Dirty Sound Professors return to Mercer

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Josh Gaisser / Cluster Staff

Inspired by the sounds of heavy classic rock, the Dirty Sound Professors (DSP) is a four- member rock band that formed at Mercer University.

The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Will Stevens, drummer Mike Lirette, guitarist and backup vocalist Luke Morris, and bassist Leland Rayner.

DSP was founded in 2010 by Stevens and Morris, as well as former band members Brad Davis, Allen Whitlock and David Worsham.

The band added to its talent when Lirette and Rayner joined in 2011.

The four friends play for a wide variety of audiences. They enjoy performing for their families, Mercer students and larger crowds in downtown Macon.

As long as they are playing their music, they are happy. “Every time I play it’s the best time of my life,” Lirette said. “I couldn’t pick three other guys that I would want to do this with. I’ve played in other bands before, but I’ve never had the connection that I have with these guys. I would only want to do something long term with my music with them.”

Having only been together for about two years, they won Battle of the Bands in the fall of 2012, and have opened for several notable artists such as Colt Ford, Drive-By Truckers, Drivin‘ N‘ Cryin‘ and The Werks.

DSP’s vocalist, Stevens, now attends Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass., and Rayner transferred this year to the University of South Carolina for the double bass program. Because of these separations, finding time for group practices has become difficult.

Despite the long distance, they do not plan on giving up their music career anytime soon.

The band has been approached by award winner and owner of Shadow Sound Studio, Joey Stuckey, who has offered to be their producer and proposed a deal to help them record an album.

 They have nine original songs, and each member has high hopes of producing an album and possibly even going on tour after graduation.

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Josh Gaisser / Cluster Staff
Josh Gaisser / Cluster Staff

On Sept. 28, DSP performed at the Student Government Association’s tailgate concert on Cruz Plaza. Several dozen people showed, and although the turnout was not huge, the band was very thankful for the fans that showed up to support them.

The band, as well as the audience, had a blast at the SGA concert. Lauren Calhoun attended the concert and was highly impressed by the performance. “I’ve heard great things about the band, and when I found out they were going to be playing tonight, I jumped at the opportunity to come watch. This is my first time seeing them perform, and I can honestly say I am a new fan,” said Calhoun.

Lately, the performances have consisted of mostly individual practices. They continue to write songs but cannot practice them as a group very often.

Lirette and Morris, who are both studying at Mercer, play a lot of acoustic shows around downtown at places like Bearfoot Tavern and Dolce Vita.

When the guys do have the opportunity to reunite and perform together, they book several local gigs in Macon at locations such as The Hummingbird Stage and Taproom, The Cox Capitol Theater, Asylum and, on occasion, Mercer’s campus.

The band hopes to get together to perform again soon, but as of right now they don’t have anything planned for the near future.