The Craig Swalwell Band


Vocalist, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Harmonica.


When asked, why do you call the band The Craig Swalwell Band? It's because someone leaves the band, for whatever reason, I don't have to change the name of the band, buy new business cards, our start a new web site. I feel it is easier to get gigs and clients seem to remember your name better. I need good, hard working and honest musicians to work with. It seems that I keep running into better musicians all the time. I've worked with some of the finest during my career and made many good friends. The knowledge that I have gained has been very useful to me.
I started with drummer Ben Cerka and bassist All Martin and formed The Craig Swalwell Steak House Band. I thought that there would be some work in eating establishments. I soon changed the band's name to The Craig Swalwell Band. I felt that I needed to find people who were hip to creating a fat rock'n blues sound at a low volume. Then I moved on to using Ben and another bass player Bub Coverdall. That worked out well, then I added keyboardist Brent Ohm. I was able to get a nice sound out of that. As time moved on Ben, Brent, and Bub went different directions.
One day Al Martin invited me to Christian Rock jam there I met drummer Jeff Snyder from Lineville, Iowa and JD mercer from Osceola, Iowa. They were a pair to draw to. I soon began performing with them. It made for nice foursome the drumming and the fine vocals from Snyder, the bass playing and vocals from Mercer and Dean Swyter on keyboard and saxophone. After a year and half Snyder had to drop out of the band. We have him back for a special guest every now and then. So that leads me to my current members. I have Deans Swyter on keyboards and saxophone, JD Mercer on bass guitar and Scoot Horn on Drums.
Scott had the opportunity to start a new band with his brother Trent Horn. JD brought together some old friends and formed another band. They are both performing on regular bases and enjoying what they do best.
After Scott and JD left the band I soon met with Lavern Ziola a talented drummer from Nebraska that currently lives in New Virginia, Iowa. Bass player and singer Randy McIntosh from Des Moines, Iowa helped us to create a fine quartet. With Lavern on drums, Dean Swyter on keyboards, saxophone and harmonica, Randy on bass guitar, myself on guitar and vocals made for well balanced quartet. We performed in venues all over the state for several years. Many enjoyed our fine sound and we had a good time doing what we love. Randy has since moved on perform country music in the Des Moines area.
Playing bass for me now is a blues man from Texas, Harry Sechrest. I have added three new musicians to the band. Chuck Cummings, a very fine vocalist and acoustic guitarist with a wide range of ability. Chuck is particularly gifted country music genre. The Wyld Roses, Amanda Kimberly and Carolyn Berchenbriter add a female vocalist component that rounds out our current sound. Amanda is a statewide winner in karaoke competitions. Carolyn is also a talented vocalist and adds a lot to my band. My youngest son Shane is my sound man and doing fine job.
I’m looking forward to showcasing my new band. I feel we have a lot to offer. I have such a wide variety of talent that it makes for a very nice show. It would be our pleasure to come and entertain for you.

Screen name:
Member since:
Jan 20 2014
Active within 1 month
Level of commitment:
Very Committed
Years together:
Gigs played:
Over 100
Tend to practice:
1 time per week
Available to gig:
2-3 nights a week
66 years


1972 Gibson Les Paul Custom, Dean Markley DMC 80 Amp, Fender Princeton Chorus Amp, Fender Strat, Fake Gibson SG Bass Guitar, Acoustic B200 Bass Amp, 5 Peice Tama Drum Kit with Ludwig Snare and Zildjian Cymbals, Yamaha PSR E333 Keyboard, Shure Green Bullet Harmonica Mic, 6 Shure PG 58, 3 Shrue SM 57, Shure Beta 52, 4 Shure Beta 58a. PA1. Soundcraft MFXi 20, dbx 234xs Crossover, Yamaha P7000S, Yamaha CP2000, Yamaha P2250. PA2. Soundcraft Si Expression 2, dbx Driverack PA2, Crown Xti 1002, Crown Xti 2002, Crown Xti 4002, 2 Peavy SP2 Black Widow, 2 Peavy 118 Subs With Black Widow.