Out with the old Spafford, and in with the new

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<br>Brian Moss lead guitar for Spafford band sets the tone Wednesday night at Coyote Joe's.

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<br>Brian Moss lead guitar for Spafford band sets the tone Wednesday night at Coyote Joe's.

Prescott's popular rock trio Spafford is gone. Instead, the band's gone quad and added a keyboard player.

"We've nicknamed ourselves 'Spafford 2.0' for now," said Brian Moss, lead guitar and vocals. He founded the band on New Year's Eve 2009 along with Chris Fairless.

Moss and Fairless met at Coyote Joe's weekly singer/songwriter open mic.

"I was playing guitar and Chris was playing djembe (hand drum)," Moss said. "Don Cheek (of the CheekTones) asked us to play New Year's Eve, and we had about three weeks to get ready."

Fairless, the former drummer, now plays bass. New band member Mike Kreidel takes over on drums, and Jonathan Hust brings his keyboards to the stage.

"I've always wanted a keyboard in the band," Moss said. "I'd heard Jon play and he kept popping into my head. So I just went over to his house one night.

"He was sitting there playing online poker with two computers, and I said, 'It looks like you've got time to join the band.'"

"I've always wanted a chance to share the stage with Brian," Hust said. "I haven't played with a really great guitar player in a long time."

Hust said he did not audition for the band, but Moss said he did.

"It was a silent audition. He did it without knowing it," Moss chuckled.

Once Fairless moved from drums to bass, and Moss locked in Hust for keyboards, the only missing element was a drummer.

"I had the perfect idea of who I wanted for the band," Moss said.

Enter Mike Kreidel.

"I met Brian and Chris when they first started Spafford," said Kreidel, who doubles as drummer for Prescott's Sweet Nasty. "I told Brian if he ever needed a drummer to call me."

In addition to being good with drumsticks, Kreidel knows how to work a soundboard and build web pages.

"I'm working on a website for the band," Kreidel said. "We definitely need one."

Although the band plays cover songs to "get people in the door," Moss said the majority of their song list is filled with his original songs.

The band lists its genre as "jammin' funk rock," but their songs cover rock, reggae, funk, jazzy blues, soul and rhythm and blues.

"We want people to dance," Fairless said. The band frequently plays Coyote Joe's, and the patio dance floor is frequently filled with gyrating bodies.

"We're musically driven for musically mature listeners," Moss said to define the band's style. "We intertwine our melodies to set the foundation. For our improvisation jams, we listen to each other and collaborate - feeding off each other."

Spafford may seem an unusual name for a band, but Moss said it is the middle name of a friend of his, and he and Fairless liked it.

If fans consider that a boring story, consider the simple origin of the names for three popular bands, according to library.thinkquest.org: The Beatles named themselves as a play on Buddy Holly and the Crickets, whose music they loved; The Warlocks changed their name to The Grateful Dead after reading a folk tale about a traveler who puts a troubled soul to rest; and Jane's Addiction is named after a prostitute one of the band members knew who told him that prostitution was her addiction.

Because the reincarnated Spafford is brand new - they played their first public "dress rehearsal" this past Wednesday at Coyote Joe's - Moss is not sure what, if any, changes he plans for the band's music.

"Any change will work itself as we go," Kreidel said.

"We want Prescott to experience what no one else offers," Moss said. "I'm trying to open the music scene to a jam band."

Spafford takes the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday at Coyote Joe's, 214 S. Montezuma St., in Prescott.