We describe ourselves as Drinking Man's Rock. Simply put, we're a three-piece guitar driven band that sounds just right in a small smoky club to people out for a good time. Nothing fancy, but damn good stuff. Others call it Americana or Garage or even Rock-a-Billy.

We formed the band when we met in an autobody shop in Mentor, where we all worked. One Saturday we got together and played some of Dan's songs. It went so well, we began recording the next day and ahd the CD dome in under 10 days. That CD, Talk Down The Sky, got a lot of great reviews from very kind writers.

Since then we have released two more CDs, played a ton of shows, including music indusrtry showcases like NXNE and MPMF, and been nominated for a closetfull of local "Best Of" awards.

Here is some of what others have written about us:

Rambler 454 will make you think you're in a honky-tonk bar, digging their tunes while a bar room brawl might be happening right behind you......Dig it: Sloberbone sponsored by Pabst. - Daniele Parr, Cincinnati City beat Sept 2006

The first time I played this CD, I had fun imagining who would cover each song once Rambler 454 hits it big and it’s time for other artists to assemble for a tribute album. George Thorogood would definitely call dibs on the crowd-pleasing, southern rock anthem feel of ?Thank You.? And who better than Johnny Cash (Hey, I can dream) to cover the shuffling, contemplative, hardship-of-life-on-the-road song, ?Time To Ramble??

Rambler 454 consists of singer/songwriter/guitarist Dan McCoy and two guys named Jesse and Cooter on drums and bass. Yep, just Jesse and Cooter. I couldn’t find last names for them on the press sheet, but I did learn that this band refuses to play anywhere that beer costs more than $3 or that Budweiser is not on tap.

The music warms the blood. If you have any appreciation for country rock, if you’ve ever downed longnecks in a honkytonk after the woman done left you, if your passion for cars eclipses your passion for what’s-her-name (the woman you married), if you have ever uttered the phrase “yee-haw” in your life (wipe that innocent look off your face), then this CD is for you.

And before you think “juvenile bar band,” think about this: Yes, the guys look young. Yes, McCoy has a boyish, fun rock voice that sounds like Jackson Browne with more guts and growl. But these lyrics can clench the heart sometimes. Insight and inspiration went into this writing. The title track is a perfect example. I love the wistful memories of someone who could talk down the sky. The images and quiet instrumentation feel like a road trip at night under an open, starry sky. The song sounds like it just drifted into consciousness through the tired, philosophical frame of mind that results from a drive like that.

And for your more traditional fare, you get your good old fashioned songs about finding a best friend in a bottle of wine or being a secondhand man, “I’ll always come around ‘cause that’s the way I am....the understudy role, I guess that’s my part.” (That’s from “Second Hand Man,” which delivers some stellar harmonica work as well.) Another standout is the syringe of concentrated adrenaline called “See You Later.”

If you ever see them play live, you will want to buy this band a round of beer. I’m just sitting here listening to the CD, and I want to do that. In fact, if you do see them play live, go find their manager (Tim) buy him lots of beer, and see if he’ll give you a pair of rearview mirror dice like the pair he sent me. Really. They’re cool.
Jennifer Layton for Indie-Music.com
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"A Solid Debut"
"Rambler 454 rolls with the force of an unfettered juggernaut"
- Jeff Niesel, Cleveland Free Times, May 28, 2003
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"Rambler 454's seven-song CD is a barroom masterpiece. This is rock the way it was meant to be: a feel-good, unpretentious romp, just right for loosening up at the corner gin mill. The guitar work by head Rambler Dan McCoy is infectious on both rockers like "Plan B" and solid country gems like "Second-Hand Man." It's blue-collar magnificence, but with none of that in-your-face attitude about it."
- Steve Byrne, Cleveland Scene Magazine April 9, 2003
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"Rambler 454, like a fine vintage car, not only gives you a nice smooth ride but leaves you feeling the ride was way to short."

..."bar-soaked, country-tinged, American music straight from the heart and with a case of Pabst, preferably on ice, close at hand."

"..right out of the gate, they create a comfortable, alt-country sound, with the potential to really let go once they get the engine warmed up. McCoy's guitar work is subtle yet controls the flow of the music with deft timing. These good-time troubadours offer up a potion of fun-loving, guitar-driven tunes that should be especially welcome when you want to knock back a few cold ones as you bitch about your boss, your woman, or car to the local barkeep."

"...these grease monkeys are the engineers of their future, and they seem to be in good hands."

