Capitol Offense (band)

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Capitol Offense
Mike Huckabee's band at the Lincoln Day Dinner in Des Moines.jpg
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (center) performs with his band "Capitol Offense" at the Republican Party of Iowa's Lincoln Day Dinner on April 14, 2007.
Background information
OriginLittle Rock, Arkansas
GenresRock, rock & roll
Years active1996-2013
WebsiteOfficial Myspace site
MembersMike Huckabee
Aaron Black
Marynell Branch
Gordon Caffey
Rick Calhoun
Teri Cox
Chris Pyle
Steve Pyle

Capitol Offense is an American rock band. It is most notable for its bassist, Mike Huckabee, who is the former Governor of Arkansas and former 2008 Republican candidate for President of the United States.


Early years (1996-2000)[edit]

The band was formed in July 1996 by newly elected governor Mike Huckabee and members of his executive staff: Chris Pyle (drums); DeWayne Hayes (lead guitar); and Mike Perkins (vocals), who all enjoyed classic rock. They drew their name from the fact that all of them work in the Capitol building, and because according to Huckabee, "in the course of our playing, we offend just about everybody."[1] The band's first performance was at a Governor's staff Christmas party in 1996, where their setlist consisted of Chuck Berry's "Rock and Roll Music," Barrett Strong's "Money (That's What I Want)," and the Beatles' "Come Together." Thereafter, the band would often play at Governor's staff events. In 1999, the band gave a performance in the Governor's Conference Room, during a bill-signing ceremony in honor of Arkansas native Johnny Cash.[2] The band was also a regular guest at the annual Hope Watermelon Festival in Huckabee's hometown of Hope, Arkansas.

Huckabee, by far the most famous member of the band, was drawn to music from very early on in his life.[3] He has played guitar since he was a child and states unequivocally that "music was life changing for me."[4]

Recent times (2001-present)[edit]

Huckabee's band played at Washington inaugural balls put on by the Free Republic in both 2001 and 2005. In recent years Capitol Offense has honed their sound to such an extent that they have opened for several high-profile artists, including The Charlie Daniels Band, Dionne Warwick, REO Speedwagon,[5] Willie Nelson, Percy Sledge, 38 Special, and Grand Funk Railroad.[6] During 2007, front man Huckabee took his musical act on the presidential stump with him, performing numerous times without Capitol Offense during his campaign in Iowa. At one stop, backed by two record store employees, he covered a Chuck Berry song, before answering questions from the crowd at the store.[4] During Huckabee's 2008 campaign, Boston's guitarist and songwriter Tom Scholz, a supporter of Democratic candidate Barack Obama wrote to Huckabee, requesting him to stop performing the Boston song "More than a Feeling" at public appearances. Huckabee was reported to have been regularly playing the song, sometimes with former Boston band member Barry Goudreau (who was a Huckabee supporter).


Capitol Offense is a cover band that plays a mix of classic rock, Motown, country and blues.


Capitol Offense's lineup is as follows:

  • Mike Huckabee - bass
  • Chris Pyle - drums
  • DeWayne Hayes - lead guitar (1996–2003)
  • Mike Perkins - vocals (1996)
  • Grant Tennille - vocals (1997–1999)
  • Rick Calhoun - guitar, vocals
  • Aaron Black - vocals
  • Steve Pyle - vocals
  • Teri Cox - vocals
  • Marynell Branch - keyboard
  • Gordon Caffey - lead guitar, vocals


  1. ^ "He Knows a Little Rock." Glenn Collins. The New York Times.
  2. ^ Press release from guitar-maker Gibson Archived 2008-05-14 at the Wayback Machine, regarding Huckabee and his band.
  3. ^ Profile of Huckabee. Daniel Nasaw. The Guardian Unlimited (U.K.)
  4. ^ a b "Huckabee pushes the arts Archived January 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine." Stephen Schmidt. The Daily Iowan
  5. ^ "The Governor Who Put His State on a Diet." Gina Bellafante. The New York Times. August 10, 2005.
  6. ^ "Once Again, a Little Rock From Arkansas". The Washington Post.