MU students form band Dirty Laundry, play covers on campus

The members of Dirty Laundry talk about their band and their background in music before college.
Dirty Laundry members Jack Kavanaugh, Austin Pitford and Charles Lindsey pose for a photo. Courtesy of Instagram via @dirtylaundry_band

Three college freshmen discovered each other’s musical abilities and created a band. It was a match made in heaven; or more specifically, the Hatch Hall laundry basement.

When school is not occupying their time, Jack Kavanaugh, Charles “Chuck” Lindsay, and Austin Pitford rehearse in the practice studio of the Hatch residence hall basement for upcoming shows. Providing a whiteboard for song requests and decorating the practice room with disco lights, Dirty Laundry performs a setlist of popular covers for residents gathering in the small venue. The trio plays to unwind, in hopes that attendees will also feel a sense of nostalgia.

“A lot of the songs we choose are requests,” Kavanaugh, the vocalist and pianist said. “Whenever we first started, I did a lot of research on iTunes and looked into what was popular. I think a lot of people like to turn the dial back on the years and say ‘Hey, I liked this song in 2011.’ We’re out there for the pleasure of the audience and we want to make them feel involved.”

Despite the fact that none of them knew each other prior to the band, the freshmen came together shortly after getting acquainted. Percussionist Chuck Lindsay discovered the practice studio in the Hatch Hall basement, which then led him to inform his floormate, Kavanaugh. While Kavanaugh played piano and Lindsay played a water bottle for makeshift drums, guitarist and vocalist Austin Pitford stumbled upon their improvised session while looking for the first floor.

He began to sing, and as Kavanaugh says, “he immediately started radiating the chillest musical vibes.” To this, Lindsay adds that “he sounds like Jesus and Shawn Mendes had a baby.” From that day forth, Dirty Laundry has been increasingly growing as a band.

Although Pitford is currently teaching himself guitar, singing is a talent he is much more familiar with. He has been involved in choir for 11 years. His true passion ignited when his high school choir teacher encouraged him to get involved in his church’s praise team in Macon, Missouri.

“She definitely got me out of my comfort zone,” Pitford said. “And I definitely think she is the leading factor in my life.”
Jack Kavanaugh’s musical outlook is heavily influenced by his dad’s side of the family in St. Louis, in which they were heavily passionate about music. He gained an interest in the piano at around five years old, and that interest continued to blossom when he started taking lessons.

“Listening to a lot of different artists throughout my lifetime, my dad would play a lot of older music in the car: a lot of ‘80s and stuff like that,” Kavanaugh said. “I really just take my diverse taste in music and my respect for it as a whole from those experiences.”

Chuck Lindsay is a self-taught drummer from Winfield, Missouri who also acquired his intrigue in music from his father. He recalls his father picking him up from school early and listening to music in the car growing up. In addition to that, Lindsay has met his influence, Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain, and even received an autograph from the heavy metal musician on his forehead.

Several numbers often played by the band include “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran, “Slow Hands” by Niall Horan, and “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers as a closer. While Dirty Laundry is currently playing covers, all three admit they have previously written original music on their own. They also plan on playing shows outside of the basement venue soon. Dirty Laundry continues to grow as an opportunity for students to connect and use music as an outlet of stress-relief.

Flyers regarding upcoming venues are posted around Hatch Hall, and Dirty Laundry can also be found on Instagram (@dirtylaundry_band) and Snapchat (@d_laundrymusic).

Edited by Janae McKenzie |

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