On Saturday, March 1, the Indianapolis band “The Knollwood Boys,” was honored as the 2013 Best Artist of the Year at Taffy’s of Eaton.
The group was presented a proclamation by Eaton Mayor Gary Wagner.
“Taffy’s is kind of the destination point for the county, for entertainment so we’re recognizing them, not only the Knollwood Boys, but Taffy’s and what they do for our county,” said Mayor Wagner. “They bring farmers downtown… There’s not many places that do offer this kind of entertainment in our community.”
Coffee shop by day, beer and wine bar at night, Taffy’s, owned by Manfred Schreyer, has the nose for great talent.
“We build a music community that comes from all over the region, actually. They come from Dayton, Middletown, Cincinnati, Indianapolis. They come from all over, because there is no other venue in this area who has as many concerts as we do,” said Schreyer.
The Knollwood Boys have been together for a mere year and a half, but have seemingly taken the music industry by its horns. The band, who have been friends since childhood, have been friends for 16 years and counting . The origin of the band’s name comes from member Kit Clouser’s street name, Wood Knoll. “We were brainstorming one day, and something happened where Steve, the bassist brought it up, he’s like ‘what about your street? What’s your street?’ and I was like, ‘Knollwood,’” said Clouser. Only living on the street for a short while, Clouser’s memory slipped, thus creating The Knollwood Boys.
“It’s been about a year and a half since the five of us have been together, and I think you know, it’s just nice because we worked really hard this year to kind of create a sound, or form a tight set. I think we all were just working towards a cohesive sound that we’re going for, and we’re starting to see that,” said member Quin Starks.
Associating their genre with “Americana,” Clouser said the type of music has “good vibes. I think it’s relatable, it appeals to all ages.”
The group, involved with National Organizations Americana Group (NOAM), heard of Taffy’s through the association’s web of communication. The Knollwood Boys have traveled to Louisville, Nashville, Dayton, Chicago, Indianapolis, and other places in the region.
“We have a lot of requests, and we have a large database of people who play here,” said Schreyer. “[Bands who wish to play] apply, and we have a screener, and that individual screens the bands” and they are then selected to play at Taffy’s.
“This is easily one of our favorite places to play,” said Clouser. “As small as it is, we all love craft beers, so that helps.”
The group finds one of their obstacles to be finding time to practice together, as they also have full-time jobs. The Knollwood Boys consist of three teachers, one bartender, and one member who works at Guitar Center.
Members of The Knollwood Boys are Kit Clouser, Quin Starks, Nate Aydelotte, Brent Bockelman, and Steve Webb.
“I just hope our music makes people feel good and they can take something home with them. They can say they saw a great local band,” said Starks.
The band holds small-towns in Ohio close to their hearts. “We’ve been amazed by the crowd. They’re there to hear music and they embrace it. They buy our CDs, they come up to us afterwards and they thank us, and that makes it worth it for us,” said Clouser.
The competition to receive this award, is actually not a competition at all. Chosen by Schreyer and his wife, the Artist of the Year award is given to the artist the pair believe are the most worthy. “It’s a matter of what we believe is quality,” said Schreyer.
This is Mayor Wagner’s second proclamation for the Artist of the Year award. The Mayor presented the award to the band “Genna & Jesse” in 2012.
The band’s information, tour dates, bio, and contacts can be found at www.theknollwoodboys.com.