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Local rock band taking DFW music scene by storm

By Brittnee Lee. A local rock band made up of teens from Rockwall, Rowlett and Royse City are taking the DFW rock music scene by storm with their winning streak of five “Battle of the Bands” victories in a row, including at the May 15 Richardson Wildflower Arts & Music Festival.

“Jaci and Those Guys” recently won the Mesquite Real Texas Festival Battle of the Bands, plus won at The Door, Poor David’s Pub “Battle for America,” and the Rowlett High School Battle of the Bands, all at which they competed in just one weekend.

At the Wildflower Arts & Music Finals, after competing against three other bands, the band was given a spot to perform a song with “Bowling for Soup,” a Dallas rock/pop-punk band best known for their Grammy Award-nominated single, “Girl All the Bad Guys Want.”

The band also landed a free recording session at Crystal Clear Studios in Dallas, whose clients include The Toadies, The Dixie Chicks, Drowning Pool and more.

Two of the band members won individual awards that night. Jaci Butler, the band’s lead singer from Rowlett, was named “Best Vocalist” in the competition, and Trevor Quiett, from Royse City, was named “Best Drummer.”

According to the lead singer, she, Quiett, Matt Venhaus, Chad Ragsdale and Jason Savage – ages 14 to 17 – came together just one year ago.

Butler’s family was getting their house appraised so she could go to Los Angeles to record music and go the “Disney route” with a solo artist career. The road took a turn, however, when the 14-year-old learned that the appraiser’s son, Matt, was a guitarist.  Soon, Matt’s musician friends were auditioning for the band.  She said the band formed and started writing and learning popular cover songs to put together a set list that a variety of people would enjoy.

Within no time, the band began performing two to three times a week at venues including The House of Blues, The Bone, Skillman Street Pub, and more.  The band has not slowed down yet, and they say they have no intention of doing so.

Butler said that she and the guys have learned to balance school and their music by holding practices after school almost every day, and performing gigs on weekends.  The night the band had the opportunity to perform with one of their idol bands, Bowling for Soup, she said she had to put the balancing into action.

“The night that we were going to perform with Bowling for Soup, I had my 8th grade dance,” she explained.  “I had one hour to get to the gig after the dance was over.”

She made it just in time to perform “Nothing’s Gonna’ Bring Me Down,” a Jaci and Those Guys original.

“It was so awesome,” she said.  “We got to use all of their equipment and instruments.”

David Butler, Jaci’s dad, proudly announced this week that the band has been named one of the top four bands out of 379 entered in the Sonicbids’ competition for a $20,000 scholarship to the Berklee College of Music’s five-week Summer Performance Program. The band will travel to Boston to perform at 939 Café June 19 for the final round.

If their winning streak continues, he said the band will attend the number one summer music program in the world to learn and develop skills for all aspects of contemporary music performance.

Jaci and Those Guys is currently the number one Dallas band in the online 14th Annual Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands competing for a chance to win a spot on the 2010 Vans Warped Tour stage in Dallas, July 3, at the Superpages.com Center. Fans can go online to vote for the band at www.battleofthebands.com/jaciandthoseguys.  Voting ends in June.

Fans can expect their first 10-song, all-original album to be released by late Spring, Butler said. In the meantime, their singles, “Dream On,” “Days Like This,” “The Lonely Don’t Lie,” and “Freddie,” can be purchased on iTunes.

The band’s members say they want to inspire young people to follow their musical dreams.

“Whether you are going solo or with a band, play as many gigs as you can,” the lead singer advised.  “Don’t give up.”

To learn more about Jaci and Those Guys, visit www.myspace.com/jacibutler, search for “Jaci and Those Guys” on YouTube and see their Facebook page.

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3 Responses for “Local rock band taking DFW music scene by storm”

  1. I seem to be having a hard time , subscribing to your RSS feed. It comes up with error 451. Let me know if its a easy to fix error or if its just me . Ive tried opera and IE. Im using AVG Firewall and im not sure how to turn it off . Im not excellent with PCs. Ill bookmark your site and see if you have responded. all the best

  2. Terry says:

    Saw this band at Skillman Street Pub! I still can not believe how young they are and they play so well!! Can not wait until I can get a copy of their 1st CD!!!!

  3. David Helms says:

    Great story. I got to hear Jaci and Those Guys at the 2009 Rowlett Relay for Life and they were really good. Great article and great subject.

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