Band: John Dillard and The Last Train Runnin'

Members: John Dillard, guitar and vocals; Dale Barger, lead guitar, keyboards, vocals; Mark Boonie, bass guitar; William Lanphier, drums; Adam Stoltz, lead guitar, mandolin, fiddle

Who we talked to: Dillard

How did you guys get together? We started over a year ago. We have just a couple of guys who are still part of the original group that started. We went through a lot of changes. That happens in bands. (Laughs) Currently, the group we have right now consists of five guys.

Do you think this current lineup is solid? The general feeling is that everybody is really having a good time. We're friends first, and then we're musicians. It's a comfortable atmosphere. We have our hiccups and our bumps, but we work through it together.

Was the name a last resort? It was funny how it happened. We were trying to find a name and everything we looked for . . . somebody already had a version of it. I was talking to our old bass player. I said, "I've tried everything." He said "just pull something random." So, I just threw it up, and we looked on the Internet and couldn't find anything. It was kind of funny how it worked out.

Where do you guys play in the area? This year, we will have played . . . like 21 shows. In York County, we've played in Hanover. We played down at Ruby Jade's . . . and the Glenville Inn . . . and the Red Rose . . . and Colony Park Lanes. We've played some legions and VFWs. This is our first year really playing out, so it's been a very good year for us.

Is there a pretty big local country scene? There's a couple (other country acts.) (We) like them all really. It seems like it's getting (bigger). People see what we're doing, and we're starting to get people that come out and support us and like what we're doing. It's just kind of an in-your-face country. An awful lot of the stuff is upbeat. It seems like each (show) is another growing experience. It's getting more fun every time we play out.

What were your influences? Growing up . . . I was primarily (influenced by) Western music before it became country and western. The older stuff (including) Slim Whitman and Eddie Arnold. Then, I started listening to Hank Williams Sr. I grew up in the '70s and '80s, so the outlaw country was what I listened to at the time. The most influential, I would have to say, was Garth Brooks, and that was a little later on for me.

Do you guys mix genres at all? We do some southern rock. Actually, the majority of my band are rock 'n rollers. I'm the only country boy in the band. Our music is kind of a rocked-up country. It has it's own flavor really. It's been a lot of fun to play with these guys because they bring so much energy to the table. It's awesome.

Do you guys play covers or originals? The majority of the stuff we do is covers. I have a couple songs I've written. If the situation presents itself, we'll toss it out there. I think initially people like to hear the music they're familiar with.

What is the group's biggest challenge? Introducing new material is always a good challenge and having time to work on it. We all work full-time jobs. Everybody's going in different directions, and we come together for one day on the weekend, get a practice in and then the next weekend we're at a show. We're always hoppin'.

What is coming up for you? I've been working on some original stuff. We'd like to move to bigger venues and be able to play more often. The venues we've been playing have been a lot of the smaller stuff. Nobody knows who we are yet. We'd like to play wherever we can play.


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