Raven Cliff shares its experience in music with Lovett Live

Black leather couches, ceiling lamps, cast, crew and audience members filled the stage Tuesday in Lovett Auditorium for the uprising band, Raven Cliff from Nashville, Tenn. Raven Cliff’s southern rock and country style had fans on their feet singing along with their new self-titled album.

The band has opened for Jason Moore, Toby Keith and Trace Akins in the past. Band members include Chris Rakes, lead guitar and vocals, Cameron Vaught, percussion, Justin Spears, lead guitar and vocals, Jason Litz, lead guitar and vocals and Justin McFarland, bass and vocals.

The band opened up with a re-imagined version of the national anthem, followed by one of its original songs from the album. The album includes nine original songs, three of them being live versions. The band also did several covers of other artists including Richard Skinner.

The band is named after a fishing hole in a small town in Virginia. The band’s producer and manager heard of Rakes and Vaught in a previous band and decided to put the five together as a new group.

“I think as we all come from different backgrounds,” Spears said. “We mesh well together as a group and that’s how we found our sound.”

The band, who has been together more than a year, said moving to Nashville was both a nervous and exciting situation.

“It was all very nerve racking because some of us had to leave our wives and such back home to follow our dreams,” McFarland said. “We are just taking it one step at a time.”

Because they have opened shows for different country artists in the past, the band has many influences they put into their songs.

“As we opened for Toby Keith, we got out of our little van with all five of us in there plus our equipment and looked around at the tour buses and were overwhelmed,” Spears said. “It was an amazing experience for us.”

Curious fan, Rick Elber, freshman from Milwaukee, Wis., came to the concert to watch the Raven Cliff, which he discovered on YouTube.

“I thought they sounded great and it was awesome to see them in an auditorium like this,” Elber said. “I expected an awesome show because of their southern rock and country style. I would definitely buy their album and listen to it in my car.”

As the concert came to a close, the group decided to sing in a capella and answer questions from the audience.  The bands next show is in Rome, Ga.

Story by McKenzie Willett, Staff writer.