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Emmet Swimming

Emmet Swimming formed in 1991 while students at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Emmet Swimming is Todd Watts on vocals and guitar, Luke Michel on bass, Erik Wenberg on guitars and vocals, and drummer Derrick Decker, who replaced original drummer Tamer Eid. The band named themselves after a young black boy, Emmet Till, who was shot in a small Mississippi town for whistling at a white woman and became one of the many martyrs of the American civil rights movement. "The idea of the name was basically that a 14-year-old boy should be swimming in the river, not dying in it," Watts recalled. Emmet Swimming comes from a similar collegiate culture as fellow mid-Atlantic roots rocking jam bands as Hootie and the Blowfish, Everything, and Dave Matthews Band. Like many in the genre, Emmet Swimming built their following through years of touring, especially in Washington, D.C. The band also played the H.O.R.D.E. Festival during the summer of 1998.

Emmet Swimming released their indie debut, Dark When the Snow Falls, in 1993, which was deemed Debut Album of the Year by the Washington Area Music Association. Songs from the album were featured in the films Gabriel's Dream (with R.E.M., Peter Gabriel, and They Might Be Giants) and Crimson Lights. Epic signed the group after their follow-up, Wake, sold 8,000 copies with limited distribution. It became their first major-label LP in 1996. Arlington to Boston was also released in 1996, which was followed by Big Night Without You in 1998 and the LP Earplugs 50¢ in 1999. Emmet Swimming was popular, especially with college students, for their intense live shows and their seemingly contradictory mix of upbeat music and somber lyrics. Singer Todd Watts once commented that "We've tried really hard to make the live shows kind of an emotional roller coaster, and I think that's true of the album(s) as well."

The band began a long hiatus in late 1999 and has not disbanded. ~ JT Griffith, Rovi
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Comments

Emmet just released a new EP at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA this summer (2013).
Erik also released a solo effort, both are excellent and HIGHLY recommended.
Thanks for all the good music guys!
jtc100
Still high on my music rotation to this day. Must have seen them 30 times over the years. Planet Nova and TT Reynolds in Fairfax, Iota in Arlington and Del Ray Music Festival more recently. Great musical group and fantastic individuals. Also hoping for a new album someday.
I saw Todd do a show alone at Wilburts in Cleveland (Tamer had just left). I was blown away.
tanya0403
Derrick left a few years ago and Tamer is back as drummer. The band has a few new songs in the works as well. Perhaps someday they'll release another album. :-)
love these guys, miss these guys. They played my club regularly in Rochester, MI, always great shows and they built a great following all the up here in the north. Great memories when I play their tunes. Peace!
joestabile3
emmet swimming is one of the Baltimore / Washington areas great bands. Live shows that leave you whistling their songs long after the last note has played.
Ah the memories. And the random shows now and then still rock. Good friends who graciously let me play drums on Parking Lot at a show in Arlington a few years back. One of the greatest memories of my life. :-)
These guys rock it live and have more albums than listed. Check it out.

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