Without being signed, reggae band finds fan base keeps growing

Friday, March 23, 2012
Aaron Kamm (Submitted photo)

Aaron Kamm and the One Drops formed in 2009 to perform reggae, blues and rock music with a touch of live improvisation.

The band's name is a combination of the lead guitarist and vocalist's name and the name of the most common reggae drumbeat. Reggae artists use the term "one drop" to refer to the opening beat of a song.

Each member was in a band before the One Drops formed. They are all from different areas of Illinois. Kamm is from Highland, bass guitarist Andy Lee Doris is from Alton and drummer Sean Raila is from Chicago.

"We were musicians in Illinois and each of our bands played at the same venues, and that is how we met and formed Aaron Kamm and the One Drops," Raila said.

The band is not signed to a record label and produces all of its music and books its shows on its own.

"We aren't signed because the music industry is going through a little bit of a change to where in previous years as a band, you needed to be signed to be able to tour and produce a CD," Raila said. "Now, being signed isn't necessary and we are able to promote ourselves through the Internet and make our own music."

Aaron Kamm and the One Drops has two albums out. A third will be out at the end of this month.

"Our second album got a lot of good feedback from it," Raila said. "And with our new one coming out it is going to be a little different because we got to spend more time on it and got to be a little more creative."

Musical inclination came naturally to the One Drops. Raila studied music at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Kamm's dad was a guitarist and Doris' a bassist.

Though the members are from Illinois, the band calls St. Louis its hometown.

"It has been a steady uphill climb, starting out in St. Louis and branching out slowly," Raila said. "We did two Bloom Heavy festivals last summer and have been touring a lot."

Raila has seen the band's fan base grown steadily despite its lack of a record label.

"We feel pretty good that we have been able to put out three albums with 10 original songs on each and being able to play three or four times a week," Raila said. "Usually after playing in the same cities over and over, there is a decrease in attendance, but we have seen ours do nothing but increase."

Aaron Kamm and the One Drops will bring a guest when they perform at 8 p.m. today at Pitter's Café and Lounge.

"This show is going to be more special than our usual shows in Cape because we are bringing one of our favorite bands, Jon Wayne and the Pain, to play with us," Raila said.

Sarah Fohrell, a social work major at Southeast Missouri State University, enjoys seeing the band perform live.

"Their performances are very upbeat and relaxing," Fohrell said. "Their music creates a very chilling atmosphere that draws people out of their seats and gets everyone up and grooving."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: