Don Gates-EPK


Don Gates was born in Concord, New Hampshire. Born into a large family with a myriad of musical talents, it was only natural that he too would have an avid love of music. He grew up in Tampa, Florida and there he would be exposed to various genres of music. This exposure would lead him to Tampa’s underground metal scene where he would become known globally for his harmonic, as well as melodic guitar riffs and leads.

Fortunately, making a name for himself in metal didn’t pull him away from his country roots. Through the years of playing and recording metal he would always find himself drifting off into another world.  That world was naturally country music. After having nearly 25 years under his belt , taking part in writing albums that are known today as classics in the genre and building a resume that most “metal heads” only dream about, he decided it was time to hang up the distorted monster guitar and saddle up the acoustics he had collected for so many years and bring his real dream to life.  That dream was to go back where he belonged, home.

Country music has been his passion for the greater part of his life with influences from Keith Whitley, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Gary Allen as well as the old legends, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Waylon.  The list goes on and on. Combining his love of country with his past musical career, he brings a fresh new sound to the industry with his first EP release, Almost A Cowboy.

The material that you will hear on Almost A Cowboy is a collection of songs written over the course of the past 20 years. 

Almost A Cowboy (EP)


Band Members:

 Don Gates (Lead Vocal/Acoustic Guitar)

Ben Chafin (Lead Guitar)

RT Mitchell (Lead Guitar)

Bruce McDowell (Bass)

Vance West (Drums)


BAnd Tour Gear

Don Gates

  • 1 Seagull Artist Series Acoustic and case
  • 1 Simon and Patrick Acoustic with Case
  • Monster Cables
  • 1 Fishman Loudbox 120-Watt Acoustic Amp Combo


RT Mitchell-Guitar  

  • Marshall DSL40c amp with Celestion Creamback 75 speaker.
  • Electra Omega guitar in black and chrome. 
  • Boss TU3 tuner, MXR Dyna Comp, MXR UniVibe, DOD 250 overdrive, 
  • MXR GT-OD, Fulltone Octafuzz, Boss Chorus, Boss Tremolo, MXR Phase 90
  • Dunlop Volume pedal
  • D2F amp covers
  • Mogami instrument cables
  • Monster Speaker cables
  • DiAddario strings, Dunlop nylon picks, Levi guitar straps, Dunlop glass slides, Gator Frameworks amp stand.


Bruce MacDowell-Bass

  • 1  Peavey TKO 115 400 watts amp.
  • 1 Epiphone Thunderbird Bass with hard case.


Ben Chafin-Guitar

  • 1 Marshall 4-12 cab
  • 1 CrackerCaster Electric Guitar W/ Case
  • 1 Electra Omega Electric Guitar W/ Case
  • 1 Custom Built Pedal Steel W/ Case
  • 1 Pedal Board W/ Case
  • Monster Cables 


Vance West-Drums

  • Pearl Masters MCX Series Drums
  1. 22×18 Kick
  2. 12×9 Tom
  3. 16×16 Floor Tom
  4. 14×6.5 Snare (Steel or Aluminum usually)
  • Sabian Cymbals

(A) – 14″ AA Regular Hats
(B) – 12″ AA Splash or Mini-China
(C) – 18″ AAX Xplosion Crash
(D) – 21″ AA Rock Ride or 21″ AA Bash Ride
(E) – 18″ AA Medium Thin Crash
(F) – 17″ AA Holy China
(G) – 13″ AA Fusion Hats (Remote)
(H) – 19″ AA Holy China

  • Evans Drum Heads

Stage Plot







Phone (813)352-1880


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