Dirt Road Sunset: The Best Kept Secret in Music

Written by Abraham E. Kline
It has often been said that the best way to succeed in music is to find a few good buddies and start a band. For the four good buddies that make up Dirt Road Sunset, they’ve been playing together in several different of bands for several decades. During that time, they’ve had the opportunity to form their own unique style of words, rhythm, and melody that makes their music both fresh and familiar. Though often compared to such greats as the Eagles, Bob Seger, the Beatles, and others; they are far from being imitators. Along with their many years of experience in playing music, each member is also gifted in the writing of music as well. When they’re together, each one plays a unique role in the creation of a new song-from the lyrics all the way to the mixing. 

If you’ve heard of the band, perhaps you’ve heard them on one of nearly 64 different outlets to listen to and download music. Some of these outlets include: Amazon, Spotify, iTunes, Reverbnation, as well as traditional radio platforms. Of course, you’ll not see any billboards stating they’ll be coming to your town any time soon, as the band was formed as a strictly digital media band. More specifically, they were formed as a charity band. With each new album released, Dirt Road Sunset has been able to give thousands of dollars to several different charities that include: Disabled American Veterans, Westmoreland Walks, breast cancer research, CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams, training K-9, search and rescue dogs, service dogs, and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. At the writing of this article, they’ve been able to give approximately $65,000 to these various causes.

 The band itself is made up of four members: George Estochin (drums), Sandy Smith(keyboards/sound mixing), David Cline (guitar), and Eddie Cline (bass guitar). George, who’s idea it was to form the current group started, has been involved in music his entire life. Originally starting out in a group with his family known as Milly and Her Country Buddies, the band consisted of George, his mother and brother. It was at that time he played more traditional country music (his mother often being referred to as the next Patsy Cline or Loretta Lynn). 

Sandy Smith (whose real name is Patrick Henry) also started his early days in music with a band that included his two brothers and cousin playing classic rock. His name of “sandy” came about because of his once long sandy blonde hair, and the name has continued all these years. In the late 80s, however, it was George who would begin referring to him as the “Sandman”. Over the years Sandy has provided sound for several bands, as well as keyboards and vocals. In the past he also played guitar until an unfortunate sawmill accident caused him to lose his one arm in  1979. Despite the accident and being the oldest member at 69 years, Sandy Hopes to continue lending a hand for as long as he is able to make music. 

The main guitar player is David Cline. David has been playing since he was 12 years old, and did so, mainly, because his brother Eddie played. Since beginning to play David has had a love for the style of blues. According to himself, and fellow band members, he tends to incorporate the style into whatever song they are playing, regardless of the genre. Over the years, he’s played in several bands. Aside from Dirt Road Sunset, David presently plays with a band called Down and Dirty, where he does find himself playing out along with recording. While the others now see music as more of a hobby, David still sees it as a full time passion.

Eddie Cline, who plays the Bass, and is brother of David, has been actively playing and collaborating with different bands for at least 30 years. Eddie, along with Dave and Sandy were in a group in the early 90s, and had played in a band with George as early as the late 80s. Eddie would leave music for about a decade in the early 2000s, but would come back to music once the idea for Dirt Road Sunset band came around. 

Dirt Road Sunset was formed in 2015 when George Estchon approached Sandy Smith about forming the band for the purpose of giving to charity. Soon they brought in David Cline, and soon after that Eddie Cline. Initially the band began getting their music out by simply selling music out of the trunk of their car. The expectation was to give a couple hundred dollars a year to a couple charities. Their breakout came when they released the album New Sunrise on Reverbnation. From there, the success has only continued. Dirt Road Sunset’s current album is called Fried Eggs, and they presently have 15 songs on the charts right now. 

Along with their charity has also come reward. At this time they have seven music awards that include: Best rock song for Voo Doo Queen, Best Alternative Song for The Music You Hear, Best Alternative Rock Song for Follow, Best Pop song for Be the Guy, Best Rockabilly for Boogie Time, Best Holiday song for Redneck Santa, and Best Pop Rock for Give it to Me Str8. They were also recognized by the Obama Administration for their charity work.

Although the group does not travel as a band, that has not stopped them from receiving invitations to perform all over the world. They’ve received offers to play in the far east, Sturgis, parts of Europe, Alaska, and Los Angeles. Through the power of the internet, Dirt Road Sunset has had listenership in places such as Fiji, China, Australia, Sweden, and several other countries. 

The music they create, is made in a place they call Spartan Studios in the Western Pennsylvania town of Normalville. Typically on Thursday evenings each week, the band will get together to write and record new music. As a band Dirt Road Sunset sees the group as a team effort, with each one having unique strengths. George’s main strength is being the “word man”, in that he provides many of the lyrics to their songs. Presently he’s written nearly 300 songs. David serves  as the music man by providing the special sound that goes with every song. Eddie also contributes in the musical end with his own special flavor to the music. Sandy ties it all together by doing the sound mixing for the band. Each member often states the satisfaction they receive from the opportunity they have through their music. The ability to create their own original music as friends, and be able to use the profits earned from that time together to help others.

The group was featured in recently released Lifoti's June 2019 influencer issue, you can check it from below link's for your country:

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