Swamp Rat’s debut release, Swamp Rat (2008), features an eclectic mix of southern styles. It boasts a stunning line-up of guest musical talent, including Steve Wariner, Tracy Byrd, Johnny Neel, and Sam Bush. The three members of Swamp Rat all hail from Louisiana. Derek Mixon (drums) and James Cook (bass) met there back in the day (for years they formed the rhythm section of the band Howard Shaft). They met Dan Cohen (guitar, vocals) when they were hired to play behind Brad Martin; later all three played in Tracy Byrd’s touring band, and individually they’ve played behind the likes of Doug Stone, T. Graham Brown, SheDaisy, and Aaron Lines. All three are studio musicians much in demand in Nashville.
Like most Nashville musicians supported by “the industry,” they each had a number of side projects that promised more creative latitude than radio country usually offers. Cohen has released two singles to AC radio that have made the top ten at FMQB.com; as part of the band The Levees (with singer Adam Jones), Mixon, Cohen, and Cook landed their song “Blood River” in an upcoming indie horror flick, called, appropriately enough for swamp rodent aficionadoes, Animals!