The Border Band
(Melvin Litton) (Roger Holden) (Dave Melody) (Hugh Campbell)
The Border Band is a four-piece group of lead and rhythm guitar, bass and drums. Melvin Litton, yours truly, captains the band, plays rhythm guitar and writes most songs. I began performing over a quarter of a century ago in Canada and have since played in the northeast, down thru Nashville, Austin, to Colorado and back to Kansas where I started out and will likely remain. My influences are Leadbelly, Jimmy Rogers, CCR and The Band, while the juices of a hundred others flavor my music, not to mention the sun, moon, wind and stars, and the devil himself if that's what it takes to make a song. But I mainly rely on the better angels of my nature and two good men who've been with me for nearly 20 years, Roger Holden and Dave Melody. They've helped forge the sound and are a great part of what makes it click.
Roger Holden is a wizard on the lead guitar. Besides his own keen talent he draws inspiration from Hendrix, Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughn and BB King among others. He's played in a dozen bands covering every idiom from Classic Rock, Punk, Ska, Surf, Tex-Mex, Country, Folk and Blues. Fast 'n clean, slick as new cards, he knows when to "hold 'em" and knows when to "show 'em" -- and he shows nuthin' but aces.
Dave Melody plays drums but does a helluva lot more than keep time and proves in the act why the drums are a musical instrument not to be denied. He can tap a rhythm soft as raindrops dimpling the dust or boom like thunder rolling down off the mountains in a crash of cymbals and toms to chasm the earth and flood the prairie, all while singing a heartfelt song.
Through the years we've had as many bass players as a spider has legs, for one reason or another -- a girlfriend, work, a better gig back east -- none of 'em stuck. The last to go was Daniel Weaverling, a fine talent, and we nearly folded with his leaving. Then a young man stepped up like an apparition out of the Old West – a young Navajo with a Scottish name, Hugh Campbell, full of fierce and wonderful song, adding fresh blood to our old skin. And the drums beat on…