Blind Ambition prides itself in presenting a variety of music genres during its shows.
The Jackson County-based band started out seven years ago playing only contemporary Christian music but has since evolved.
That isn’t to say, however, that the group has strayed from its roots.
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“One of the things we have always done from Day 1 and continue to do before every show onstage in front of everybody is we say a prayer,” said Doug Prather, who sings and plays guitar and keyboard for the band.
“One of the things that, whoever is saying the prayer, pretty consistently comes out is, ‘Put a smile on people’s faces,’” he said. “Let the people who are there take your music, let us perform well and let them not worry about whatever it is in life that’s got them down, bummed out, whatever. They are here to hear some good music and smile and dance. Let’s make sure that that’s what we give them and provide for them.”
Gary Myers, the band’s drummer, said that goes back to the origin and Christian nature of the band.
“Our talents are a gift from God, and we’re blessed to be together and have decent health to play,” he said, noting that several of the current members have faced health issues.
“We’ve all had our battles. So has everybody,” he said. “So what we want to do is, when we play, create an atmosphere of having fun and kind of get away from the challenges of your life and enjoy the moment and create kind of a festive and uplifting attitude.”
Prather and Myers have been a part of the band since its inception. Both were members of church praise teams at the time and knew each other through their jobs.Myers said he grew up listening to local garage bands and enjoyed music, while Prather grew up with music in church and played guitar but never was in a band.At the start, there were four other members of the band, and they mainly played at Christian venues and events by request.
“We really enjoyed that, had a lot of fun doing that, but there just were not many opportunities to play,” Myers said. “Almost all of the Christian gigs were just free. All of it was fun. We don’t do this for money.”
The makeup of the band has changed a few times, including four years ago when the female lead singer decided to step away. That’s when Kimm Mitchell came on board.
“I had a friend who knew that I liked to sing and knew that they had a position for a female lead,” she said.
She said she also grew up around music in church and liked doing karaoke, but she hadn’t been in a band.
“When I was a little girl, I dressed up as a rock star four years in a row for Halloween,” Mitchell said, joking that she was destined to be involved in music. “My kids think I’m famous, that’s all that matters.”
‘Switch at bass’
Three years ago, Greg Clark joined the band to play bass guitar. He has been involved in music for 40 years, having played with several groups.“I had been in hibernation for a while,” he said, smiling. “Robin Carnahan, the bass player, joined another band and played in two bands. He asked me to come in and take his place.”Clark’s interest in music started at a young age.
“I grew up always loving radio and music,” he said. “I had the radio on all the time when I was a kid, even when I did homework. Everybody said, ‘You shouldn’t listen to the radio and do your homework,’ but I did. It didn’t bother me.”
Pursuing other interests throughout most of his school years, Clark said, he didn’t have time to do music. But that changed in the middle of his high school years.
“I started messing around with my brother’s guitar when he would take off,” he said. “I started liking that and always had a passion for it.”
‘The final pieces’
Not long after Clark joined Blind Ambition, Danny Cole came on as a guitarist.“Greg called me one day and asked if I wanted to join,” Cole said. “I kind of put him off. … A little while later, I joined this band, and I’m glad I did. I enjoy it.”Cole has been around music for 50 years, and several generations of his family are involved, too.
“My whole family has been involved in it. My mom and dad taught me how to play guitar when I was 10,” he said.
Clark’s nephew, Brody Clark, is the newest member of the group. He joined a year ago and plays guitar.
“I started playing when I was about 13, and I’m 28 now,” Brody Clark said. “I’ve been involved with a couple of other bands, and my Uncle Greg asked me (to join Blind Ambition).”
The band plays most of its shows in Indiana, limiting itself to a couple of weekends per month. It plays all cover songs.
“We get complimented on is our song selection,” Prather said. “One of the things we hear is, ‘My gosh, you played this, and I went Whoa! I haven’t heard that in forever. And then you came out of left field and swung all the way around to the opposite end of the pendulum and played this.’”
Mitchell said she likes how the band members come from different backgrounds and have their own jobs and families and find a way to come together onstage.
“When we come together, it’s like we’re all just on the same team, it’s like we’re a family,” she said. “That’s one thing that we really take a lot of pride in is caring about each other.”
The other members agreed.
“The camaraderie is good in this group,” Greg Clark said. “So many bands you go into, there are some people with egos and stuff, and it doesn’t work. If you can get along with everybody, that’s the best thing.”
Brody Clark said they are all good friends and get along, and Cole said he likes the camaraderie and friendships.
“Every once in a while, we amaze me,” Cole said, laughing.
Prather said the band considers itself fortunate to be a part of a strong music scene in the county, noting several other bands that present good music and help the community.
“There’s a very, very vibrant musical community in Seymour,” he said. “I certainly don’t know what the community looks like in other communities, but I’d take the team that would line up (here) and go to another community and compete. The number of benefits that the local bands do to raise money for whatever the need might be is phenomenal.”
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Blind Ambition is a Jackson County-based band that plays a variety of music at its shows.
It started seven years ago as a contemporary Christian band.
Gary Myers, the drummer, and Doug Prather, who sings and plays guitar and keyboard, are two of the original members. The other current members are Kimm Mitchell (vocals), Greg Clark (bass guitar), Danny Cole (lead guitar) and Brody Clark (lead guitar).
For information, visit facebook.com/blindambitionseymour.
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If you are an individual, duo or group from Jackson County that is involved in music and would like to be featured in The Tribune, send an email to [email protected] or call 812-523-7080.