The Name My Band Contest

A contest of sorts, if you will.


I’ve played music professionally and worked on the business side of the industry as a promoter and manager for many years as well. Started out as a bassist (jazz and funk) and have been playing guitar since I was about 8 (I’m 32 now). The past few years I’ve been playing more and more bluegrass and old time, on both guitar and mandolin.

The itch to get out there and perform has been growing for about 18 months now, and I’ve been woodshedding like crazy and waiting for the right group of people to present themselves.

And now they have. We’re rehearsing pretty hard, both originals and very cool covers, and are getting to the point we need a name. I will explain the styles of music we are performing and throw it to the Teeming Millions.

I will present the list of potential names to the group monday night at rehearsal. If none takes, the contest will remain open until the following week’s Monday night rehearsal.

The winner shall receive, in the mail, a nice set of CDs of local, regional and national acts (as I concert promoter, I get more CDs than you can imagine), of a nature designed to appeal to your musical tastes - from hip-hop to bluegrass, from reggae to cajun.

And you’ll get a copy of the first demo we put out, of course.

We are rehearsing a core group of three players, and will be performing both in acoustic and electric lineups. Each lineup will feature a different feel, and lean in a different direction.

The acoustic lineup will probably perform for about 5-6 months before we debut the electric in public. The music is a combination of bluegrass, old-time, classic rock and vocal group. The best current comparison is something like Alison Kraus meets the Thorns, with Robbie Robertson writing the lyrics. Or maybe something along the lines of Jeff Austin (of YMSB) and Chris Castino (of the Big Wu)'s side project, with much more powerful vocals.

In addition to our originals, which are in my pretty jaded opinion are really damn good, we are performing the following covers currently:

The Weight (The Band) - very sparse and gospel arrangement
When I’m 64 (The Beatles) - hamming up the vocals, very barbershop quartet vocals on this
Let me Touch You For A While (Alison Krauss) - pretty much verbatim
Galileo (Indigo Girls) - fairly true to the original, but Emily’s harmonies are sung by me, not a woman.
Bertha (The Dead) - a little more raw and bluesy than Bobby sang it
Bluegrass Country (Del McCoury) - pretty much verbatim, although less banjo, more mando.
Goldbrickin’ (Del McCoury) - note for note identical to the version on 'Del & The Boys - our showcase instrumental piece for my mando playing
The Old Home Place (J.D. Crowe and the New South) - pretty true to J.D. original, although the harmonies are more gospel and less true grass.
The core lineup:

me: guitar, mandolin, piano, harmonica, electric guitar, electric 5 string mandolin, lead male vocal
not me: upright, fretless acoustic-electric, electric bass, cello, female lead vocal
not me again: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bottleneck guitar, dobro, principal lead player, harmony vocals.

in addition, around this core we are rehearsing additional players to fatten up the sound, for particular sets or audiences. For the acoustic group, the additional players (who will not always necessarily be playing, and not necessarily at the same time) are:

female: fiddle, strong alto for female harmonies
male: banjo, no vocal, but badass banjo chops
male: percussion

The electric group will feature the same core, but lean towards electric instrumentation, full drums, and a lot of jamming - in more of a ‘lot of written parts that breathe and grow kind of way’ than a masturbate with your instrument on stage kind of way. So a lot closer to a Little Feat/Allmans kind of jam than a noodly Phish/Dead kind.

What we’re looking for is a name that describes the music, doesn’t sound too silly or too pretentious, and generally captures the feel of the group.

We’ve already rejected the following:

The Last Hope String Band
Cannabis Rex (good album title, though - with a little t-rex smokin’ a joint in its stubby arms) :smiley:
Last Man Standing
The Mad City Pickers
So let’s hear what you got, Dopers!

The clue was in the question:

The Teeming Millions :smiley:

I don’t have any specific suggestions right now, but remember vibrotronica’s first rule of great band names:

All great band names are oblique references to the band members genitals.


Ummm… Lead singer for The Pocket Lizards of Lynn, Mass. checking in…



I always thought “The Shady Grove” would be a good name for a band with a bluegrass vibe.

Looking at the Band:
Caledonia Missionaries?
The Great Divide?
Unfaithful Servants?


Hugh Jass - I actually really like the sound of *The Shady Grove Boys * (I play every single song from that album when I play solo), but my bassist might have something to say about that…she’s got girl parts

I’m liking The Great Divide too - two nice musical references there (The Band & Phish) and it’s pretty evocative of the style we’re playing

Keep 'em coming, folks!

I have also decided that should the band name be chosen from the SDMB, I will name Track 3 on the first disc 'Hi Opal!, and the poster who comes up with the name will get a liner note mention.

The Bluegrass Resistance.
Cannabisaurus rex. :smiley:
Mandolin Overdrive.
The Electric Jamband Pickers.
The Flatpick Alliance.
Bluegrass Vibes.

Borderline Kentucky

Tennessee Brindle

Skull Bone Ten

Named for Skullbone, Tennesee and the 19th century bareknuckle boxing tradition. However, everybody who hears the name will assume you’re either rock or heavy metal, which sets up an interesting crossover potential.

You’d get to play at the Skullbone Music Park automatically.

