The Cripple Creek Band

  • Genres
  • Americana
  • Country
  • Rock
  • Awards and Nominations
    • SAMMIES 2019 Nominee★ Country/Americana/Alt-Country ★
    • SAMMIES 2018 Nominee★ Country/Americana/Alt-Country ★
  • Musicians
    • Alex Chaney — guitar, steel guitar
    • Eric Anderson — fiddle
    • Neal Morgan — acoustic guitar, vocals
    • Perry Clark — banjo, guitar, keyboards, piano, vocals
    • Steve Mendiola — bass, vocals
    • Steven Anderson — guitar
    • Travis Simas — drums
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Q & A

All-time favorite song?


"The Weight" by The Band.

How do you describe your music to people?


People who live and experienced life! Good people that have tough times but love their family and work hard. We seem to appeal to the beer drinkers who like to have a good time! Men and women, young and old.

Tell us about how the band formed.


Neal (singer and guitar) and Travis Simas (drummer) along with many other musicians played in a fun and popular local cover band. In 2012 the band broke up and some of the members took a break from music. Travis and Neal decided to continue going and for about a year they were a 4 piece band. Then Steve Mendiola (formerly of Whiskey Dawn) went to see a show and liked what he saw. He approached Travis about joining the band but felt we needed another layer of musicianship. He introduced us to Perry and the 4 of us have been playing since 2013. In 2016, we added Steve Anderson (guitar) and Eric Anderson (fiddle) which was the final components we needed. Some of this all sorta happened accidently, but maybe it was fate...

Tell us about your best gig in Sac.


We headlined Concerts in the Park in 2015! That was the biggest show (over 5,000 people) we had ever played. Since then, we've opened for great national acts, and we've played for more people, but that show was special. The weather was perfect, and the crowd was really into it.

Tell us about your worst gig.


I'm sure the whole band would disagree, as there are quite a few memorable "bad" gigs. There are many reasons a gig can be bad, but for me, the worst was a truck stop in Oregon. Ultimately, we played for three hours, and the most people in the room simultaneously was seven (counting the staff). The truck stop was also (and this isn't a joke) a sandwich shop, liquor store, ice cream shop, small movie theatre, motel, bar and restaurant, and of course a live venue!

What was the first song you learned to play?


Neal learned "Folsom Prison Blues" when he was 10 years old

What's next for the band?


In 2019, we will release an EP, which will be our third record. We have another year of great gigs coming, and lots of surprises.

What's the story behind the band name?


We struggled with naming the band and had a tough time finding a name we felt was unique and could give us an identity we believed in. We had gigs scheduled with venues, and they were pressuring us for a name so they could properly advertise. Then one day, on the way to work in 2012, Neal heard that Levon Helm (drummer for "The Band") had died. The Band had a huge impact on the music we loved, and they did it while crossing multiple genres. Travis was unaware of Levon's passing and happened to be driving by a sign that morning. The sign simply said "Cripple Creek." He thought this could be a good name and called Neal. At this point, Neal informed Travis of the passing of Levon Helm, and they both knew instantly that our name would be "The Cripple Creek Band."

What's your favorite local artist/group?


Frank Hannon.

Who first inspired you to play music?


Neal's (lead singer) earliest inspirations were Hank Williams Jr. and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Words to live by?


I would have to use the lyrics from our original song.... "It ain't about the fame or the money made, it's all about the music."

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