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Shuffle: The Ohio Weather Band Channels Bukowski on New EP, 'Don't Try'

photo of Ohio Weather Band
The Ohio Weather Band, consisting of Derek Strata (left), Corey King and Ray Lumpp, are releasing 'Don't Try' this week

Akron rockers The Ohio Weather Band have a new EP out this week called Don't Try. It's the third release for the trio that's been friends long before they were bandmates. 

Singer/guitarist Corey King, bassist Derek Strata and percussionist Ray Lumpp all live together in a house in north Akron and spend a lot of time in a van. They've toured throughout the Midwest, including shows at SXSW in Austin, Texas, and lots of trips to Nashville. 

"That's something that we set out to do once we realized we were going to pursue the band as more than a hobby," King said. "Now we have a little community in Nashville and venues that we can call up and go to and they'll put us up. We've developed those relationships regionally and hopefully are going to go nationally."

The band released its debut, self-title album in 2014 and followed it up with Crooked Light in 2016. 

Credit The Ohio Weather Band
The Ohio Weather Band with Bon Jovi at the Q last year

A big stage
Last year, The Ohio Weather Band won an opening slot on Bon Jovi's show at the Q in Cleveland. 

For years, Bon Jovi has held a contest for local bands to open for them in each city. The band submitted a video from a concert at Akron's Musica. They performed for about 30 minutes in front of about 15,000 people. 

"It was wild," Strata said. "It was the biggest stage we've ever played. It was crazy getting up there and hearing how we sounded. We just took it for what it was."

Sticking together
Over the years, the band has rallied around Strata, who was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma when he was eight.

"I've had a couple of big surgeries and I still get chemotherapy every other week. Even before we were a band, they've been there.  It's been pretty easy on me right now." 

Channeling Bukowski
The first single on the EP is its title track, 'Don't Try."

King says his lyrics channel the late writer, Charles Bukowski, who has "Don't Try" etched into his gravestone:

Don't try
Charles left those words behind
In stone, where the old men lie
The pessimists probably agree
The optimists ask "why?"

You could look at it both ways," King said. "Don't try -- well, why not? Or, don't try -- I'm not going to try."

And King says his lyrics include a reference to Bukowski's poem, So You Want To Be A Writer?

"It talks about that if you have to try so hard for something to happen, then maybe you shouldn't do it. If you want to do it, you should just let it come out of naturally, and you shouldn't try to shape anything one certain way or another." 

The Ohio Weather band will debut the new music at its album release show Friday, July 6 at Musica in Akron. Then, King says they'll take a trip to Nashville in August and have a tour planned for early this fall.

Editor's note:  This date of the album release show has been updated.