Even the best bands come and go, but the Carpenter Ants have been around – with virtually the same lineup – for 25 years. The Ants have defied the odds and outlasted most of their peers for several reasons. First and foremost, after more than 2,000 performances, regardless of the occasion, the band never fails to have a good time – and that feeling is contagious.
The group’s new CD, Ants & Uncles, was again produced by Don Dixon and features guitarist Bill Kirchen on all tracks. Other guests include keyboardist John Deaderick (Dixie Chicks, Alison Krauss, and Michael McDonald), famed peddle steel guitarist Russ Hicks and dobro/lap steel master Jerry Douglas.
WV’s premier rhythm & blues group, the Ants – guitarist Michael Lipton, drummer Jupiter Little, bassist Ted Harrison, and vocalist/saxophonist Charlie Tee – have quietly amassed a resume that rivals many national groups. The group’s trademark country-soul sound – rich, soulful harmonies, stinging solos, and a rock-solid rhythm section – captures that rare, loose-but-tight feel and has won the band international and regional fans. The Ants have twice traveled to Moscow. The trips found the group performing at various venues, including the 3,500-seat Russia Concert Hall, the city’s most prestigious room, a Letterman-style TV show with a national audience of 100 million (!!), funky clubs, and flashy casinos. In the U.S., they’ve played all venues – from church services and rallies for presidential candidates (Bill Clinton and John Kerry) to a biker festival and a nudist camp.