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Dusty Leigh and The Claim Jumpers

Updated: Sep 22, 2019

Music Monday is ready to put on our best dancing boots, grab our partners and dance the night away to the amazing sounds of a local country rock band called Dusty Leigh & The Claim Jumpers!

Photo Credit Lisa Felty

The band started as Whiskey Creek in North Carolina back in 2011. At the time, everyone except Dusty Leigh (lead vocals) was Active Duty Military and worked on the base in North Carolina. Fast forward to 2014 @Wade Huston (Acoustic Guitar/Vocals) and Dusty Leigh left the military life and found their way back to Idaho. The pair tried hard to find people to fill in the gaps for their band but did not have much luck. Dusty soon turned to ask both Rick Andreasen (drums) and Joel Rodely (bass/vocals) to make their way to Idaho, with some insistent begging it soon paid off! With them moving to the area that meant 4 of the 5 original members were living in Idaho. After a few temporary guitarists the position was filled by not one but 2 new members; Mark Peel (Rhythm Guitar) and Roger Kennedy (Lead Guitar). “…finally, Dusty Leigh & The Claim Jumper’s was complete!” the band concluded.

Photo Credit Lisa Felty

Dusty Leigh started her singing career when she was a small child, her first performance was at the age of six for a school Christmas play. Though she has no formal training she soon found herself singing in every local competition, fair, talent show and eventually became the amazing lead singer of Dusty Leigh and The Claim Jumpers! Joel grew up around music and was forced to learn the piano s a child; followed by a lot saxophone! In high school he picked up the bass guitar and taught himself how to play. Joel joined Dusty Leigh and her original band in 2013. Wade grew up singing along to classic county music where he tried to mimic his honky-tonk heroes. At the age of 6 he started taking guitar lessons but did not officially pick up the instrument until many years later. Mark received his first guitar at the age of 15 and never put it down! He spent the next couple of decades dabbling in all sorts of music; from classical to bluegrass. Roger was raised in a musical family and traveled the US in several different bands! He has opened for his fair share of artists such as Western Underground, Big & Rich, Sawyer Brown, John Anderson and many more. Rick began playing the drums in the 5th grade and continued through high school in orchestra and band. He eventually found himself playing in local blues and rock bands! He attended college as a music theory major and continued playing in jazz & rock bands. He stopped playing drums when he joined the military and wouldn’t pick it back up again until 2011 when he joined Whiskey Creek.

Photo Credit Lisa Felty

The band’s name, Dusty Leigh and The Claim Jumpers, is used for two reasons. First the founding member and lead vocalist is named Dusty Leigh. The second is an ode to Idaho history when frontiersmen would jump from claim to claim whether it truly belonged to them or not! “Dusty Leigh and a few of the other members were born and raised in Idaho and wanted the new name to represent and incorporate those roots. We took a band vote and had everyone throw out their suggestions. You should have seen some of the band names they came up with! Who knew it would be that difficult to settle on just one. “Free Beer” was a very close second” The band concluded.

Photo Credit Lisa Felty

Dusty Leigh and The Claim Jumpers are as genuine as a musician can get when it comes to the music they produce. They spend a lot of time and energy making sure their music speaks to not only the audience but to the band members as well. For example, a single released last summer “AdriAnna” was written about Dusty Leigh’s daughter. “Dusty Leigh has always stayed true to her word that she won’t sing or record music that she can’t 100% relate to or get behind. If she can’t believe the pain and heartache she’s singing about, or feel the joy and happiness, neither will the audience.” The band added. To create the sound that conveys this genuine music they draw inspiration from the greats; Bob Seger, ZZ Top, Dolly Parton, The Judds, and her all-time favorites, Stevie Nicks and Don Williams, just to name a few. Though the band concluded with “She’s [Dusty Leigh] not one to conform to any one style or genre and believes music is meant to move us, heal us, and shape us, and works hard to provide that experience in every one of her shows.”

Photo Credit Lisa Felty

If you are looking for a band that pours their heart and soul into their music look no further than the country rock sound of Dusty Leigh and The Claim Jumpers. This band offers music that will make you want to dance and forget about your worries! They spend a great deal of time writing and learning new music to keep their sound fresh. This is one band that Idahoans should not go without seeing. If you hear Dusty Leigh and The Claim Jumpers playing drop everything you’re doing and make your way to see them, your ears and soul will thank you.

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Music Mondays 208

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