Americana Highways brings you this premiere of David Jameson’s song “South Bend Town” – a single Jameson recorded to offset the impact of COVID-19 on the economy of his hometown by promoting tourism and contributing to the grassroots effort to highlight South Bend’s renaissance. The devasting impact of COVID-19 on the arts and live music has left many communities stagnant amidst a world where crowds cannot gather. Musician, David Jameson, a native of South Bend, Indiana, decided to use his downtime creatively in order to give back to the community of his upbringing by writing and recording the song “South Bend Town,” and donating all of the royalties earned to the South Bend Venues, Parks, and Arts to support community access to art, educational programming, and public spaces.
The style of the tune is reminiscent of the Bakersfield sound, merging the genres of country and rock and roll in its celebration of the landmarks of South Bend. The single was recorded at Dirty White Couch Studio in Mishawaka, Indiana, and features Paul Erdman on rhythm guitar, Chris Chapman on bass, Tray Gray on drums, and Jake Cinninger of the band Umphrey’s McGee on lead guitar.
When I was growing up, South Bend really wasn’t an exciting place, but in the last ten years, it has really had a renaissance. Ten years ago, the town was mostly defined by the presence of Notre Dame. Today, it’s by no means perfect, but these days you can really feel the positive vibes of the city. It’s not uncommon to see the South Bend flag on a T-shirt and bumper stickers. Some people have even painted the South Bend flag on their houses. It’s really an exciting time to be here in South Bend. I’ve lived all over the world in the past ten years, but when the pandemic hit, I was fortunate enough to move back here to experience how the city has changed for the better. One of the things that really inspired me as a kid was watching Umphrey’s McGee perform free in the public parks. I would go watch Umphrey’s with all my friends, and every time I would watch them play live, I would go home and practice extra hard for weeks. They are just such talented musicians. Having watched Umphrey’s play so much growing up, I was really excited to work with Jake Cinninger on the “South Bend Town” song. Since I first saw them in my neighborhood park, they’ve developed a global following, but they always come back to perform in South Bend. I’ve lived all over the world including a good chunk of time in Texas, but South Bend is always home. – David Jameson
“South Bend Town” was produced by Wendy Martin and engineered by Dirty White Couch Studios and Jim Leep. The song is available wherever you stream your digital music and every stream actively benefits South Bend Venues, Parks, and Arts.