Life of Dillon bringing hit summer sound to Delaware State Fair

The British pop trio Life of Dillon will perform as part of Meghan Trainor's M-Train tour when it makes a stop at the Delaware State Fair July 27 (Submitted photo)

The British pop trio Life of Dillon will perform as part of Meghan Trainor’s M-Train tour when it makes a stop at the Delaware State Fair July 27 (Submitted photo)

As the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures.

After living in a London house owned by the parents of Joe and Robert Griffith for three years, the brothers, along with friend David Keiffer, finally got an ultimatum from Mrs. Griffith.

Either make it in the music business or move on and get your own place.

“We had reached a point where we weren’t getting anywhere and we were all getting pressure to get real jobs,” said Joe.

“That pressure turned out to be a blessing in disguise.”

After emailing more than 100 people in the music industry, Adam Alpert, the manager of the electronica duo The Chainsmokers, contacted them about signing the band to his new label Disruptor Records.

“He was literally one of a handful of people who even wrote back to us,” Robert said.

“He saw something in us and it’s been a marriage made in heaven.”

The trio, which make up Life of Dillon, now have on the charts what many are calling the song of the summer in “Overload” and are opening for pop singer Meghan Trainor on her current tour, which makes a stop at the Delaware State Fair in Harrington July 27.

The start of Ms. Trainor’s “M Train Tour,” which also features pop singer/songwriter Charlie Puth, was temporarily derailed when she came down with a vocal chord hemorrhage but got on track Tuesday night in St. Louis.

Life of Dillon still made select appearances on the tour without Ms. Trainor, such as the Common Ground Music Festival in Lansing, Michigan, last week.

Speaking by phone hours before they were go to on stage, they anticipated the 10,000 people they were expected to perform before was going to be their biggest crowd so far.

“It’s all quite daunting but exciting,” Joe said.

Best Bets logo CLEAR copyLife of Dillon really hadn’t been much of a band before last year and the three have limited performing experience.

Although they have known each other for the past eight years, mostly writing songs separately and together, it’s when they got that ultimatum that they decided to join forces.

“Joe and myself have performed together on stage but Robert has no experience whatsoever,” Mr. Keiffer said.

“This all has come together in the last year or so. But we joke that it took us eight years to become overnight successes.”

The three of them have worked on their stage show for the past few months and are excited to finally get out on the road.

“It’s just a matter of bettering yourself, rehearsing and putting in the time,” Joe said.

“We spend all this time rehearsing in front of no people. But it’s when you get on stage and interact with real people that you feed off that energy and everything hopefully comes together.”

The band’s name and sound came last year after taking a break from going nowhere fast, the three decided to take a trip to the Griffiths’ birthplace of Brazil where they met a man named Dilllon.

“Dillon’s got no home, no destination; he’s not chasing dreams, he’s living them,” Mr. Keiffer said in the band’s official bio. “He’s a free spirit who travels the world, surfing, kicking back and enjoying what life has to offer.”

The three took that attitude back to London and began to create their own tracks that are an easygoing pop cross between dance and acoustic music.

The five songs on the band’s EP “Prologue,” which was released in May on digital platforms, are inspired by that time in Brazil and the lifestyle Dillon led.

Their next song “Dreams” recently was released as a single, and a video is in the works.

The songs were produced in the house that was being paid for by the Griffiths’ parents.

“We had three years where we were paying no rent and just had this really amazing space with no parents around to make as much noise as we wanted,” Mr. Keiffer said.

At one point, they made so much noise that the roof collapsed from the vibrations.

The three are grateful that their work is finally paying off and folks are enjoying their songs, including “Overload” which has broken into the Top 25 Adult Contemporary Chart.

“We’re delighted how it’s all working out,” Robert said.

“People are telling us on Twitter now that ‘Overload’ is their new favorite song. We couldn’t be happier. We seem to be building fans and we’re off to a really good start.”

“It’s an amazing feeling to be recognized like that,” added Joe.

“We even have our own friends following us on social media accounts, which is a little strange. It’s getting harder and harder to keep up with everyone now. We can’t believe it ourselves.”