“Skullboning” sounds dirty.

Your fans would be “Skullboners” == that really sounds dirty.

Your T-shirts would kick ass.

I would like my liner note credit to read, “To the insightful, insatiable and insane Askia, first among the Illumanati, the best since Tom Parker.”


A Bluegrass band’s name has to involve a place. Union Station, Kentucky Thunder, the Clinch Mountain Boys, the Nashville Bluegrass Band, Nickel Creek, the Lonesome River Band, the Foggy Bottom Boys, the New South. Most of the rest are obvious eponyms like the Del McCoury Band and the Osborne Brothers. Hell, “bluegrass” is just referring to Kentucky, rather than a particularly attractive variety of lawn covering.

The only counterexamples I can come up with immediately are IIIrd Tyme Out, Seldom Scene, and Rhonda Vincent’s band, The Rage. Sure, your less traditional, more contemporary Bluegrass-influenced bands (as you appear to be) show a bit more variation, but you know, if it ain’t broke…

Given that, I suggest:

Rosine (the Ohio County, KY home of Bill Monroe, and incidentally, only a few miles from where CrazyCatLady went to school)
Horse Branch (a creek that runs nearby)
Pigeon Creek (yet another nearby waterway) (yes, I’m using Mapquest)
Fire Mountain (don’t know where it is, but the Dead reference wouldn’t go unnoticed. Maybe even Scarlet Fire, though you might be mistaken for a Dead cover band at that point.)
Any of the above could be appended with Pickers, Boys, Band, or Trio.

Other suggestions:
The Cast Iron Trio
The Flatbeds
The Pick Axis

I’ll suggest more as they come to me.

The Jefferson County Sextet
The Band Of Renown
Johnny Reb and the Unionists
Pick Pickwell and His Pickers
Do It For Danko
The Return of the Waltz
The Pick Pockets
Uncle Jean-Marie le
The Stringers

Purple Filth!!


The Hidalgo Trading Company Warehouse

Since you’re playing a wide variety of styles in different ways, such as pop-rock sung barbershop harmony, perhaps a name that reflects that.

Actually, I’m reminded of a group called Clam Chowder, who worked the sci-fi circuit on the East Coast. They sang anything: a Temperence hymn, sea chantys, Eric Vogel songs.

So how about something like Gumbo? Apart from being thought of as a Cajun group.

I wouldn’t recommend bouillebayse … bouillebase … that Frenchy soup, unless you’re into Edith Piaf.

PS: Another vote for Great Divide, too.

I didn’t know there was a Shady Grove Boys. I got the name from the Bill Monroe song. Ah well.

How about the Psychedelic Hillbilly Freakout?

Is there a named Hill near you? You could be the XXXX Hillbillies.

Richard Manuel’s Broken Heart?

The First Waltz (stealing from Governor Quinn)

You could always make up a fake last name, and be like a family. Like the Walton Family, or The Rodriquez Brothers. Sorta like the Allmans, except with no Allmans.

Billie Banjo and the Hootenanny?

Here’s another silly idea. Pick a name of a city that sort of says “bluegrass” to you, or sort of embodies your bands sound. Then add “orchestra” , “Philharmonic” or “Pops” to it. Like Okefenokee Philharmonic.

I guess you could always call yourself “Free Beer”

High 'N Lonesome

Safe At Anchor (After the Kate Wolf song of the same name. Here’s a link to a clip.)

Anniversary Paint

Dustbowl Heart

The Yolks

So I’ve collated the names thus far, and I’m hoping for a fair amount of additional suggestions throughout the day today. Based on the responses thus far, I will most likely let the contest run another week, unless this thread sinks like a stone today.

Suggested names so far (Bolded names are my personal favorites)

The Teeming Millions
Caledonia Missionaries
Unfaithful Servants
The Great Divide <— front-runner
The Bluegrass Resistance
Cannabisaurus Rex
Mandolin Overdrive.
The Electric Jamband Pickers
The Flatpick Alliance
Bluegrass Vibes
Borderline Kentucky
Tennessee Brindle
Skull Bone Ten
The Cast Iron Trio
The Flatbeds
The Pick Axis
Horse Branch
Pigeon Creek
Fire Mountain Fire Mountain String Band
The Jefferson County Sextet
The Band Of Renown
Johnny Reb and the Unionists
Pick Pickwell and His Pickers
Do It For Danko
The Return of the Waltz
The Pick Pockets
Uncle Jean-Marie le
The Stringers
The Hidalgo Trading Company Warehouse
Purple Filth (This band has been graped by the…oh, never mind)
Free Beer (and my variation, Ladies Drink Free)
Okefenokee Philharmonic
Billie Banjo and the Hootenanny
Richard Manuel’s Broken Heart
The First Waltz
Psychedelic Hillbilly Freakout
High 'N Lonesome High Lonesome Pickers/High Lonesome String Band
Safe At Anchor
Anniversary Paint
Dustbowl Heart
The Yolks

You might have to be known as The Great Divide Pt. 2 since there’s already another one. :frowning:

I was afraid of that. I just hadn’t yet gotten around to googling.


Sort of odd, but how about the Green Grass Bluegrass Band?