The best part of waking up: A shot at $25K

May. 28, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

A local trio is one of 10 finalists in a national contest to write the new jingle for Folgers Coffee.

The group consists of Sawyer Frye and brothers Zach and Marcus Cox. Frye graduated from Lee County’s Grace Christian School in 2006 and lives in Carthage. The Cox brothers now live in High Point but have known Frye for years, and they frequently return to this area for concerts or just to jam. This was the group’s first submission for a contest of any kind — let alone a national one to replace a fairly famous ditty — and they said they were quite surprised to have been chosen.

Frye, however, has individually gained the attention of a famous corportation before. In December of 2010, he was named winner of the McDonald’s “Legends of McRib” contest. Frye’s short film was judged to be the best of 20 finalists in the nationwide competition, and he won $10,000 and a trip to Germany. But that win was for a story, not a song, so he is still in somewhat-uncharted territory along with his bandmates, who are rookies in the video-submission-contest world.

And if they win?

“I’m going to run outside and just run for a while, just shout it out,” Frye said, adding that the group’s success so far has actually made the three realize that they should work together more often. Zach Cox was unavailable for comment, but both Marcus Cox and Frye said that if they win, the prize money will go to support more musical endeavors.

Those who want to support the trio (or any of the other contestants) can vote online. A panel of judges picked Frye and the Coxes as finalists, but to win, they must beat out the other nine finalists in a popular vote. Anyone can vote at www.folgerscoffee.com/jingle; the winning band gets its jingle possibly used in commercials plus a $25,000 prize, and one voter will also be randomly chosen to win $10,000.

The music video the three created — which can be viewed at http://bit.ly/18lOxOw — was shot on a friend’s farm near Kernersville and features strong folk and roots music influences. Cox said the video was basically just a better-produced, coffee-themed version of what they do every time they hang out.

“The past several years we’ve been getting together, we’ll sit by a campfire and just pull out some instruments and jam,” he said.

Added Frye, “We were kind of going for something strong and energetic, a Mumford and Sons kind of feel,” a reference to the British folk band that has taken the American pop charts by storm recently with its twangy banjos and kick-drums.

The minute-long song the local group put together doesn’t feature any banjos, but it does lean heavily on traditional accoustic instruments just like Mumford and Sons or their North Carolina cousins, the Avett Brothers. Frye sings and plays guitar, Zach Cox plays dulcimer and Marcus plays the djembe and other percussion instruments.

As for the members’ high spirits in the video, Frye confirmed that it was indeed coffee-fueled energy — from Folgers, of course.