You can follow @lifeofdillon on Twitter and find them on Facebook.

Tickets for the 7:30 show with Mr. Puth and Ms. Trainor are $39 to $70 and can be obtained by visiting www.delawarestatefair.com.

The fair starts Thursday with gates opening at noon. Gates then open at 8 a.m. through Aug. 1.

Other M&T Grandstand acts this year include Casting Crowns July 25, New Kids on the Block July 26, Bryan Adams July 28, Josh Turner July 29, Little Big Town July 31 and a Craft Beer Festival featuring Grand Funk Railroad Aug. 1.

All tickets can be obtained by visiting the state fair’s website.

Folk Hero competition Saturday
The Delaware Friends of Folk will launch its annual Folk Hero Contest with Round 1 scheduled for Saturday, at 7:30 p.m., in the Wesley College Chapel, Division and South Bradford streets in Dover. Round 2 will be held Aug. 15.

This open-mic competition is a long-standing tradition that spotlights regional folk and roots musicians.
Finalists (three from each round) compete again at the annual Delmarva Folk Festival in September, and the winner will be named the 2015 Delmarva Folk Hero.

“This is one of the most important things that we do as an organization. We’ve got a large population of very talented musicians on the Delmarva Peninsula, most of whom we never get to hear. This gives them an opportunity to get their music out, and gives the audience the chance to hear new music,” said Jon Kidd, board president of Delaware Friends of Folk.

Individuals or groups can compete. All types of folk and roots artists are invited to participate, including blues, bluegrass, Cajun, Celtic, Indie and old-time country and gospel. To stay true to tradition, the Friends of Folk requests no drum kits.

“We all love rock ‘n’ roll,” said Jan Crumpley, Friends of Folk board member. “But that’s really not what this competition is all about. This is acoustic, live, raw and on the edge.”

There is an entrance fee for the July and August competitions: $3 for members, $5 for non-members, students half price, kids younger than 12 free

Musicians who aren’t chosen as finalists in the July competition are free to compete again in August. The top six vote-getters will perform in a run-off on the first evening of the Delmarva Folk Festival on Friday, Sept. 25. The final winner will be designated the 2015 Folk Hero.

Along with the title, the winning act gets free radio and studio-recording time, a $100 cash prize and the opening slot on the festival main stage on Saturday.

The acoustic duo Dan and James won last year’s Folk Hero contest.

For more information about the Folk Hero Competition, call (302) 827-FOLK, e-mail delfolk@gmail.com, or go to delfolk.org.

Blee at Bay Trading
Delaware Bay Trading Co. continues its Summer Concert Series on Saturday with a show featuring Patty Blee, accompanied by Ernie Trionfo.

The two are making their second appearance at the Camden venue, having performed last year to receptive crowd.
An Americana-style duo, Ms. Blee has earned numerous comparisons to such artists as Lucinda Williams, Sheryl Crow and Bonnie Raitt.

Her latest project, the EP “From The Inside,” is available now.

The concert begins at 6:30 p.m. and goes until 8:30. The store and coffee shop will be open.

Admission is $5 and reservations are suggested by calling (302) 698-3550.

Delaware Bay Trading Co., is at 102 S. Main St.

‘Age of Love’ at MMC
The Modern Maturity Center will hold a free public screening of the award-winning documentary “The Age of Love,” from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday in the East Wing Ballroom.

The film follows the adventures of 30 seniors who attend a first-of-its-kind speed-dating event for 70- to 90-year olds. These WWII babies soon discover how the search for love changes — or doesn’t change — from first love to the far reaches of life.

Following the film, applications will be accepted for male and female participants in the MMC’s first speed-dating event: a new concept in Delaware.

The Modern Maturity Center is at 1121 Forrest Ave., Dover,. For more information, call Amanda Lawrence at (302) 734-1200, ext. 128.

Now showing
New in theaters this weekend is the Marvel comic book film “Ant-Man” and the Amy Schumer comedy “Trainwreck.”

On DVD and download starting Tuesday is “Wild Horses” with Robert Duvall and James Franco.

Reach features editor Craig Horleman at chorl@newszap.com

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