Matt Dame to The Steeldrivers on guitar and vocals

Following the sudden and unexpected exit of guitarist and lead singer Kevin Damrell, The Steeldrivers have announced the addition of Nashville vocalist Matt Dame to the group.

An experienced professional, Matt spent the past few weeks learning the band material and debuted with them on stage July 17. He has since performed with The Steeldrivers at The Birchmere and RudyFest to a strong and welcome reaction from fans. Since the group has long been known for playing gutsy, blues-driven bluegrass with a brassy lead singer, Dame has big shows to fill, including those of founding vocalist, Chris Stapleton.

Matt says that he is up to the challenge in his statement to fans when joining the band.

“Hey Steelheads!!!! What an honor to be joining such a great group of musicians and friends. I have, like many, been a big fan of the band for a long time. The power of the songs hooked me from their first album. I love great singin’ and the Steeldrivers has set the bar for world class songs and vocalists since the start. Chris, Gary, and Kelvin are incredible singers and musicians. I am humbled to have the opportunity to follow them, make some new memories and meet all of you. Looking forward to our group sings.”

Fiddler Tammy King offered fans an introduction to their newest bandmate.

“The Steeldrivers welcome Arkansas native Matt Dame. Matt is a veteran singer/songwriter who has been working in Nashville’s studio scene for several years. He’s a great singer and we look forward to introducing him to all the Steelheads out on the road for the remainder of our 2021 tour!”

Here’s a look at Matt with the ‘Drivers at RudyFest last week. He’s on stage with King, Richard Bailey on banjo, Mike Fleming on bass, and Brent Truitt on mandolin.

Damrell announced his departure on July 10.

“After much prayer and careful consideration, I’ve decided to shift my direction and am leaving the wonderful and talented group to pursue another direction. This was no easy decision, as I love my bandmates and the music very much. I have been called to use my time reaching folks in a different way through whatever ministry the good Lord has for me. I have lived my lifelong dream for a few years now, and am forever grateful to the band for allowing me to be a part of such amazing musicians, and more importantly, people. So, now it is time to take that new path, but this doesn’t mean we won’t see each other again. I sincerely wish the band all the best and continued success. As I like to say, ‘this is not a goodbye, but see you later.’ God bless you all.”

And The Steeldrivers just keep rollin’ along.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.