500 Miles to Memphis

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500 Miles to Memphis
500 Miles to Memphis performing at The Garage in Winston-Salem, NC in 2011.jpg
500 Miles to Memphis performing at The Garage in Winston-Salem, NC in 2011
Background information
Origin Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Genres Cowpunk
Years active 2003–present
Labels Deep Elm Records
Associated acts Moth, Cari Clara, Noah Sugarman, David Rhodes Brown, Kelly Thomas, Six Nights Alone
Website www.500mtm.com
Members Ryan Malott
Noah Sugarman
Kevin Hogle
David Rhodes Brown
Aaron Whalen
Joshua Murphy

500 Miles to Memphis[1] is an American cowpunk band from Cincinnati, OH. Their music is a cross-genre blend of country, Americana, 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 have licensed their music to numerous tv shows and video games.

They actively toured the United States from the years of 2005 to 2013. At their height, they were performing 250 shows per year. Currently, the band resides in parts of Ohio, Kentucky, and Milwaukee and performs only regionally.

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


500's mix of country, punk rock and rock 'n' roll has earned the band accolades and national exposure — you might have heard ""All My Friends Are Crazy"" on the video game Rock Band.[4] Malott's poignant and, at times, painful, lyrics are some of the most honest and introspective words to come out of the Cincinnati music scene. Of course, a man and his guitar are more than enough for a local dive, but touring the nation generally needs a bit more oomph.

Luckily, Malott is backed up several local legends: drummer Kevin Hogle and lap steel player David Rhodes Brown chief among them. You've probably seen Hogle around the city without knowing. He is one of the city's most prolific drummers, and for good reason — his precision and skill are unmatched. David Rhodes Brown rarely tours with 500, but his contribution to the band is vital. A Cincinnati staple himself, DRB's lap steel playing is a big part of 500's country roots.

Rounding out the lineup is Noah Sugarman, who recently moved to bass, and new guitarist Aaron Whalen stepping up for one of his first performances with the band. Sugarman heads his own band in his free time, so chances are high that you'll hear some originals from him in addition to 500's set.[5]

"Although both albums were recorded with Erwin Musper, producer of the Scorpions and many others, there are a lot of differences between this album and the last. The songs on "We've Built Up to Nothing" are much more intricate and deep than the last. We experimented with different time signatures and rhythms. There are a lot more vocal harmonies, which is always fun. The guitars are huge too. Aside from that we used a lot of different instruments. We basically went back to our highschool concert band roots and brought out a whole orchestra. Our keyboard player, Elaina, is a band director at a school here in Cincinnati, OH. Kevin, the drummer, has a bachelors in music education from Morehead State University where performed with the nationally recognized marching percussion ensemble. He toured the world over at a very young age. I played first chair trombone all throughout highschool. It was a lot of fun composing all of the auxiliary instruments. The songwriting on this album is also different. I went at it in a different frame of mind. I pretty much wrote what I wanted to say and hear. Basically I wrote with reckless abandon without worrying whether or not these songs would be on a top forty list. Ironically they ended up turning out very accessible and more catchy than the last." )[6]

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Ryan Malott - vocals, guitar, banjo (2003–present)
  • Noah Sugarman - bass, vocals (2009–present)
  • Aaron Whalen - guitar, vocals (2010–present)
  • Kevin Hogle - drums (2007–present)
  • David Rhodes Brown - lap steel (2007–present)
  • Joshua Murphy - vocals, guitar (2014–present)

Past members[edit]

  • 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[7])
  • (2010) We’ve Built Up to Nothing (Self-released)
  • (2014) Stand There and Bleed (Self-released)

Live Albums[edit]

  • (2011) Live at Southgate House


External links[edit]