From Kelly Clarkson to David Bowie, Blame the Radio’s repertoire is a mix of everything — minus anything too heavy, says Matt Camp, who plays rhythm and lead guitar in the local cover band. Joined by Bruce Patten on guitar, Nick Wildeman on bass, Elvis Anthony as vocalist, and drummer Gregg Martin, the group is made up of several Evansville locals with prior projects under their belts. “If it’s more work than fun, then you’re not doing it right,” says Camp. “The way we have it now, we play music with who we like for people we like.”
Nearly a year together in February, Blame the Radio has built an Evansville resume, playing to crowds at Deerhead, Casino Aztar, Hacienda, Bar Louie, Backstage Bar & Grill, and Club Royale. Sticking to covers, the band looks beyond tracks one, two, and three on hit albums. “Some of the songs we play may not be our favorites,” says Anthony, “but we try to play what’s fun for the listeners whenever we are performing.”
While most of their set list is unique for cover bands, Camp admits they do perform some guilty pleasure songs, such as Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger,” “I can’t Go for That” by Hall and Oates, and some Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson tunes. Hence their name, they blame it on the radio.
Booking about two gigs a month, the band members have day jobs, too. Wildeman is an auditor for Posey County, Patten is the sound technician for the Bethel Temple auditorium, and Anthony drives a beer truck. Camp and Martin are teachers for The Guitar Lab at 1010 S. Weinbach Ave. Camp began teaching guitar, mandolin, bass, and all styles of guitar in 2006, and Martin, a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass., has been teaching drums for 26 years to students. Martin also teaches percussion to the Boonville middle and high schools.
Spanning almost three decades, the group pulls inspiration from diverse musical backgrounds. Wildeman, for example, spent the early 90s playing Iron Maiden in a barn, while Camp played in Plush, a Christian metal band. Between the five of them, they use their talent and professionalism to bring good, fresh music to venues around town. “It’s an uphill battle,” Camp says. “But we’re able to justify lugging our gear out of our homes by playing a good show.”