Posted by The Muckrakes , Saturday, January 3, 2009 12:03 PM

Like the band's name implies, The Muckrakes are here to help you sift through your problems and, just maybe, provide an anodyne that is necessary to survive the modern world.

The group may have formed in the backwoods of Newport News, VA. in October 2008, but its lineage goes back much further. It started in disparate parts of the country, where, as wide-eyed kids, they slapped their knees listening to everything from Leadbelly, Dolly Parton to The Dead Milkmen, Medeski, Martin & Wood as well as The Clash.

The soon-to-be band members learned to play various instruments; mandolin, guitar, violin, bass, harmonica, lap steel, drums, piano, banjo and, most importantly, voice.They honed their chops in various bands in basements and garages, and soon found themselves among bluesmen, classical music buffs, snotty punks, bluegrass pickers and shaggy hippies. Their journeys took them from fine concert halls to renowned punk clubs. For various reasons, their journeys also brought them to Newport News.

The group was called together by singer, mandolinist, banjo-picker, guitarist, Jon Owings, drummer Dave “Gravy” Jackson, and guitarist Mike "Spider" Turner. Later came Billy England on bass. England, a veteran of the Hampton Roads music scene saw what apparently no one else did - or at least what no one had the gumption to do anything about. "There are no alligator-wrestlin', moonshine-drinking, fist-fightin' Americana acts around here, " he said. With that in mind, the call was put out in September. After some lineup shuffling, the band's current configuration came together a month later with the addition of Melissa "Jeanne Butterbean" Troutman who joined the fold adding her angelic, strong vocals and song writing skills, Matt "Doc Knuckles" Minguez, who is the band's "Brian Jones". Matt handles any instrument tossed his way, but is usually found with a violin strapped to his chin. Rounding out the group is Cory Nealon who puts the pedal to the metal on lap steel, dobro and guitar.

Together, the group has found the right combination of sweet and sinister, of power and weakness, of new and old. In other words, they're just trying make sense of the world, having a fun time doing it and inspire others to do the same.

DEC 27. 2009

Posted by The Muckrakes , Friday, January 2, 2009 5:30 PM

Only 4 of the 7 members of The Muckrakes could make the gig at The Taphouse on Dec 27, 2008, but we played it anyway and rocked the house. Were you there? You should of been as it was the last show of 2008! Ah, don't worry if ya didn't make it, you catch us later on at the first show for 2009 at Tanner's Creek in Norfolk, VA.

Practice pictures

Posted by The Muckrakes , Thursday, January 1, 2009 6:45 PM

Photos of practice and all the silliness and seriousness that goes on. Ain't we gotta sweet place to stand and create new tunes?

Gig Posters

Posted by The Muckrakes 6:38 PM

Gig posters of shows that the band has played. These posters were designed by our very own bassist, Billy England.


Posted by The Muckrakes 6:11 PM