It has been an eventful year for professional musician Chase McRoy, 23, formerly of Sedalia, he’s toured with well known blues Singer Samantha Fish, is the bassist for singer/songwriter Sara Morgan, and along with two friends formed a group called The Vincents.
The Vincents, a rockabilly band, will perform Thursday, the first day of the Missouri State Fair, inside the Budweiser Tent. “Perform” is the word since the group will not only sing and play but also jump atop their instruments to spin around and perform stunts.
McRoy, the son of Rick and Luci McRoy, previously played with the band County Road 5. In June he formed The Vincents with friends Dustin White, as guitarist, and Jacob Kroesen, as drummer. McRoy plays the upright bass and sings. All three live in Kansas City.
“We’ve all been sidemen and musicians for all kinds of different groups, and friends for years,” McRoy said Tuesday afternoon. “We actually didn’t want to put a band together, we were all so busy touring with other people.
“We had some time, off for a couple weeks, where none of us were on the road and we just started playing around town for fun,” he added. “And, people kept trying to hire us. They thought we were a band, but we were just messing around.”
He said so many people asked about them, that they decided to bite the bullet and form the band.
“It’s like a side thing for us,” he noted. “I still make my living playing for other people, and so do those guys, but it’s a fun thing we do. It seems to be going well, they keep giving us nice places to play.”
McRoy said before beginning the group, he’d never sang as part of a show.
“Going into a group where I’m fronting it, and I’m singing in it, that’s the biggest change,” he noted. “To go from playing bass for other people, to working and leading this thing is very different. I didn’t realize how much work was in it.”
McRoy added that both White and Kroesen also help with booking and other business aspects of the band.
The band has already played for 6,000 people at a downtown Jefferson City event, Thursday Night Live.
“That was our second gig,” McRoy said.
The band’s name was taken from a 1950s style British made motorcycle that was built from 1928 to 1955. The name also fits the genre of their musical performances.
“It’s a 50s rockabilly thing, so we were just playing around with names and ideas for names,” he said. “That one stuck out.”
While at the fair the group plans to perform mostly 50s songs from, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Gene Vincent, Bill Haley and Jerry Lee Lewis.
McRoy said The Vincents aren’t limited to only 50s music, but they have expanded to include newer songs revamped to sound like rockabilly.
“It’s a really fun show, it’s a giant stage show, we do all these acrobatic things and stunts,” he said laughing. “Nobody’s gotten hurt yet.”
The band members constantly switch instruments during the show. McRoy said they have one song where they do a “round-robin.” McRoy plays bass then switches to drums and then to guitar.
“We just cycle back around,” he said. “We have a lot of fun doing it, that’s kind of why we do it, I guess.”
One of the musical stunts they will perform on Thursday at the Fair will be McRoy standing on the upright bass, while the guitarist is playing the bass and the drummer is upside down playing it with his drumsticks.
Although one might worry the instruments could become stressed because of the stunts, McRoy said they are constantly maintained by Backwoods Guitar in Sedalia. Backwoods also custom builds electric basses and amplifiers for McRoy.
McRoy is known for his partiality to jazz, but he has an extreme fondness for rockabilly.
“Rockabilly been something I’ve always loved,” McRoy said. “That’s why I started playing upright (bass). I grew up playing jazz so a lot of people think that’s what got me into playing it.”
He said it was really old-style country music and rockabilly that inspired him to play the instrument.
“It’s been really fun to have this band that’s playing music that I absolutely love, and I get to do it professionally too,” he added. “The show is mainly 50s but we throw some weird things in there.”
McRoy also enjoys 90s hip-hop music, so for fun The Vincents have added some readjusted hip-hop into their act.
“My music tastes are all over the place,” he said smiling. “I’m a huge fan of early hip-hop. We’ve taken a couple well known hip-hop tunes and made them sound like they came out in that time period (50s), which is fun. It throws people for a loop.
“The 11th (of August) will be really fun,” he added. “For older folks that remember those (rockabilly) tunes, they are going to love that. For younger folks we do a lot of really weird hip-hop tunes.”
McRoy said he enjoys being busy and he’s comfortable with where he’s at in his career.
“I sort of like this level, I really do,” he said. “Being a sideman is really fun …. I’m either out on the road with Sara (Morgan) or I’m regionally touring with The Vincents or if I have time off I’m playing around in Kansas City filling in for different people. It’s been a fun career so far. I’m still not broke, that’s all that matters. It’s been a cool year.”
The Vincents will perform at 2 and 6 p.m. Thursday inside the Budweiser tent at the MSF.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.