500 Miles to Memphis

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500 Miles to Memphis
Origin Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Genres Alternative Country punk
Years active 2003–present
Labels Deep Elm Records
Associated acts The O's, Dutch Henry, Evelynn Rose, Moth, Cari Clara, Camp Sugar, Warsaw Falcons, Kelly Thomas, Six Nights Alone
Website www.500mtm.com
Members Ryan Malott
Noah Sugarman
Kevin Hogle
David Rhodes Brown
Aaron Whalen

500 Miles to Memphis[1] is an Americana punk band from Cincinnati, OH. Their music is a cross-genre blend of country, Americana, bluegrass, and punk rock. Ryan Malott formed the band in 2003. Since then they have released four studio albums, which have received international praise, won multiple awards,[2] and been licensed to numerous movies, tv shows, and video games.

They have actively toured the United States since 2003.

500 Miles to Memphis consists[3] of Ryan Malott (vocs, guitar, banjo), David Rhodes Brown (lap steel), Noah Sugarman (bass, vocs), Kevin Hogle (drums), and Aaron Whalen (guitar, vocs).


2002 to 2003[edit]

At the age of 19, Ryan Malott started the band under the name of Underclass Motto which was quickly scrapped for the current name of 500 Miles to Memphis. The name and the band were born out of a move from Cincinnati, OH to Dallas, TX in 2002 where Malott and friends hoped to start a punk band. Fresh from high school graduation, the boys hit the road. On the way to Dallas, Malott saw a mile marker sign outside of Memphis and took a mental note of x miles to Memphis. He later figured the actual mileage of his hometown of Bethel, OH to Memphis; 500. After living in Dallas for a few months Malott saw his first live country band, The Boys Named Sue and Slick 57. This turned out to be a very influential moment in Malott's life. His decision to start a straight punk band quickly changed and thus the seeds of 500MTM were planted. In 2003 Malott formed the group and played their first show at a pizza place next to the University of Cincinnati.

2004 to 2005[edit]

This time period was a tipping point for the band going from the garage to the stage. Heavy hitters, David Rhodes Brown and Noah Sugarman joined and helped the group take on a more mature sound and establish themselves as a serious act. Shortly after, Malott and co. signed with a local record label called 3rd Silo Records. They released their first full-length album, self-titled, and received a Cincinnati Entertainment Award for best “Roots/Folk/Americana”. The boys began touring heavily and writing what would become their highest selling record, Sunshine In a Shot Glass.

2006 to 2007[edit]

With a couple of years of touring and experience under their belt, the boys of 500MTM were ready to jump back into the studio for a new record. The only problem; they had no drummer. Luckily, Malott met local drumming phenom, Kevin Hogle, who was touring with MOTH at the time. Originally, Hogle was hired as a session player on the record until Malott could find a permanent drummer. In the spring of 2006, 500MTM began recording the album, Sunshine In a Shot Glass with Erwin Musper and Adam Pleiman at “Studio the Bamboo Room” in Kentucky[4]. Once they had rough mixes of the album, Malott began sending demos to national labels… all passed or ignored them except for one, Deep Elm Records[5]. Deep Elm quickly got to work promoting the band and licensing their music to countless tv shows, movies, and video games. The efforts of Deep Elm Records solidified 500MTM as a national act. In May of 2007, they released Sunshine In a Shot Glass and hit the road once again. At this point, Kevin Hogle had become a full-time member, solidifying the band’s lineup… almost.

For many years following, Noah Sugarman played lead guitar and Jeff Snyder joined on bass.

2008 to 2012[edit]

This was a very tumultuous time for the band. It was plagued with lineup changes, drugs, alcohol and all of the stresses that come with performing 250+ shows a year. However, the core members stayed together, Ryan Malott, Noah Sugarman, Kevin Hogle, David Rhodes Brown. In 2010, 500MTM jumped back into the studio with Erwin Musper and cut We’ve Built Up to Nothing. This album was noted as a large departure from the band’s original sound. While still a successful album, the sound had taken a more experimental turn. Shortly after the album’s release, Aaron Whalen joined on lead guitar moving Noah Sugarman back to his original position on bass.

