Our Story

Cottondale Swamp hails from west central Florida. We are a band that revels in the old Florida vibe that is found on the back roads, small towns and swamp lands of this state. Our music is Southern Americana rock 'n roll with solid old school classic country and honky-tonk sensibilities. 

Our music expresses a deep love and appreciation of the roots of rock 'n roll and country music. The members of Cottondale Swamp traveled the United States and the world as musicians, troubadours and wanderers, we have explored many places far from Florida. Those experiences have shown us that Florida is a unique place that we want to call home. Florida inspired us to the write the songs for our debut album, Leave Me On The Suwannee. We are currently putting the finishing touches on our 2nd album, Welcome to Cottondale Swamp.

Cottondale Swamp completed our debut album, Leave Me On The Suwannee in late 2016. This record parties hard, thinks deeply, feels intensely and revels in the underbelly and weirdness of the great state of Florida. Album number two is due for release in early 2019. The band loves playing live and strives to put on a great show that engages the audience so that everyone is part of the show. The new record captures the authenticity of Cottondale Swamp and brings everyone along for the ride.

Cottondale Swamp and its members have shared the stage with, opened for, or played in the bands of many of our favorite artists, including: Dickey Betts, Bellamy Brothers, Artimus Pyle, Sammy Hagar, Southern Culture on the Skids, Dale Watson, Leon Russell, Cheap Trick, Dick Dale, Melanie, Gin Blossoms, Live, Avril Lavigne, Marilyn Manson, The Fixx, Reckless Kelly and many more.

Ken Bailey - Drums / Vocals - Ken grew up in northern New Jersey and started playing piano and drums in school and in local bands at a fairly young age. As he grew older he started gigging in New York City, which later became his home. Ken studied at the renown 'Drummers Collective' where he is a lifelong member. After paying his dues playing live gigs, performing on Broadway and in the recording studio, he became the Technical Director and Staff Drummer at The Power Station / Avatar Studios; Tony Bongiovi's world famous recording facility. Ken worked on projects with Meat Loaf, Ramones, Tony Bennett, Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, Black Crowes, Diana Krall, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Nile Rodgers, Journey, U2 and countless movie soundtracks. Ken spent the next 16 years at The Power Station / Avatar and as a fixture in the NYC recording industry. A little later in life Ken moved to Florida and played in the Tampa Bay bands The Charming Devils and The Sara Rose Band. Ken also teaches percussion in local schools. Now, Ken is looking forward to bringing his many years of musical experience to Cottondale Swamp!

Michael Hoag - Bass Guitar / Vocals - Michael has been playing in bands as long as he can remember. He has a twin brother, Mark, who plays guitar. They had their first band in 5th grade. Michael's first working bands were in the Boston area with such names as The Young Moderns, The Underachievers, The Crosstown Rivals, Kevin and the 45's, and many more. He moved to Florida and played in the bands Barely Pink, Leonard Croon Band, The Vodkanauts, The Ditchflowers, Sara Rose Band and Mojo Bones. He's been fortunate enough to have played gigs with many of his heroes such as Cheap Trick, Dickie Betts, Leon Russell, Dale Watson, Reckless Kelly, Artimus Pyle and others. Michael has played bass guitar on quite a few records and he loves writing songs. Michael formed Cottondale Swamp in 2016 and hit the ground running playing festivals and club dates around Florida. Cottondale Swamp came together organically when Michael nd several friends started writing songs together. They quickly discovered they were kindred spirits who love classic country, southern rock and roots rock 'n roll. They also happen to all obsess on vintage gear and the love ths sound and mojo of an old guitar.

Trivia: Michael's sister is veteran actress Judith Hoag, currently on the CBS series Nashville, Judith also played April O'Neall in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and starred in the Halloweentown Movie series. In addition to having parts in dozens of movies, Judith has pretty much guest-starred on every major TV series in the last couple of decades.

Fran Massucci - Vocals / Guitar - Music runs through Fran’s blood. It’s in his soul.  It inspires and drives him.  Never is this more apparent than when he is on a stage radiating that passion through his guitar and soulful voice. Fran loves performing for audiences big and small. Growing up, Fran injected heavy doses of Frampton Comes Alive!, Clapton, Springsteen, the Beatles, Steely Dan and any power rock group he could get his ears on. Later in life, Fran discovered Waylon, Haggard and new variations of outlaw country music coming out of Texas and Oklahoma with acts such as Reckless Kelly, Dale Watson, Hayes Carll and the Turnpike Troubadours.  Fran artistically merged the two genres and formed the band Shotgun Siren. The high energy band wowed unsuspecting crowds up and down the eastern seaboard with their unique blend of twang and rock and roll.  But, eventually the cold, brutal and unforgiving New England weather led Fran on a journey to warmer days in the sunny state of Florida. Once transported Fran pursued his desire to find a badass country rock and outlaw band.  When Fran came across Cottondale Swamp, he knew he found his new musical home. Cottondale Swamp is a band tailor-made to continue on his musical journey.

Doug Smith - Guitar / Vocals - Doug Smith - Born in Florida, Doug is a true Floridian.  He started playing guitar in bands in high school.  His first guitar gig was playing lead guitar in the band Crossfire, an original Southern Rock band.  He moved into a top-40 club band called Cobblestone and played in clubs across the US for several years.  Upon returning back to the Tampa area, Doug formed a jazz band and played bass with two of his Berklee-trained guitar instructors.  He later rejoined them on keyboards and played in a very successful Country/Rock band for several years.  Doug branched out and formed a new Pop Rock band called Mr. Sixty. They recorded an album and played original music in clubs in the Tampa area.  Later Doug formed Dimestore Billie, an Americana rock band.  They recorded several songs and played clubs in the Tampa area for several years.  Doug joined the Butch Ryan Band and played in Ybor City and the Tampa Bay area for several years.  Doug played bass on several tracks from the Butch Ryan American Farewell album, recorded at Zen Recording with the infamous Steve Connelly.  Doug worked on the next Butch Ryan album, Hi Jinx at Jagged Audioworks studio, playing bass, guitar, keyboard, harmonica, and backing vocals.  Doug also provided guitar, bass, and keyboard tracks for country singer Sarah Morey's Dust EP.  Doug joined Cottondale Swamp in 2018 and enjoys playing their original music.