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thedrifter
09-10-09, 10:52 AM
Band of brothers features music by former U.S. servicemen

Courtney Smith - Daily Herald | Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2009 12:05 am

Iraqi nights aren't always conducive to acoustic guitar chords floating amid the echoing sounds of combat.

And yet, in late 2004 when brothers Tim and Dan Cord were deployed to Iraq, they found solace in the familiar songs from home, strummed on Dan's guitar.

"It offered an escape from the scenario we were in at the time," Tim said. "Everybody could just relax and sing along to the songs they knew. We would just sit in the smoke pit and play."

And thus, the American Hitmen -- performing at ABG's in Provo on Friday (the eighth anniversary of 9/11) -- was born. The band members -- Tim Cord, lead singer; Dan Cord, lead guitar; lead/rhythm guitarist, Ben Porterfield; and bass player, Daniel Jarmon -- were stationed in Fallujah, Iraq, during Operation Phantom Fury. Drummer Phil Snyder later joined the band when they moved to Utah in 2008.

"We'd just sit out there and jam for everyone whenever we had the chance," Dan said. "That's how we met the other bandmates -- just sitting out there playing classic rock and blues songs whenever we had time."

The band got its name from Dan's high school paintball team.

"Being Marines, [the name] just seemed fitting," Dan said. "It brought an actual visual and harnessed the sound we were looking for."

When the bandmates were deployed again for a second time in early 2006, they took the time to work independently.

"It was a nice songwriting break," Tim said. "We all came back with a lot of ideas and we were able to just hit the ground running."

The band reunited in October of 2006, and picked up where it left off.

"There were bits and pieces of songs that we had worked on separately that we were able to piece together," Dan said. "We tried to record on anything we could and e-mail it to the rest of the band."

Though the band members did lots of songwriting while in the military, their lyrics don't necessarily reflect those combat-filled days.

"It's a close part of all our lives, and it's definitely influential," Dan said. "But we're mainly about writing music that people can relate to and not a lot of people can relate to combat."

And while Sept. 11 has significant meaning to many Americans, for the American Hitmen, it is an especially important day.

"Sept. 11 is the reason we all joined the military," Tim said. "So the fact that we're playing a show on the day that convinced us all to join the military, it has a lot of significance."

If you go

American Hitmen

When: Friday at 10 p.m.

Where: ABGs, 190 W. Center St., Provo

Tickets: Free

Info: ABGs (801) 373-1200, www.abgsbar.com, www.americanhitmen.com

Ellie

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