“Beginning to Unfold” is the work of a full band in top form…The result is a hook-heavy mix of Midwestern Americana and spiky indie-pop tailor-made for repeated spins on the old turntable.” – Don Thrasher, Contributing Writer, Dayton.com
Dayton, Ohio’s Neo American Pioneers started out on a long, lonesome stretch of highway somewhere west of the Mississippi. Between the big cities were little towns and open spaces, filled with a tapestry of people and ideas, all unique yet tied together by this endless network of highways and byways. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Billy Swayne set out to capture this kaleidoscope of people and places, and the feeling of finding your place among them, on 2013’s ‘Big Wide Open Blue’. What started as a recording project evolved into a live band in Spring 2016 when Swayne answered a Craigslist ad from bassist, Ian Goudie, looking for musicians interested in playing “melodic indie rock” in the vein of Pavement and Guided by Voices. Several months and a few failed tryouts and Craigslist posts later, Swayne and Goudie found lead guitarist, Dan Spaugy, and drummer, Daniel Chord. The band played as a 4-piece from December 2016- September 2017. To widen the Pioneers’ sound and add some flexibility, the band recruited some old friends: Heather Redman, Swayne’s former bandmate from his early indie rock days, was primed to share vocal duties and add texture and harmony and Spaugy’s old friend and current band mate, Paul Monnin, was added to cover the keys and synths. Over the course of 2018, the Neo American Pioneers transitioned away from the traditional singer/songwriter fare and into a full-fledged rock and roll band. In August 2018, the Pioneers released their first full length album, ‘Beginning to Unfold’.
The Neo American Pioneers straddle several boundaries across the rock and roll spectrum: from the gangle-tinged country of the Byrds and Creedence Clearwater Revival, to the swagger and soul of the Rolling Stones, to the soaring melodies of power-pop bands like Big Star and Cheap Trick, to the guitar fuzz and snarl of 90s alternative and indie bands like REM, Pavement, Weezer, to more current artists expanding rock and roll’s sonic palette and song structure like Wilco, Arcade Fire, Sturgill Simpson, and War on Drugs. Neo American Pioneers aim to hit the listener with big vocal melodies and memorable lyrics, layered by harmonies and guitar hooks, glued together with a wall of guitar and synthesizers, all backed by the groove of a thumping rhythm section. For an easier definition, file the Pioneers under Indie/Americana/Power-Pop.