2013 to 2017[edit]

Drying out… From years of extensive touring and alcohol/drug abuse, 500MTM decided to take some time off to sober up and concentrate on other projects. Noah Sugarman moved on to pursue his own solo career[6], Kevin Hogle toured with Fifth on the Floor[7][better source needed](among many others), David Rhodes Brown reignited his famous act the Warsaw Falcons[8], and Ryan Malott hung it up playing only locally once every couple of months. In 2014, the boys got back together for another album, Stand There and Bleed, which was backed by their friends and fans through Kickstarter. It was a self-released album recorded by Ashley Shepherd at Audiogrotto[9]. No promotional tour was ever booked.

2017 to present[edit]

Malott and co. clear-headed and more driven than ever to create music, started doing regional tours and pre-production on the next album. For the first time in their careers, Malott and Sugarman decided to start writing together. On January 1, 2018, 500MTM signed with Animal Discourse[10], a booking/management company. Stay tuned for more info on the next album and tour.


500 Miles to Memphis Winner of the 2005 Cincinnati Entertainment Award for best Roots/Americana/Folk
Nominated for the 2006 CEA for best Rock
Winner of the 2007 CEA for best Live Act
Winner of the 2007 CEA for best Rock
Nominated for the 2007 CEA for Album of The Year
Nominated for the 2007 CEA for Artist of the Year
Winner or the 2008 CEA for best Rock
Nominated for the 2010 CEA for Album of the Year
Winner of the 2011 CEA for Best Live Act
Winner of the 2012 CEA for Best Live Act
Winner of the 2013 CEA for Best Live Act
Nominated for the 2015 CEA for Album of the Year[11]


500MTM's music has been licensed to countless[peacock term] movies and TV shows, most notably:
Travis Pastrana 199 Lives
Kid Rock"Under-rated and Unsung"
MTV's Nitro Circus
MTV's Teen Mom
Rock Band the video game
Marlboro's bands on the run

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Ryan Malott - vocals, guitar, banjo (2003–present)
  • Noah Sugarman - bass, vocals (2005–present)
  • Aaron Whalen - guitar, vocals (2010–present)
  • Kevin Hogle - drums (2007–present)
  • David Rhodes Brown - lap steel (2006–present)

Past members[edit]

  • Joshua Murphy - vocals, guitar (2014–2018)
  • Jeff Snyder - bass (2007–2010)
  • Elaina Brown - keyboard, vocals (2009–2010)
  • Stephen Kuffner - guitar, vocals (2007–2009)
  • Jason Gallagher - guitar
  • Wade Owens - bass (2003–2005)
  • Lee Steele - drums
  • Brett Davis - drums (live/touring)
  • Brian Davis - guitar (live/touring)
  • Bryan Poindexter - drums
  • Wasabi Hansen - guitar, vocals
  • Aaron Hostetler - guitar, vocals
  • Sean Duley - drums
  • Ben Wirsching - drums
  • Greg Tudor - backup vocals, guitar (4/12/2013, Newport, KY, The Southgate House Revival)

Session musicians[edit]

  • Paul Patterson - fiddle (2007)
  • Annalyse McCoy - vocals (2007)


Studio albums[edit]

  • (2005) 500 Miles to Memphis (3rd Silo Records)
  • (2007) Sunshine in a Shot Glass (Deep Elm Records[12])
  • (2010) We’ve Built Up to Nothing (Self-released)
  • (2014) Stand There and Bleed (Self-released)

Live Albums[edit]

  • (2011) Live at Southgate House


  1. ^ "500 Miles to Memphis".
  2. ^ "Music (CityBeat Cincinnati) > Cincinnati Entertainment Awards". CityBeat Cincinnati. Retrieved 2016-11-15.
  3. ^ "500 Miles To Memphis". CincyMusic.com. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  4. ^ http://bambooroomstudio.com/
  5. ^ http://www.deepelm.com/
  6. ^ https://www.facebook.com/campsugar/
  7. ^ Fifth on the Floor
  8. ^ https://www.facebook.com/warsawfalcons/
  9. ^ http://www.audiogrotto.com/
  10. ^ http://www.animaldiscourse.com/
  11. ^ https://www.citybeat.com/home/article/20981948/cincinnati-entertainment-awards-two-decades-of-musical-acclaim
  12. ^ "Deep Elm Music / Discography / Catalog". www.deepelm.com. Retrieved 2016-11-15.

External links[edit]