Bailey Coe to Drive Time

Bailey Coe at the 2019 Nothin’ Fancy Festival – photo © Susie Neel

Central North Carolina-based bluegrass band, Drive Time, has added a new member to their roster, Bailey Coe, formally with Sideline. He played his first shows with the band this past weekend at Lorraine’s Coffee House and Music in Garner on Friday, and at Recovery Road Bluegrass Festival in Albemarle on Saturday.

The Four Oaks resident stated, “I’m very excited to come on board with Drive Time. All of them have been some of my best friends for years, and I could not pass up the opportunity to play in a band with them. After leaving Sideline due to some vocal chord and throat issues, I knew I wouldn’t be able to sing full time again. Drive Time provides the perfect opportunity of playing a relaxed and light schedule to scratch some of that itch of being part of a band again. I am very excited and cannot wait to get started!”

Drive Time guitarist Austyn Howell elaborated, “Bailey has always been very close to Tyler, Austin, Gray, and me, playing in little variations of bands with us before he took the Grass Cats gig and then Sideline. With his voice problems, the doctor basically told him his vocal chords would heal if he went six months without singing or talking above a whisper and he did that. (Was the reason he came off the road). And there was no permanent solution as the doctor told him basically he wouldn’t be able to sing night in and out (100-200 shows a year) like he was doing or he would permanently damage his vocal chords. So it has been well over a year since all that transpired and a couple weeks ago we were together hanging out and we were talking about picking.”

“I said, ‘Look man, come play with us, we only pick 20-30 shows a year because everyone has full-time jobs. Sing a few tunes on our second album we’re recording right now, and just come and hang out and have fun.’ He agreed and said we were a perfect fit for his situation, being able to stay somewhat active performing, but not have the heavy workload on his voice. In addition, being best friends with us all, that was just a plus!”

This is not Coe’s first time on stage with Drive Time. He guested with the band at Doyle Lawson’s festival at Denton in 2020.

Drive Time consists of Austyn Howell on guitar, Tyler Jackson on banjo, Austin Koerner on mandolin, Grayson Tuttle on bass, and Katie Springer on fiddle. They are happy to welcome Bailey Coe to the band.

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About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.