By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Midnight Clear advances to the finals
Ellabell resident Judith James with boyfriend Brant French. French and his band Midnight Clear will compete in the finals of a nationwide Battle of the Bands Monday on CBS. - photo by Provided

Despite some stiff competition, the up and coming rock band Midnight Clear blew away the competition this past week on the CBS Early Show’s Living Room Battle of the Bands competition.

Ellabell resident Judith James, and many others across the country, will be watching intently this coming week as the band, which features her boyfriend Brant French on bass and keyboards, now enters the finals. After almost four months of competition of submitted video from bands all over the United States, it has come down to the final three.

Midnight Clear not only was successful in the semi-final round this past week, but they garnered 52 percent of the votes – the largest margin thus far in the competition. This is in spite of the fact that CBS accidentally aired the wrong video in some areas.

French said the network, in an early broadcast that reached New York and some other areas, accidentally aired the wrong video. Not only that, but it was a young heavy metal band that French said was not very talented. "I have family in New York, so I started getting calls right away," said French. "My drummer called me all fired up too. We called CBS and got it corrected before it aired in the rest of the country. Even with that happening, our fan base was strong enough to allow us to win. I think it’s a good indication of our chances in the final round."

The other two bands in the final round have very different styles than the classic rock 'n' roll sound of Midnight Clear. French described competing band Big G as "old school soul R&B" and the band After Never as having a "West Coast-style teenage sound".

French is unclear if Midnight Clear’s rock sound will work to their advantage, saying that the once-strong genre seems to have "taken a back seat to R&B and hip-hop. Even a lot of the newer rock has strayed from the original rock 'n' roll style. We’re hoping to bring that classic sound back around. Although there is a modern twist to it, I think Midnight Clear reaches back to the sound we grew up hearing. I think that’s why it’s going to reach a broader audience."

French said the band has worked hard through the years, and winning this nationwide competition would be a great reward.

"We’ve definitely paid our dues on the road and have been through the ups and downs of this business. We’ve traveled up and down the road while being our own roadies and our own booking agents, and it’s taken that to become the well-oiled and professional-style band that I feel we are right now. I think our music deserves to get out there, and this is a wonderful opportunity for us."

The next, and final, stage of the CBS Living Room Battle of the Bands competition will be when the CBS Early Show airs videos of the three finalists this coming Monday. Immediately following the broadcast and up until Wednesday afternoon, online voting will take place via the show’s homepage at The band who receives the most online votes will be declared the winner and subsequently flown to New York to perform live on the show later this month.

Sign up for our E-Newsletters