Quails at Lou's
From Jam Session to Touring Band
According [Sidenote: This is the twentieth installment in the Bureau’s Woodyfest 21 (2018) coverage, featuring Norman-based duo The Damn Quails.] to their band bio, The Damn Quails began life as a weekly jam session between songwriters and core bandmembers Gabe Marshall and Bryon White. Eventually expanding to a five-piece act, the band added drummer Thomas Young, multi-instrumentalist and singer Kevin “Haystack” Foster, and bassist Dillon Sampson.
The Quails released Down the Hatch to popular and critical acclaim — to the point that their fanbase has its own name,
The Covey. The singles “Fool’s Gold,” “So So Long,” and “Me and the Whiskey” all spent time spinning for radio disc jockeys, and the band toured extensively after its 2011 release.
Their success was short-lived. At the height of the album’s popularity the Quails found themselves in a disagreement with their label and management, leading to a lawsuit. Despite having lost the rights to their songs, their album, their likenesses, and the band name, they continued to tour. With no merchandise to sell at shows, they struggled. Only their perseverance and the loyalty of The Covey kept them afloat.
The lawsuit ended in their favor, but it had been a tough two years. The Covey helped finance a Kickstarter campaign that paid for their second album, and in 2015 they released Out of the Birdcage.
The Quails played a pared down set at Lou’s Rocky Road Tavern on festival Friday, with only the two principal members, Marshall and White, appearing. Despite the intense heat, the audience packed the patio to see these rare birds take flight once again.