The Carpenter Ants are a band in the true sense of the word. Having logged more than 3,000 performances over more than three-and-a-half decades, the group - which still consists of the four original members - has crafted a unique and timeless blend of Appalachian soul. Known as WV’s premiere rhythm & blues band, the Ants have quietly amassed a resume that rivals many national groups.
Members are: Charlie Tee (vox), Michael Lipton (guitar/vox), Ted Harrison (bass, vox) and Jupie Little (drums, vox).
The group has fans that range from famed singer/songwriter/producer Don Dixon - who produced the Ants’ last five releases - to Rev. Jesse Jackson. Jackson chose the band to accompany him on a barnstorming, eight-city tour prior to the 2004 presidential election, a Labor Day rally that drew 75,000 people, and a march in Atlanta that featured Stevie Wonder (who tapped Ants’ drummer Jupie Little to sit in on a tune).
A short list of other notables who have been bitten by the Ants unique sound and joined the band onstage include: Nellie McKay, who the band has backed on a number of performances; Craig Finn (The Hold Steady), Tyler Childers, Amanda Shires, Margo Price, Steve Poltz, Paul Thorn, Terry Adams (NRBQ), Todd Snider, Lenny Kaye, and Mokomba (Zimbabwe).
The group’s current release, the Don Dixon-produced “Tearin’ Down The House,” is a harmony ‘n’ rhythm-rich two-disc celebration of American music with guests including Paul Thorn and Shemekia Copeland.