Local band aims to promote original music with Myfest

Jordan Staggs

If you’re tired of hearing the same covers by bands around Tuscaloosa over and over again, Rounders on The Strip will host a night of local music Thursday, April 14 from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. The bar will hold the first annual Myfest music night, featuring five local bands that will be playing mostly their own songs in hopes to grow a fan base and introduce Tuscaloosa to some new music.

The Letter 3 will headline the show, along with lineup Southern Distortion, Eric the Red and Dudley Do-right’s Mounted Brigade, Blackwater Stone and Deep South Dread. Admission is $10 for patrons 19 and up, and Rounders will offer $1 16-oz. beers.

“Bars here are not willing to book bands that play mostly original music and, as a result, the local music scene is lacking,” said Jordan Abbett, bassist for The Letter 3, in a press release. “It is hard for new and upcoming bands to grab a foothold, grow a fan base and promote their original music.”

He said the goal of Myfest is to gain some attention for The Letter 3 and other local bands so they can branch out of Tuscaloosa and make a living playing music.

“We believe our music is better than most you hear on the radio,” Abbett said, “and truly with enough luck we can be found by the music industry.”

The Letter 3 formed two years ago when Abbett got together with guitar players Jonny Milling (rhythm) and David Moore (lead). They were shortly joined by drummer Ryan Mayfield and vocalist Josh Mickler.

“We describe ourselves as a funky, groovy rock ’n’ roll,” said Moore, a junior at the University. “We listen to a lot of bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Incubus, Interpol, The Who, The Strokes and The Raconteurs.”

Moore said The Letter 3 has been playing in shows and battle of the bands events in Birmingham this year and hopes that Myfest will promote the band enough to make it in the Road to Roo competition, which allows winning bands the chance to perform at the Bonnaroo music festival in June.

“I think that we offer really danceable, interesting, local music, which seems to be missing from our area,” Moore said. “We are also giving it our all out there. We put a lot of energy into our shows, and we hope people notice and enjoy [the show].”

That energy is one of the driving forces of the band, according to Abbett.

“If you like music, you’ll like us,” he said. “If you don’t like music, then you shouldn’t listen ‘cause we will make you move even if you don’t want to.”

Moore agreed, saying that having fun on stage and watching the crowd get into their songs is the best part about doing live shows.

“People don’t pay money to just see you stand there,” Moore said. “They paid to see a show. If you are just going to stand there and look at the ground, you might as well have just stayed at home and listened to the CD.”

The show begins at 6 p.m., with The Letter 3 taking the stage around 11.

“It’s going to be a really fun time,” Moore said. “It’s the Thursday before A-Day, five awesome local bands, and Rounders is having $1 16oz. draft beers. What could be better?”

To hear more about participating bands, or to vote for The Letter 3 in the Road to Roo competition, “Like” the band on Facebook or visit the Myfest Facebook event.