Front Street Project
'The Front Street Project comes to forefront' by: Andrew Griffin (Alexandria Daily Town Talk) When Alexandria guitarist Adam Guillory began playing acoustic gigs with his friend Trace Hester in 2003, he had no idea they would soon expand into a four-piece that channeled the energy of Dave Matthews Band and the Allman Brothers. But there was some dues-paying to be had. 'We started playing in coffee shops first and before long we were saying, 'We should expand and add some hand percussion,' said Guillory, 21, who took to the guitar in his early teens. 'It struck a chord with me,' Guillory said, adding with a chuckle, 'No pun intended.' The two college guys knew they could do more. 'We evolved one step at a time,' Guillory said. 'And once the electric guitar entered we said, 'This is our sound, let's develop that.'' And that they did. Guillory and Hester, 20 were soon joined by drummer Chris Hampton, 21 and bassist Ben Rosier, 20 and The Front Street Project -- named after the main street in downtown Natchitoches -- was formed. 'When we had our first gig at Pioneer Pub on Front Street we didn't have a name. So we just came up with 'The Front Street Project' and it stuck. That's how everybody came to know us as.' That was in January 2004. Within a year, the quartet was scoring gigs at well-attended events like RiverFest and Red, White and Blue at the Zoo. They also found time to record a four-song EP down at Sockit Studio in Baton Rouge, the same place Grammy nominee Mystikal recorded. The discs are available at Sam Goody in the Alexandria Mall and will soon be available online at CDBaby.com. Guillory, who is also a student at Louisiana College, admits that their sound is mixture of 1990s-styled alternative rock mixed with a jamband flavor, like a mix of the Counting Crows and the Grateful Dead or as Guillory put it 'Like Hootie meets Dave.' 'We have that spirit of a jamband and we like to improvise.' As for tour plans, Guillory said he and the guys are sticking close to home since they're all attending college, although they lament the fact that there are few venues that take chances on up-and-coming jambands with an alternative flair. 'We want to play Shreveport, Ruston and Baton Rouge,' he said. 'And we've already been to Lafayette where they have good college hangouts.' They will play in a Katrina benefit gig sponsored by KALB on Oct. 1, something the band is proud to be a part of. The band hopes to get some local airplay as well. 'As far a group dynamic and getting along, it couldn't be better,' Guillory said. 'We're having fun.'