Arts & Entertainment

Off Track: Itching For Scratch Track

Jason Hamlin and DJ Lee started their musical history together as “a diversion from classes and worrying about student loans full time.” But by the end of their time at Union University, they adopted the name Scratch Track and took their highly-original, acoustic/soul sound on the road. Pretty soon they found themselves on bills with the likes of George Clinton, Los Lonely Boys and Jurassic 5 and winning over crowds across the country.

Even when they weren’t sure their sound would translate to the majority of the audience, like a bluegrass festival or when they opened for Living Colour, they started snaring a following that favored Lee’s R&B vocals, as well as Hamlin’s raucously rhythmic guitar.

“I’m definitely a frustrated drummer playing guitar,” Hamlin jokes. “I was maybe five or six and wanted to be a drummer. My parents were like, ‘No, no, no. We don’t want that in the house. Here’s a guitar.’”

Hamlin and Scratch Track still don’t have that drum kit, relying instead on Lee’s talents as a human beat box and loop pedal. The absence of a kit makes traveling easy though. Hamlin says they just need three bags, an acoustic guitar (he plugs into a bass amp) and a bag of merchandise. That ought to come in handy when they play the close confines of Ragtime in Arlington this Friday, March 9. Tickets are $5.