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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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Blue Merle

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Blue Merle was a music group centered in Nashville, Tennessee. Their name comes from the lyrics of a Led Zeppelin song, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp from Led Zeppelin III, referring to a "blue-eyed merle". Their lead singer Luke Reynolds, has a voice that has been compared to those of Chris Martin and Dave Matthews. The band is also known for live renditions of the Talking Heads song Psycho Killer. The band was first formed when Luke Reynolds and Jason Oettel met and began to work together. A friend in a studio offered them some recording time, and they began recording several demo tracks. While they were doing so, the President of Sony Publishing happened to be there, and offered them a contract. While they passed on it, it was start. Reynolds then met Beau Stapleton, a Mandolin player, on his way back to his home in Vermont and invited him to join. Oettel brought one of his own friends, William Ellis, a drummer into the band as well. It was William who came up with the band's name. The last member to join was Luke Bulla, a fiddle player, who had been asked to fill in for a couple weeks, and soon was a full time member. In February 2005, Blue Merle released "Burning In The Sun", which features the singles Burning In The Sun, Every Ship Must Sail Away, and Lucky To Know You. Blue Merle played Lollapalooza in 2005. In April 2006, the band broke up, citing the desire "to pursue individual paths in music and life." Lead singer Luke Reynolds told Vijith Assar in an interview that "I wasn't satisfied with our sound... I needed to really feel like there was an open platform to just experiment." They played their last show, a mere 45 minute set, on Friday, April 21 at Vanderbilt University's Rites of Spring music festival.

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