- Outlaw country with a touch of Memphis blues, Kentucky bluegrass, and Southern rock combined with killer family harmony is the most apt description for eighteen-year-old triplet brothers Treyson, JD, and Chaz Stafford. Their band, TRIPPP, has gained a strong following in Arkansas and is poised to move on to bigger things with the recent release of their debut single "Can't Do the Time" and the upcoming release of their self-titled debut EP – TRIPPP.
This young band of brothers hails from the small town of Jonesboro in the Northeast corner of Arkansas where the hills of Crowley’s Ridge meet the cotton and rice fields of the Mississippi River Delta. They picked up the fiddle at the age of six, but quickly moved on to other instruments by age eight. JD chose percussion and is a rare singing drummer, while also handling the roles of lead songwriter and lead singer on most of the band’s original songs. Chaz’s decade of guitar playing across multiple genres is evident in the skill he possesses for someone so young. He has a unique ear for arranging harmonies and composing the music for the words penned by his brothers. Treyson is the key entertainer in the trio, playing bass guitar, a stand up bass he lovingly calls “Bertha,” and a King stand up named “Bessie.”
“Our friend that sold me the King believes she once belonged to the legendary Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys,” Treyson said with a grin. Treyson’s abilities take on even greater meaning when you consider he has worked his entire life to overcome autism.
They were born in Memphis because, at the time, there were no hospitals in their hometown prepared to handle extremely premature triplets. Growing up just an hour drive down I-55 and across the Mississippi River to Memphis, the brothers were influenced by the blues from a young age, perhaps ingrained in them from birth or maybe from their trips to the music joints on Beale Street growing up. But their biggest influence comes from one of the most famous musicians to ever come out of their stomping ground – Johnny Cash. One of their proudest moments was being invited to play at the 2018 Johnny Cash Heritage Festival at Cash’s boyhood home in Dyess, Arkansas just up the road from their hometown.
“Our dad has been running country radio stations for almost 50 years, and we grew up listening to the mainstream and outlaw country stations he manages along with spinning his classic country vinyl collection on the record player in our basement,” explained Chaz. Combine that with a love of bluegrass from their Kentucky-born mom and you get the blues, bluegrass, country, and Southern rock infused sound that makes TRIPPP unique. Their biggest musical influences include The Eagles, Alabama, Tyler Childers, Colter Wall, Sturgill Simpson, Brent Cobb, Marcus King, and Chris Stapleton. The brothers want to follow in the footsteps of others who seek to provide authentic music that has a lasting impact on peoples’ lives, while also continuing the outlaw-style storytelling forged by country music legends Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and the like.
Their debut EP – TRIPPP – is the culmination of a great two-year run for this up and coming band. Life-long athletes, they began to move away from years devoted to sports to focus on music after winning a contest in 2017 to open for The Kentucky Headhunters. That decision was cemented after being named finalists in the Mid-South Fair Youth Talent Show in 2017 and finalists for “Young Artist of the Year” at the Arkansas Country Music Awards in 2019. In those two short years they’ve played more than 100 gigs throughout the Southeast, raised more than $10,000 for Make-A-Wish and other charities, and have been an opening act for artists ranging from Matt Stell to Smash Mouth. Regionally, they’ve been named “Best Local Band” in two different public voting contests in 2019.
Their debut EP, set for release on January 23, 2020, is produced by fellow Arkansan Jon Conley (longtime guitar player for Kenny Chesney and well-respected Nashville studio musician) and engineered by John Albani at Sonic Eden Studios in Nashville. Their debut single, “Can’t Do the Time,” showcases their outlaw country influences and gives a nod to Cash, whose famous mug shot is referenced on the cover art for the single. They move a bit more toward their Southern rock roots with their song “Blood Red Moon,” while still visiting outlaw country themes. The third track on the EP was written by Conley with co-writers Jonny Houlihan and Cole Bruce. “Every Stone,” with its melancholy mandolin riffs, showcases the bluegrass side of the trio. It spoke to them because it reminds them of the Arkansas Delta farm family roots of their late Mamaw and their beloved late Papaw’s life as a sailor in the Navy. “The song also mentions a preacher, and even though our Papaw wasn't a preacher if you met him you would think he was,” Treyson said. Their influences come full circle with the bluesy ballad, “The Fire,” where they sing about that one time “the Devil came to me as a girl” in a classic (and autobiographical) tale of being scorned by a love interest.
“We are incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to work with producer Jon Conley and engineer John Albani on our first EP,” said Chaz. “We want this EP to represent who we are, where we come from, and our diversity as musicians. We’re looking forward to getting back in the studio and doing a full album soon, but we are proud of this EP and look forward to seeing how people respond to it.”
“In the words of one of our biggest influences, Sturgill Simpson, we’re just 'Living the Dream,'” added lead singer, JD. “We just want to play our interpretation of the real, authentic music we were raised on and hopefully carry the torch for our musical idols, like Johnny Cash, to a new generation of country music fans.”
Music Licensing: BMI
JD Stafford – Vocals, drums, percussion
Chaz Stafford – Guitar, vocals
Treyson Stafford – Bass, vocals
ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS ON THE EP:
Jon Conley – Acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo, mandolin, and fiddle
Tim Denbo – Bass
Dave Racine – Drums
RECORDED AT SONIC EDEN STUDIOS IN NASHVILLE, TN
Produced by – Jon Conley
Engineered by – John Albani
Mastered by – John Mayfield at Mayfield Mastering in Nashville, TN
*2019 Arkansas Country Music Awards "Young Artist of the Year" Nominee
*Voted 2019 "Best Local Band" by the listeners of Jonesboro Radio Group
*Voted 2019 "Best Musicians" by the readers of Jonesboro Occasions Magazine
*"Fulton's Got Talent" Winners 2018
*2017 Mid-South Fair Youth Talent Show Finalists
The Kentucky Headhunters
- Matt Stell
- Morris Day and the Time
- Smash Mouth
- Erin Enderlin - Arkansas Female Artist of the Year 2019
- Blane Howard - Arkansas Male Artist of the Year 2019
- Cory Jackson - The Voice 2019 Finalist; Arkansas Country Artist of the Year 2018
- Adam Wakefield - The Voice Season 10 Runner Up