for anything.

Between making records and performing, The WaCo Ramblers are working on a documentary and expect to have “a big ole’ movie premiere” in the next couple of months.

Purchase the new album, “The WaCo Ramblers,” at . The site also features a schedule for upcoming shows including:

Jan. 3 at 10 p.m. – Blue Orleans, Santa Rosa Beach
Jan. 4 at 9: - Dayna Reggero,

"Life on a String"

Local bluegrass band brings the moutains to the beach

"There are only three things I know about," Jeremiah Campbell said as he saddled up to the microphone at The Red Bar last weekend. "Women, hip-hop and country music."
As if part of the act, a middle-aged man in the audience yelled back, "What do you know about hip-hop?"
"Well," Campbell replied, "I know I sure as hell don't like it."
Campbell is the lead vocalist of the WaCo Ramblers, a six-man outfit that describes themselves as "Walton County's finest goodtime string band." With two guitarists, a fiddler, a mandolin strummer, a banjo player, and a man thumping an upright bass, they are about the farthest thing from hip-hop you're likely to encounter in the local music scene.
Plucking through an ambitious set list that mixes original bluegrass compositions with foot-stomping string band standards, a typical Ramblers gig harkens more toward the foothills of Appalachia than the beaches of South Walton. But interestingly, Campbell and the band have localized many of the tunes with references to area places and events.
"Well that beach is gonna be there when you get there," Campbell sings in "Highway," a song about reckless driving on area roads. "It always has been and it always will be. So slow your ass down on your way to Destin, because a guy like me has got two kids to feed."
"We try to get everybody involved in every song," Campbell said. "Both the audience and the band. You don't want to be the only one in the room having a good time."
Chuck Acker, the manager of Ceruleans in WaterColor, says the Rambler's music formula is incredibly entertaining and has booked the band for the remaining Fridays in March.
"They are a very exciting group with a great sound," Acker said. "And they work well with the audience. We've had a very positive response to their shows."
At the Red Bar gig, and elderly woman was assisted to the dance floor where she broke out ina brief jig. A woman on a couch was stomping so furiously that white wine spilled from her glass. The parents of a young boy who was swinging his legs had to catch him before he slipped out of their booth.
"I was shocked when I first heard them," said Dan Ragland, who recently relocated to Bay County from Georgia and saw the Ramblers for the first time last weekend. "You just don't expect to hear that type of sound from such a young-looking band."
Formed after three of the band members played together for an event at Eden State Gardens last year, the WaCo (short for Walton County) Ramblers have been working to make a studio album and increase their regional coverage. In January, they unveiled a colorful Web site that showcases a few of their tunes with photographs and event information.
"We've been a working band with music that isn't over anybody's head," Campbell said. "It's fun because it evolves in front of the people. We want people to be a part of it." - Gabriel Tynes, The Walton Sun


The WaCo Ramblers released their self-titled debut album on October 25th, 2007. The album contains mostly original music from the band, as well as songs previously performed by some of their favorite musicians of the past.



The WaCo Ramblers were formed on Easter sunday in the spring of 2006. In the first year, they played over 350 gigs together, sometimes playing 2 and 3 gigs a day in bars and restaurants all over the Walton and Okaloosa county areas of the Florida panhandle.
Since then, they have recorded their self-titled debut studio album, and made their presence felt on the music festival scene. Their first big festival debut was in May of 2007 on the Acoustic Cafe Amphitheatre stage in Hayden, AL, sharing the stage with Peter Rowan, the Hackensaw Boys, Frankie Velvet & the Mighty Veltones, Brennen Leigh, and Dread Clampitt.
In the fall of '07, they made their way over to the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL to play MagnoliaFest along with The Duhks, Peter Rowan & the Free Mexican Airforce, Jim Lauderdale, Blueground Undergrass, Snake Oil Medicine Show, and Casey Driessen. They made such an auspicious debut, they have been invited back to play the spring festival there, Suwannee Springfest, along with David Grisman, The Red Stick Ramblers, The Infamous Stringdusters, The Waybacks, The Steep Canyon Rangers, and many more. They are currently playing several shows a week, writing and working up new songs, and booking out-of-town gigs to help promote their self-titled, debut album, released in October '07.