Performing at The Garrison in Toronto on Wednesday Nov. 5 (their set is at 9:45), the myth of Knox Hamilton – the man, not the band – began in a small Arkansas thrift shop where founding members and brothers Boots and Cobo Copeland volunteered during their summer breaks, getting lost in the sky-high piles of dusty, forgotten mementos. Already at work on their danceable brand of indie-rock anthems, they stumbled onto an old 1970s yearbook one day. “In it was a picture of one of the most rock ‘n’ roll dudes I have ever seen,” says Boots, lead vocalist of the group. “And his name was Knox Hamilton. We were searching for what to call ourselves, and it was a no-brainer.’” The foursome adopted the quirky title as an emblematic way to capture their idiosyncratic sound – songs with modest southern roots that soar to modern, ethereal heights free of boundaries or borders. And in that moment, Knox Hamilton went from man to myth, and from myth to music.
Raised as pastor’s sons in Texas and Arkansas, Boots and Cobo discovered music through the timeless, harmony-driven devotionals that filled their father’s church. It was there they became entranced by the palpable power of song to change a mood, lift people up or inspire them – and soon, as they dove into the music of classic bands like Beatles and Hall & Oates, a world beyond the pews unfolded. Rock & roll became religion.
The group has performed alongside Tokyo Police Club and Arkells and has also earned praise from the likes of Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas. Bigger and better things just might be in store for Knox Hamilton.
Check out the group’s video for “Work It Out”, featured below.