Exit 99’s four band members all live in Tooele County, and know all about Fridays on Vine where they perform this week.
“This will be our fourth year at Fridays on Vine, and it is one of our favorite places to play,” said lead singer Chelci Nix Holste.
“Tom Slowik, Dave Beacham and I have been playing together now for six years,” she said. “This year, we added a new drummer in Nick Pratt.”
Slowik and Beacham are versatile musicians who both play bass and rhythm guitar and the mandolin. Slowik also sings.
Holste takes center stage as the lead singer, and also plays rhythm guitar.
“We’re mostly country, but we also play a little classic rock,” Holste said. “Dave has introduced me to several songs I never heard of.”
Another important member of the team is sound man Casey Kress who has been with Exit 99 for the past three years.
“We usually play mostly in the summer around Utah at several events like Ophir Days, that type of thing. Being in this band has been a whole lot of fun,” the lead singer said. The group recorded its first CD in 2015.
“Exit 99 — that’s our Tooele County exit,” Holste said. “We didn’t know there was another Exit 99 band out there when we first started, but they’re back in Indiana someplace.”
The band also performs some original songs written by Holste. One of those songs is “Soldier,” which was inspired by the death of Pfc. Jordan Byrd of Grantsville, who was killed in 2010 while serving in Afghanistan.
“All the guys have been in multiple bands together throughout their lives,” Holste said. “Dave asked if I wanted to be in a band with him, and I said yes.”
Fridays on Vine begin every Friday at 7 p.m. at the Aquatic Center Park at 200 W. Vine Street. The concerts are free to the public, but seating is limited. Patrons are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair.