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Sweet’n’Creek strikes a chord with community

The Sweet N’ Creek band after their performance at an Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Kappa Alpha mixer on March 23. From left to right, Jimmy Belcher, guitar and vocals; Aubrey Watson, drums and mandolin; Wyatt Triplett, guitar and harmonica; and Parker Bumgarner, guitar. Courtesy of Josh Denoncourt

Four close friends gained more success than they expected when they started their band about two months ago. Since February, the local band Sweet‘n’Creek has received lots of attention.

The band consists of App State sophomores: Jimmy Belcher, a product design major who plays guitar and vocals; Wyatt Triplett, a business management major who plays bass guitar, harmonica and guitar; Parker Bumgarner, a construction management major who plays guitar and Aubrey Watson, a computer information systems major who plays the drums and the mandolin. 

Bumgarner and Watson met on their first day of college and began hanging out later in the year. One night, Belcher was hanging out with Bumgarner’s roommate and went into their room. While in his room, Belcher noticed Bumgarner’s guitar and struck up a conversation with him about it later. Bumgarner, Watson and Belcher began hanging out and making music together until Bumgarner introduced Triplett, who he met at a Ducks Unlimited event, a wetland conservation organization, to the group and the band was complete. 

The band said everything leading up to the first show within the first two weeks was “rushed in the best way.” They had a friend who knew they had been playing music and asked them to perform at a party. The band was filled with excitement. They had two weeks to form a 10-song set list and chose a band name.

The band said they can’t exactly pinpoint how they came up with the name “Sweet’n’Creek,” but Triplett said it could’ve had something to do with their shared hobby of fly fishing. The original name was “Sweet Creek,” which got changed to “Sweetened Creek” before they finally landed on “Sweet’n’Creek.” 

“It’s up to interpretation,” said Belcher, when referring to the meaning of the band name. 

The members said there isn’t a “meaning” behind the name. 

“Nobody around here is ‘sweet’ anything and no one around here is anything ‘creek,’ so it’s different. It’s unique,” said Bumgarner. 

The band describes their taste in music as “all over the charts.” While making a set list, one member will recommend a song they’d like to play, the band will practice it and they usually know in the first five minutes if they are going to add the song to the set list, Triplett said.

Aubrey Watson on drums at an Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Kappa Alpha mixer on March 23. Watson is a sophomore computer information system major.
Courtesy of Eli Fuller

Since forming the band, they have played at four fraternity events and one birthday party.

One of Bumgarner’s favorite memories was their third performance at Sigma Alpha Epsilon, when they were halfway through their set list, they looked at each other in awe of how many people were there, he said.

“It was the first time we had a huge crowd engaged, and it was just real,” said Bumgarner. “It, like, all set in at once.” 

Belcher said he enjoys seeing what they’ve worked on as a group come together. 

“Seeing these guys come together and have so much fun with the music in here and to be able to take it outside of this living room and play for people and have other people be having fun with what we’re having fun with, that’s cool,” said Belcher. “The first time we played, we were all up on stage and all of our friends were standing there having such a good time, that was my favorite memory.”

The band enjoys performing covers, but they make original music as well. They describe the process of writing their songs as a group effort.

One original called “Silhouettes” has been a favorite among their audience. They have enjoyed being able to recognize people who have seen them perform before and watching them know and sing along to songs they wrote. 

Their biggest goal as of right now is to start recording their music. The band is also excited to perform at other venues such as bars and even other schools, Belcher said.

All of the band members’ families are very supportive, they said. Belcher said his little brother, who is also interested in music, enjoys the band. The band agreed their parents are their “biggest fans.”

The group has a very close friendship as well. They each love being in a band with people they can hang out with outside of the music, they said.  

Although they had a “no way” reaction to getting their first check, the band said it’s not about the money for them. All of the money they have made so far has gone straight back to equipment, Triplett said.

The hardest part of starting the band has been balancing playing music with their other responsibilities, especially when they wish they were able to play all day, Belcher said.

Sweet N’ Creek band playing at a Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Kappa Alpha mixer on March 23. Sweet N’ Creek is a new four member band with a quick growing fanbase. Courtesy of Josh Denoncourt

Along with time management, another big thing they’ve had to learn with starting the band is marketing and social media. A big aspect of their social media is getting filmed while they’re playing, which would not be possible without the people who do it for them for free, the band said. They said the involvement of people like Aiden Redman, Charlie Hurt, Josh Denoncourt and Eli Fuller is huge when it comes to what goes into what they are able to put on social media.

“There’s a lot of people helping us out, who don’t have to help us out that we’re very appreciative of,” said Bumgarner.

Triplett said the band has helped him with balancing schoolwork as well. 

“You’re doing homework all the time and your mind cramps up and you kind of get to let go and play some music,” Triplett said. “It helps me a lot.”

The band currently practices in Belcher’s living room, but the practices will be moved to a house next year which the band said they are super excited about. 

“I love it,” said Avery Bryant, Belcher’s roommate. “It’s like you went out and saw live music somewhere, but it’s just always here.”

The members aren’t sure where the band will go after they graduate, but playing music together is “never going to stop,” Belcher said. Additionally, Triplett alluded to playing at each other’s weddings.

“At the end of the day, I think we’re just some good friends who have come together to do something that we love,” Belcher said. “I’m excited to keep it rolling with these guys because it’s been nothing but fun so far.”

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About the Contributor
Macy Grymes
Macy Grymes, News Reporter
Macy Grymes (she/her/hers) is a sophomore journalism major with a minor in marketing. This is her first year writing for The Appalachian
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