“If you need to visualize the soul, think of it as a kind of train. Yes, a long, lonesome freight train rumbling from generation to generation on an eternally rainy morning: its boxcars are loaded with sighs and laughter, its hobos are angels, its engineer is the queen of spades – and the queen is wild. Whoo-whoo! Hear that epiphanic whistle blow. The train’s destination is the godhead, but it stops at the Big Bang, at the orgasm, and at the hole in the fence that the red fox sneaks through down behind the barn. It’s simultaneously a local and an express, but it doesn’t transport weaponry, and it certainly ain’t no milk run.”Tom Robbins, Villa Incognito
(left to right) Wes Powers on drums; Ward Buckheister on guitar, trombone, and vocals; Joel Timmons on guitar and vocals; Russell Clarke on saxophones and vocals; Rusty Cole on bass and vocals;
Sol Driven Train’s music weaves through genres like images in a Tom Robbins paragraph. The band’s sonic schizophrenia absorbs songwriting influences like John Prine and Paul Simon, Afrocaribbean rhythmic explorations, and funky New Orleans-style brass into earnest songs of life, love, loss, and long johns. The versatile 5-piece band, based in Charleston, SC, features rotating lead vocalists, and multi-instrumental talent spread across horns, strings, and percussion. Combining rich varieties of American pop and folk music into their own port-town sound, Sol Driven Train has carved out a unique musical identity within the American roots music scene.
During the spring of 2000, a close circle of friends and family began gathering in college apartments downtown Charleston to create sound and share in the joy of music. Through the course of 14 years and over 1,000 live shows, this same spirit still guides Sol Driven Train through the rocky road of the music industry. The venues have grown from bedrooms to festival stages, the amps have gotten louder, the lineup has evolved, and the crowds have multiplied, but the sense of brotherhood, mutual support, and musical independence within the band has strengthened. Through hard work and a commitment to live performance, the band’s reputation and collective musical ability has grown with every season. Named “2011 Rock Band of the Year” “2012 Jam Band of the Year” and “2013 World/Groove/Reggae Band of the Year” by the Charleston City Paper, and “On the Verge” by Relix Magazine in January 2012, Sol Driven Train is an independent band breaking into the national spotlight. Ten independent releases including two critically-acclaimed albums for children, a live concert DVD, a live album, five full-length studio albums, and last summer’s popular “Watermelon” EP document the band’s winding musical development.
The band has been working hard in the studio during the first part of 2014, preparing two more full-length albums for upcoming release.
Awards and Honors
• #1 Album on Amazon.com “Roots Rock mp3” Chart 2013
• # 2 album on Jambands.com. 2013
• Relix Magazine “Artist on the Verge” 2012
• Charleston City Paper, “World/Groove/Reggae Band of the Year” 2013
• Charleston City Paper, “ Jam Band of the Year” 2012
• Charleston City Paper, “ Rock Band of the Year” 2011
• Charleston City Paper, “Multi-Instrumentalist of the Year” 2011 for Band member Joel Timmons
• Charleston City Paper, “Multi-Instrumentalist of the Year” 2010 for band member Ward Buckheister
• Home Grown Music Network Listeners Album of the Year 2011
• Charleston City Paper,” Children’s Album of the Year” 2008
• Sirius /XM Radio play the latest album, “Underdog” 2013
• WNCW’s Top 100 Albums of 2012
• Grant recipient for Red Revel Children and Arts Festival- $10,000
• Lake Eden Arts Festival Streets and Schools Program 2012
• American Music Abroad Finalist 2014