"...the band perfectly embodies pub rock - it's enjoyable music that gives you the feeling it would be best served live, and with something on ice in hand."
All of the above quotes from Michael Kyils, Delusions of Adequacy (adequacy.net) 3/3/03
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Last weekend my best friend got married in a small town up in the mountains. It’s one of those towns that is simple, where the folks are decent and honest, and it just gives you a sense of down home hospitality. Rambler 454 gives me the same feeling. Their “alt-country” style is just plain down home rock. They remind me of a cross between Springsteen and the Black Crowes. The guitars are simple and subtle, yet controlling. And the bass and the drums keep up a feel good tempo. Dan McCoy’s vocals and lyrics are beer soaked yet honest. If you’re ever in the mood for mountain barroom type music, then this is the perfect CD. It goes great with a cold one and a game of pool, or a good fishing story.
-Doran Dalton, bettawreckonize.cm
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No Name Cafe... (ReadyFireAim)
Thank God!! Another Ohio Band. I'm always glad to support my local heroes. Lots of honest, strong midwest rock-n-roll with just a touch of rockabilly thrown in for flavor. No much fancy schmantzy studio trickery here. Just play it from the heart and cut it in one take. The band has succeeded in capturing the essential qualities that separate heartland, working class music from all the rest They shoot from the hip and wear their hearts on their sleeves. Gotta love it. Well done!!
Freight Train Boogie


Quote: "If the folks at the Fox Network ever turn King of the Hill into a feature film, these are the boys to handle the soundtrack."
By Jennifer Layton
The boys are back in town.

Rambler 454 (lead vocalist Dan McCoy, accompanied by the bassist and the drummer known only as Cooter and Jesse), are back with their second CD, No Name Cafe. And this time, Cooter is in charge of studio engineering. Kind of like putting Cheech and Chong behind some wheels at the Daytona 500. Sure, you could spring for Jeff Gordon and Ward Burton, but the results wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining.

By his own admission, Cooter’s work ethic is best described as “let’s get this in one take and go find a bar”. Works for me. The resulting CD sounds like I’m sitting on a barstool, watching them play live, false starts and all. It feels raw and spontaneous. I can hear how much fun these guys are having. In fact, it almost spoils the fun to analyze this music. I just wanted to toss my notebook and sit back and enjoy it. If the folks at the Fox Network ever turn King of the Hill into a feature film, these are the boys to handle the soundtrack.

Dan, Cooter, and Jesse rip right into it with the title track, an aggressive, foot-stomping throwdown of Budweiser-drenched guitar twang rock and wailing harmonica. From there, they go from more easygoing tempos of bad-news women to rollicking down-on-my-luck jams and everything in between. I hear more depth to Dan’s voice this go round. On the higher notes in “Shakedown,” he sounds uncannily like Foreigner’s Lou Gramm.

As in their previous effort, the music feels so good even when the lyrics are sad. On “I Hope You’re Lonely Tonight,” I like the image of the drunken troubadour coming through the door. These boys may play devil-may-care, but they do take their lyrics seriously.

The standout track is ?Working Band,? which I flat-out fell in love with. This is pure honkytonk, guaranteed to elicit yee-haws from the audience. Loud, drawn-out, high-pitched yee-haws. The kind that startle bystanders into spewing their Pabst.

Rambler 454 is a solid, strong band of artists who make the music sound so effortless. It’s like they’re just having a party, and we’re welcome to listen in. Those of you along their tour stops should show up in person. And if Cooter decides he wants to take over bartending, just stay out of his way.
Jennifer Layton, Indie-Music.com


When an artist works diligently on a persona, it's usually to hide a musical deficiency. Then there's Rambler 454. These three guys from the East Side have carefully crafted an image of chain-smoking, Blue Ribbon-slamming refugees from the auto-body shop. Look beyond that; the music rocks. On <i>No Name Cafe</i>, the band's second CD, Dan McCoy, Cooter, and Jesse serve up some of the best forget-your-troubles songs you've heard in a long time.

Despite their visuals (coveralls, bowling shirts, oversized caps), Rambler 454 doesn't celebrate the gearhead lifestyle on record. The tunes are an attractive mix of Americana and hard rock, with touches of blues, country-rock, and even punk. "(Almost) Everything I Need" is a nice change of pace: a folk-rocker that still passes the saloon-friendly test. Drink it up.
Steve Byrne, Cleveland Scene Magazine


Playing ?beer battered rock,? the guys in Rambler 454 wear their working-class roots on their collective sleeves, donning trucker hats and wife-beaters for shows. The aesthetic more or less works for the group, which includes singer-guitarist Dan McCoy, bassist Cooter and drummer Jesse. With this follow-up to last year's seven-song debut, Talk Down the Sky , the band went into McCoy's basement and knocked out another 10 songs about living from paycheck to paycheck. The blue-collar themes come through in songs such as ?Working Band.? The band's at its best, however, when it evokes the more complex approach of Americana acts such as the Drive-by Truckers.
— Jeff Niesel,, FreeTimes


Copyright 2006 Rambler 454 y'all