Flat River Band.jpg
Flat River Band logo.jpg

Country and bluegrass trio of brothers the Flat River Band released their latest project in 2021, a five-song EP titled "Sights and Sounds".   As brothers Chad, Dennijo and Andy Sitze (collectively the Flat River Band) began searching for songs for their latest project, they had no clue what would transpire. They knew they wanted it to be big but they never imagined they’d land guest vocals by the legendary Gatlin Brothers, as well as gospel music quartet The McCrary Sisters. 

For the compilation, the brothers tossed around the idea of recording the Gatlins’ 1977 No. 1 hit “I Just Wish You Were Someone I Love.”  “We just love the harmonies on that song, and no one can harmonize it like the Gatlins,” explains Andy.  During their youth, Dennijo recalls his mother playing “All the Gold in California” on the cassette player. “Back when we were kids living in a trailer park, mama taught us how to harmonize listening to the Gatlin Brothers,” he says. “This song was a no-brainer.”  So it was decided. The Flat River Band would include the Gatlins’ smash hit on "Sights and Sounds". The brothers recorded the tune, then a friend suggested they reach out to the Gatlin camp for a guest vocal appearance. “We reached out to them and waited patiently for a reply,” notes Chad.

“We were blown away by the response. Larry said he loved our version and would love to be apart of it for free. We got together with Larry, Steve and Rudy and recorded it at Creative Workshop Studios, the same place the original song was recorded. And to top it off, the Gatlins agreed to appear in the music video which we shot at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in Nashville!” 

 

For the Flat River Band, an additional guest vocal appearance by The McCrary Sisters was the icing on the cake. “The brothers and I have always loved The McCrary Sisters,” explains Chad. “Their daddy was a founding member of the Fairfield Four who we used to listen to and learned songs from when we had our family band. It only made sense to reach out to them and pitch the idea about singing with us on a song I wrote called ‘Shining Through My Window.’ Luckily, they also said yes!” 

The EP also includes two other songs co-written by the brothers,  “The River Song” and “Ain’t a Woman Like a River" and a  Crosby, Stills & Nash cover, “Helplessly Hoping,” “My brothers and I have always been fans of Crosby, Stills, & Nash, said Chad Sitze. “We just love those harmonies. We picked the tempo up a little, put some mean steel guitar on it and changed the phrasing a little. It was very important to us while working this song up to record that we did not want to change or take away from the integrity of the song itself.”   

 

The brothers also went on to have created a magical and moving video to promote, “Helplessly Hoping”.  The video premiered on Audidio, Aim Country Music Television, Center Stage Magazine and Nashville Country TV and is being featured on popular streaming and online platforms. The interesting element of the  video  recorded, produced and edited by videographer, Mark Nicolosi, is that it was shot in a cave in Wrigley, Tennessee.  

“A few years ago a friend of mine showed me this cave in Wrigley, Tennessee while we were riding our UTV’s on the back country roads of Hickman county and I have always thought it would be a real unique place to capture a music video,” added Dennijo.  "We bought a little more than 200 candles, although we did not use them all, but we just wanted to be prepared. The candles were placed at the direction of the videographer, Mark Nicolosi. A friend of ours made the candle stands, we borrowed a generator, and we brought a cooler full of Red Bulls along with a coffee maker. Mark wanted the brothers and I to commit to him until Sunrise, we went in the cave at 3:30pm on a Saturday afternoon and walked out at 3:30am Sunday morning. We were all exhausted, but we all felt like we captured some magic there in Wrigley, Tennessee,” shared Andy.

"This is the third music video I have directed and shot with Flat River Band. I am a friend and a fan, and I am always humbled when someone asks me to do this.   One of the things I love about working with these guys is that their performance is always solid and just what the song needs,” stated videographer-Mark Nicolosi.  

 

The brother's bond has carried the success of the band throughout the years as the trio has opened for the Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines, Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, Rhonda Vincent, TG Sheppard, among others. The brothers have also charted #1 hits on the Bluegrass Gospel charts as well as have had their songs featured in the 2018 movie “The Least of These — A Christmas Story” featuring Duane Allen (Oak Ridge Boys), Deborah Allen, and Tayla Lynn (Loretta Lynn’s granddaughter).

 

That unabandoned joy and love of music comes to the forefront when you listen to the band’s album, "Every Dog Has Its Day". The trio’s fifth effort and consisted of seven original songs.  The  vocals were recorded all at the same time .  In the past, they always built around the lead vocalist but on" On Every Dog Has Its Day" project, they all three sang at the same time, so if someone made a mistake, they would have to start over. By doing this, they feel they  captured a vibe that we have never captured before.  Aaron McDaris who plays with Rhonda Vincent and the Rage was brought into play banjo,  one of Dennijo’s guitar superheroes, Johnny Hiland who is legally blind was brought in to play the electric guitar, while Stuart Duncan played fiddle. 

One thing is apparent when you listen to The Flat River Band, the trio, comprised of siblings Andy, Dennijo, and Chad Sitze, love to have fun when they are playing music. “We have a blast,” says Andy. I think that all bands, if they've been playing long enough with each other,  they have a good time. Otherwise they wouldn't play together.” Andy recognizes it could be the family ties they enjoy.

Whatever brings the harmonies out in this trio of brothers, you will not want to miss their "Sights and Sounds" EP, nor any of their future efforts, cause life is just too short to miss great music.