COUNTRY ROCKING — Country cover band Tompkins Drive has paid its dues and is starting to find more exposure. They will play at Turning Stone Casino’s Tin Rooster May 13. Pictured, from left, are guitarist Jeremy Clark, singer/rhythm guitarist Silas Tompkins II, bassist John Fleming and drummer Tommy Russell. (Photo submitted)

Tompkins Drive Band ready to rev up for good times

Published May 7, 2017 at 9:00am

The Tompkins Drive Band’s hard work and time spent practicing has led to a rapport with their audiences and then on to more exposure.

The New Hartford-based band will display its musical ability and commitment to showmanship during a May 13 concert at Turning Stone Resort Casino’s country-themed Tin Rooster Restaurant.

“We are a high-energy, modern country band right here in New Hartford. We are at this point a local, regional band, but I’d like to think we are above the average garage band,” Russell said.

During its concert country radio station Big Frog 104 will record a live promotional video of the band, and will also do a live remote broadcast to promote its music. The band will also perform as a featured act at Frog Fest 29 and at BUG Country 99.7’s HALO Hoedown.

Frog Fest will be held June 10 at the Utica-Rome Speedway, and the HALO Hoedown will happen Sept. 18 at Silverado Inn in Herkimer. The band’s schedule may be viewed at tompkinsdrive.band.

“This is going to be huge,” said Tommy Russell, drummer, back-up singer and manager.

The emphasis is on modern country, which includes cover versions of songs by artists including Jason Aldean and Luke Bryant. The band has also completed three cover songs which may be heard on SoundCloud.com.

“Some people don’t like the new country sound, because it gets away from what they consider real country music,” Russell said. “But what we play has its place. We try to maintain the influence of artists like Johnny Cash and Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson.”

Rhythm guitarist and lead singer Silas Tompkins II joined with Russell to form Tompkins Drive in 2016. They were soon joined by Russell’s cousin, bass guitarist and backing singer John Fleming, and lead guitarist and backup singer Jeremy Clark. Their goal was to create a family-type atmosphere while maintaining strong musicianship.

“We are all about looking out for each other and putting on a good show, not about drinking,” Russell said. “Clark’s guitar adds an edge to our sound.”

Clark also provides the band’s sound system from his sound company he runs near his home in Baldwinsville. Tompkins serves as the face of the band through his work as lead vocalist. He is also in charge of marketing the band. The ability to use social media has helped promote the group.

“People everywhere are always looking down at their cell phones. I figure they should be looking at us,” Tompkins said.

Social media is responsible for the group’s creation. Russell and Tompkins met through Facebook.

“At the time Silas had a solo act based near his home in Little Falls,” Russell said. “I liked his style, and I reached out to him. After a few e-mails we met and the band began.”

Russell is a Rome Free Academy graduate who gained experience playing drums with local bands including Camden’s Amarillo Band and the Fender Benders. He and his bandmates are looking forward to more concerts and the possibility of writing and recording their own music.

“We’ve been all over the state and now we’re looking forward to more opportunities,” he said.