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Young talent brings new life to band

One local country band has already made a name for itself all around New York State and is now looking to continue its success with the addition of its newest member.

The Fulton Chain Gang (FCG) has been a local favorite to the Central New York area for nearly two decades. Their modern country music style, mixed with classic country and southern rock have appealed to a mass audience attracting both the older and younger crowds.

Recently, the band found themselves in a couple of rough situations. Founding member and original drummer of the band, Mike Delousia, passed away last year from brain cancer, and former lead singer, Brian Platt, retired from the band the same year. With the spot of lead singer open, the band decided to fill the gap with 20-year-old Blaine Holcomb, from Hamilton.

“I played in the Texaco Country Showdown, and I sang at Sylvan Beach,” Holcomb said. “FCG was going on to play a show after my competition finished up and their sound guy, Dave Lakay, was running the sound for us guys in the competition. He noticed my ability and mentioned something to the other band members and they took a look. After the show at Sylvan Beach, they contacted me through Facebook to set up a time to meet and have a little audition. Once Brian’s [the band’s former lead singer] retirement became official, they contacted me and told me I had the job and it was a done deal.”

Holcomb is a student at Lawrence University and plans to finish his two years there before possibly following his dream of being a country artist and moving to Nashville, Tenn. He has made a lot of early progress in pursuing a dream he once considered just a hobby. He has been taking guitar lessons since fifth-grade and started off playing at clubs around the age of 13. He contributes a lot of his quick success to one man in particular.

“My guitar teacher, Ed Vollmer, has been great to me over the years, and one of the best things he did for me was get me out in front of a crowd at a young age so that I would get comfortable in front of people and not get stage fright,” Holcomb said.

A trait that will prove dearly for Holcomb as the Fulton Chain Gang has performed in front of large crowds. They have opened for national acts such as Toby Keith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Billy Currington, Rodney Atkins, Easton Corbin and many more.

The members of the band have seen the talent Holcomb can bring to the table and have embraced every ounce of it.

“Bringing Blaine into the band in 2012 ignited our excitement for playing music,” Veteran member and lead guitarist, Dave Brown said. “We always enjoyed playing together but Blaine’s love and passion for music was what we needed to bring our own passion back into the band.”

Holcomb has only been playing with the band since April, but can also sense how well he has connected with the band and the new dynamic he brings to the table.

“I have learned how to solo so I can also play lead guitar as well as rhythm,” Holcomb said. “This has also added a new dimension to the Fulton Chain Gang too because now out lead guitar player [Dave Brown], and I can trade off solos and harmonize guitar solos along with our steel players. Having a second lead rhythm guitar to fills things out is something that this band never had before, so it sounds pretty cool now.”

The Fulton Chain Gang, now consisting of lead singer and guitarist Holcomb, lead guitarist Brown, pedal steel guitarist Dennis Buczek, bassist Dave Montany, drummer Matthew Rockwell and sound engineer Dave Lakay, will be performing all summer long around New York, bringing their high intensity and passion for music with them.

“When you come to a Fulton Chain Gang show and see us smiling and running all over the stage, it’s not rehearsed or choreographed, it is genuine and spontaneous,” Brown said. “We are really having fun up there.”

To find out more about the band and where they will be performing next go to their website at, http://www.thefultonchaingang.com.

-Published in the Pennysaver


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