With 2017 nipping at our heels, it seems the right time to check out a possible destination for a great night of music on New Year’s Eve. May I offer up a suggestion? How about Mainely Brews. They have a local group, the DYC Band, coming in to perform an evening of cover tunes. I had never heard of them before, and so a call was made to chat with the band’s singer, Chelsea Benedict, so I could get the whole story.

Q: To begin with, where am I calling?

Benedict: I live in Waterville.

Q: Can you tell me a little about the DYC Band?

Benedict: Sure thing. We’ve been together about a year and a half. It’ll be two years this coming April. Basically, the bass player and our lead guitarist had seen me play at a couple of open mics, and that’s how they decided to recruit me as a singer. We are definitely a rock/pop group. I would say if I had to classify us as a certain genre, we play ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and today’s music. All of our members are based pretty much out of the Waterville area. Just our drummer is the only one that actually doesn’t live in Waterville. He lives in Norridgewock. We’re a five-piece group: two guitarists, a bass player, drummer and me as the singer. That’s a brief, little description.

Q: Perfect. Now all I need are the names of the members, if you would be so kind.

Benedict: Well, you have me, Chelsea Benedict. Our bass player’s name is Paul Minot. And then our lead guitarist is David Geller — he also likes to go by “The Filth.” I don’t know why. Our rhythm guitarist is Aaron Vigue, and last — but certainly not least—is the drummer, whose name is John Clossey.

Q: Do any of those guys provide backing vocals?

Benedict: They do. In fact Paul, the bass player, actually sings lead on four or five songs a gig. It kind of depends on how well my voice is holding out. The two guitarists on certain songs will provide some “oohs” and “ahhs.” Paul sings a couple, too, sometimes.

Q: How do you go about picking the material you use?

Benedict: Honestly, it’s pretty wide open. I mean it’s not really a crazy process that we have. We started off going, “Well, what songs do you know?” and “Well, what songs do YOU know?” And it kind of just went on from there. Sometimes they let me take the lead on that, taking my voice into consideration. But everybody else in the group, they have been musicians their whole lives, so going into it each member already knew so many songs. Then the next thing we knew we had upwards of fifty songs so we said, “Great, that’s enough to easily play out!”

Q: Has the band ever thought about doing original material?

Benedict: We have, actually. I know that our rhythm guitarist definitely writes a lot of music, so, yes, it’s been brought up and I’m personally hoping that next year that’s something that can begin to happen. Covers are fun, but it’s really originals — especially if you want to get discovered — that’s the stuff that you can record. Also, I’m hoping that next year we can start incorporating me on some songs playing guitar. You see, I’ve been playing solo all around town acoustically. I’m not amazing by any means, but I’d certainly just be doing like rhythm. I think it’s great that I sing and that everybody likes that, but it would be so cool if other people knew that I play guitar as well.

Q: They do now.

Benedict: Yes, I guess you’re right.

Q: When did the band start playing out?

Benedict: Our first gig came, I would say, about three months after starting. One of the first places we played was The Bench in Gardiner, but one of our favorite places to play is where we’re at on New Year’s Eve: Mainely Brews. We’ve just had a flood of gigs lately, and we already have probably about six or seven gigs for next year already.

Q: Well, that’s great. Congratulations on that.

Benedict: Thank you.

Q: How many times have you played at Mainely Brews?

Benedict: I want to say that this will be our fourth time there.

Q: Will this be your first New Year’s Eve gig that you’ve done?

Benedict: No, this will be our second. Last year we actually played right down the road at Silver Street Tavern. That was pretty fun, and it got us all stoked and we were like “Great! Where can we play next year?” And I’m so happy that it’s Mainely because our first time playing there was August of last year, and as soon as they heard us, they said that we played great songs and they were going to put us into their regular rotation. That place is so close to all of our hearts. I feel like I practically live at Mainely Brews.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the folks reading this article?

Benedict: Basically that we’re all about fun, and we’re all just so passionate about music that it’s crazy. It consumes all of us. We all have such huge hearts and huge souls, and people should just come see us on New Year’s Eve if they want to just dance their butts off. We’re a really fun group.

Lucky Clark has spent more than 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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