Sweet Eastern Saint is a band, a recent venture started by Reginald Bradley Smith (vox, guitar, keys) and Ryan Wariner (lead guitar). The two met in 2001, a good year for cabernet sauvignon. The setting was a rock band called Lucky Black. Thanks to good...
Sweet Eastern Saint is a band, a recent venture started by Reginald Bradley Smith (vox, guitar, keys) and Ryan Wariner (lead guitar). The two met in 2001, a good year for cabernet sauvignon. The setting was a rock band called Lucky Black. Thanks to good booking and ridiculous talent for five 18-22 year olds, the band was able to enjoy touring with Cowboy Mouth, Brian Van der Ark (Verve Pipe), and the legendary Red Headed Stranger, Willie Nelson. Unfortunately, Lucky Black wasn't meant to be, and the aftermath found Reggie moving accross the country to Oregon and Ryan staying in Nashville. Two years later, however, the pair found themselves itching to play together again, so after another move accross the country, this time in the right direction, Ryan and Reggie began cooking up some ideas . They drank some beer, wrote some songs, and thought about names. In January of 2008 they gathered the considerable talents of Derek Mixon (drums) and James Cook (bass) into the fold and began recording and playing local/regional shows. After a few months as a four piece, Chris Tuttle joined the band to play keys, and Melissa Mathes sings background vocals and adds visual charm to this band of miscreants
Reginald Bradley started playing piano at age 8, mostly classical and traditional, but thanks to exposure to a wide array of music joined his first band in Jr. High and never looked back. He is an in demand road and studio musician, having played for a multitude of Nashville artists; as band leader/keyboard player for country singer-songwriter Lee Brice he toured with Dierks Bentley, shared stages with everyone from Sugarland to George Strait. He was also asked to join ACM winner Jack Ingram on a string of shows in support of Martina McBride's summer tour. Recording has put him alongside singer/guitarist Jedd Hughes, original Funk Brothers bassist Bob Babbit, and reknowned drummer Ed Green just to name a few highlights. While he is known as a keyboard player in professional circles, Reggie began playing guitar in high school and primarily weilds a '72 Telecaster Deluxe on stage with SES. He is a Capricorn, he secretly loves rose wine, and prefers Lennon's solo work over McCartney's
Ryan Wariner was all but born to be a guitar player. It probably doesn't hurt your chances of becoming a good guitar player when your dad is world reknowned, multi-platinum singer, songwriter, and guitar player Steve Wariner. He did Ryan the biggest favor when he was young. As a lefty, Ryan constantly recieved the gentle instruction from dad to "flip your guitar over the right way". His guitar collection has benefited greatly. Ryan has played as a guitar slinger for SheDaisy, Shooter Jennings, Jewel, and will be joining the Leeann Rimes tour this year. At age 18 he was nominated for a Grammy for an instrumental he co-wrote and played with his dad. Bela Fleck won the contest, but it's possible there's still time for another shot for Mr. Wariner. Ryan likes the beach, but not the water, and loves Yuengling Lager.
Derek Mixon hails from Louisiana, and a quiet intensity belies the ability to turn drum heads into mince meat. He is a veteran of stage and studio, having played with everyone from Jonny Neal to Sam Bush, SheDaisy (where he and Ryan met) to Tracy Byrd. He and bassist James Cook began playing together years ago, and their groove shows it. Their other project band the Levees is a bayou rock'n'roll tent revival that you can't help dancing to. He has two black labs and a penchant for landscaping in his off time.
James is the true Southern boy of the group; polite, understated, but with a wicked sharp wit to match the bottom heavy notes he coaxes from only four strings. His resume is filled with many of the same afore-mentioned artists as Derek, and he currently enjoys enough studio work to spend most of his time in town. James has been known to leap tall buildings in a single bound, and he does not sleep.
Chris Tuttle is a wizard on the keyboards, and after playing all year with country pop chanteuse Jewel with Ryan, was drafted to help round out the live show. He currently owns 5 Hammond organs, and is slowly but sadly losing his North Carolina accent.
Melissa Mathes' first national appearance was at the age of 11 on Star Search. Before she graduated high school she recorded a commercial for McDonald's ("We love to see you smile") and shared the Lilith Fair stage with Sarah McLachlan et al. Her current solo project is never short of great talent behind her: John Deadrick (Dixie Chicks, Michael McDonald) and Audley Freed (Black Crowes, Peter Frampton) are two frequent songwriting and live show collaborators. She has never sung a wrong note, unless it was completely on purpose.