Soaking up good tunes

S pungewurthy has graced the Dayton scene since 2001, playing the coolest tunes from rap, rock, country and dance to the dancefloor delight of participating patrons. Members have put time in other acts, bringing a wealth of history and experience to the group including Northside Tribe, Festive Skeletons, Funky G and Mad Hatter.

Spungewurthy Celebrates 17 years
at J.D. Legends


Scott Miller on lead guitar and vocals will knock the dust off your boots.

By Mike Ritchie

Spungewurthy has graced the Dayton scene since 2001, playing the coolest tunes from rap, rock, country and dance to the dancefloor delight of participating patrons. Members have put time in other acts, bringing a wealth of history and experience to the group including Northside Tribe, Festive Skeletons, Funky G and Mad Hatter.

They play a few shows a week as business picks up in the summer, bringing an average arsenal of 100 songs. Even if someone requests an obscure oddity, they can usually pull it off.

On May 18, they’ll return to the sands and sun of J.D. Legends. “We haven’t played there since it changed ownership but we have three dates there this summer,” vocalist and guitarist Scott Miller says.

Miller says they just kind of morphed into what they are today. Their multi-genre range of tunes have kept them a solid draw and in demand in all venues they play, giving an edge over groups that stick to one genre. “We’ve changed over the years,” Miller says. “Five years ago, we took on a full headed format.”

You’ll hear everything from Maroon 5 and Sublime to Kanye West and Vanilla Ice. They even give Justin Timberlake and Warren G some love. Miller jokes, they can’t get rid of the Vanilla Ice songs because people like them. Concerning rock, they cater to Rush, Skynyrd and an occasional heavier headbanging Metallica or Rob Zombie song. Miller’s lost track of how many “Free Bird” requests they’ve got.

If lyrics to the rap and hip-hop songs get too mature, Miller cleans them up on the fly. “There’s some things I wouldn’t sing, as is, in front of kids,” he says. “I find words I can substitute if needed.” They also include a mix of country including Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney and what’s on modern radio.

Miller says the band’s name is based on a specific anecdote on a Seinfeld episode and Elaine’s personal standards, concocted by their original bass player. “It’s a little dated so not everyone knows the story behind it,” he jokes. “The spelling is odd because when we came up with it, there was another band in Delaware with the same name. They spelled it with O’s and we couldn’t get the website domain. We just spelled it different. One of the guys tried trademarking it. We had to change it. He wanted $25,000 for it, we were like, uhm no.” So, they spelled it their way.

Miller was previously in Dead Dogs. “The singer and me, we were ready to do something different so we started this band. We knew two guys who were great players, fit the mold and it took off from there.”

People say they can’t believe the huge gamut of stuff they do, so they’re doing something right. “One of the things we strive for is to not do the obvious songs that everybody does.” They’re not doing weird B-sides but they want to play good songs but those less heard. “We do a handful of what we consider cover band standards, trying not to have too many of them so we’re different.”

They’ve never had a mosh pit or anyone boo a song but some have said they didn’t like certain genres walking off, but it comes with the territory.

They’ve opened for Bret Michaels, Coolio, Vanilla Ice and Tone Loc among others. “He’ll do one-off shows and come deliver the Funky Cold Medina for ya,” Miller says.

To date, Michaels was their biggest crowd of over 1000 people. “There were tons of women lined up around the block to meet him afterwards. The next day everybody’s Facebook pic was with Bret Michaels.”

Friday night it’ll be them doing their thing with a bit of rock and a little bit of country, slipping some dance moves in with a second set of dance and country to get the party going. “We play once a week, sometimes twice,” Miller says. Frequenting 10 different bars regularly, they’ve done Bike Nights at Rip Rap Roadhouse, and Katz Lounge and Kingspoint Pub are also hot spots. “In the summer we’ll play outside at The Greene, Austin Landing and J.D. legends.”

“Thanks to everyone that’s supported us for this long. We will keep doing it as long as you’ll have us.”

Spungewurthy plays J.D. Legends 65 Millard Drive, Franklin, May 18. 8:30 PM start time. Visit jdlegends.com for more information.

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Mike Ritchie
Reach DCP freelance writer Mike Ritchie at MikeRitchie@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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