Scott Lamps' Bello is among the groups competing in Project M: Band Edition, a songwriting challenge hosted by Madison radio staple 105.5 Triple M. "We have done three seasons of solo singer-songwriters," says Triple M program director Pat Gallagher. "We just thought it was time for a little twist."
The concept came to Gallagher during a holiday party for station clients. "Conversation was centered on reality TV, and the only reality show I ever watch is Top Chef. It hit me that we could do the same thing with music: hand out a songwriting challenge, judge the contestants on how well they perform that challenge, and eliminate somebody based on those performances." Gallagher says he soon left the party, locked his office door and wrote up the first season's challenges.
Segments for the contest are taped on Mondays, and on Wednesday evenings, videos are posted at 1055triplem.com/projectm, where viewers can watch and vote. The final online voting begins May 23, with three bands moving on to a concert at the Club Tavern June 7. In addition to Bello, contestants include two other brand-new bands, Woodson and Willow Lane; some names familiar to local clubgoers, TakI Allstars, Lucas Cates Band, the Whiskey Farm and Sexy Ester; and the Family Business, who recently changed their name from Fedora.