Glancer Magazine - Meet the Band

by Kristen Kucharski, Associate Editor
December 2012 Issue

Since forming in 1999, Kampfire Kowboys has evolved with the times, playing classic country favorites as well as current country tunes. According to the band’s founder, Tom Colton, the name of the band comes from a late 1800s tradition. Texas cowboys on cattle drives would bring along instruments like guitars and harmonicas. At the end of the night, they would jam around the campfire. The players became known as Campfire Cowboys.

“The Kampfire Kowboys have the guitar energy of Brad Paisley and Vince Gill, the fiddle of Charlie Daniels, the traditional country sound of Zac Brown and lead vocals with a hint of Elvis meets Raul Malo [of The Mavericks],” Colton says. “We like to call it ‘fired-up guitars and smokin’ fiddles.’”

The four local members, from St. Charles and Lombard, each bring different experiences to enhance the flavor of their performances. “The band always respects the traditional side of county while still rockin’ out,” Colton says. “We all come from mixed musical backgrounds, from progressive rock to classic rock and country, so our show has a bit of an arena rock sound. But it’s real country music.”

Since adding fiddle player Ray Henaughan, who has extensive knowledge and experience in bluegrass music, in 2011, the band has changed quite a bit. They have put together a country act that is traditional, yet modern. “One of our goals for the new Kampfire Kowboys was to play Cadillac Ranch in Bartlett to really test out our country skills in front of a country audience, which we did in July. We now have a regular gig there, the next date being December 14,” Colton adds. “We’re looking forward to playing other country venues as well, including Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill, The Saloon at Bourbon Street, and Hollywood Casino in Aurora on January 26.”

Before every performance, you will see the band’s mascot, a tin cowboy that hangs from the drums. The tin man is featured on the cover of the band’s second album, Stand Still. You will also hear some of the band’s favorites, which include their original song “Arizona Emily”, Brad Paisley’s “Camouflage,” and Charlie Daniels’ “Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Whatever your taste, the band is sure you will you will always hear “country music, the way you like it!”

Tom Colton: Lead Vocals & Guitar
Ray Henaughan: Fiddle & Vocals
Dave Piper: Bass & Vocals
Marcus Suarez: Drums