Dancing at the winery with Dirtwater Fox

By Chase Myers

Something about southern rock n’ roll gets people up and dancing. The upbeat drums, guitar, and bass connecting in perfect tone and the loud melodic vocals must serve as a factor.

One band who strongly encourages a dancing feeling is southern Illinois’ very own Dirtwater Fox, a southern country-rock band who have played their fair share of wineries and bars in the area.

The band consists of founding member Kevin Fox on bass and lead vocals, Jef Kaudle on lead guitar/ mandolin and Mike Miller on electronic and acoustic drums.


Dirtwater Fox will be playing at Walker’s Bluff on Friday night at 7 p.m., following a screening of the film “God’s Not Dead” in the Gazebo at 5:30 p.m.

The band plays the Carbondale area often, including nearby wineries like Walker’s Bluff and Von Jacob winery as well as numerous bars in the area, Kevin Fox said.

There is a difference in vibes from the bars and wineries, he said.

“We play a good variety of music. It is all danceable,” he said. “They dance when we play at the wineries and the floor is packed. At the bars, sometimes they just sit and drink and listen.”

Fox said the band is a danceable mix between genres.

The band members are from all different parts of the state and they each bring different influences to the band.

“I like classic rock,” he said. “In our band now, we have different styles. Our guitar player likes more of the 80s type of rock. Our drummer likes country and 50s and 60s, so with all of our talents together, we can come up with a pretty decent sound.”


Although people at some bars get up and dance, it is mostly for slower songs, Fox said.

“At the wineries, they’ll dance to anything, the 50s, 60s, classic rock, anything we play,” he said.

Crowd participation is a big part of the band’s show in order to keep the energy high for its entirety. Fox works the crowd by bringing people on stage to play with the band.

“I like to get people involved,” Fox said. “I hang with them while they’re dancing and dance along with them. Sometimes I bring them up on stage and let them sing with me or play the tambourine.”

People also enjoy the electronic drum kit that Miller plays during the set. When he switches from acoustic to the electronic kit, crowds are usually in awe of the sounds it produces, he said.

“It is easy to mix the music now and have the drums sound exactly how we want them instead of hearing the acoustic drum set by itself. It’s different,” he said.

Rock favorites can be expected at the show with their own special Dirtwater Fox twist, providing great vibes and the urge to dust of those dancing shoes.

Chase Myers can be reached at [email protected]on Twitter @chasemyers_DE