The Daily Gamecock

USC grad travels ‘Road to Roo’

	<p>Kevin Harrison, the lead singer of Broken Compass Society, graduated from <span class="caps">USC</span> in 2009.</p>
Kevin Harrison, the lead singer of Broken Compass Society, graduated from USC in 2009.

Scroll over to the community section and down two rows to the musicians.

A band built in the Craigslist classifieds section doesn’t sound like the makeup for musical success, but Broken Compass Society has come together in the most unconventional, online way.

Kevin Harrison graduated from USC in 2009, and after a brief stint at a desk job, he moved to Charlotte and began playing as a solo artist. Now he and the Society have a chance to take the Bonnaroo stage in June.

Harrison started with a more acoustic folk following and recorded his first album, “Lost in Found,” in 2010.

“I just started hitting the strings and hoped they sounded pretty,” Harrison said.
A full band became a part of the dream — He brought loop peddles and anything “that made it sound like something more than just me” into his stage act.

“But, it was a lot more fun playing with other people,” Harrison said.

He caved.

He posted an ad on Craigslist for a backing band. It took a while, and some auditions were noteworthy in the not-so-great way, but eventually Harrison found his drummer, Sean Hartis, who then introduced him to bassist Alex Council.

The band was born in Charlotte, but has since moved to New York City where the guys have picked up one more member from the pages of Craigslist: guitarist Brendan Cavenaugh.

“We had good luck before, so we put up an ad and said, ‘Let’s see who we find,’” Harrison said. “He came in and just blew us away his first practice.”

Broken Compass Society released its first, five-track EP in August and, now working in a more rock-centered, New York City market, the band hopes to pave a career with what Harrison described as bluesy, folk-y rock.

Harrison got his start playing USC’s Relay for Life and other charity events in Columbia. He said the start of his music was shaped by Hootie & the Blowfish, but as Harrison took on a harder rock edge, he turned more to groups like the Black Crowes.

Now, Harrison and the Broken Compass Society have booked a May 26 show at The Bitter End in New York City, the club where Bob Dylan started his career.

The guys also have a shot at the Bonnaroo stage this summer — a goal the band’s been chasing for two years now. The “Road to Roo” contest will pick one band to slot into the opening lineup. It runs through April 24 and the top-10-voted bands will have an audition in front of the festival organizers.

Last year, Broken Compass Society made the top 40 out of 1,100 applicants, and this year, the band hopes to break the top 10.

People can vote once a day at