Meet Adam & The Armadillos: The Country Band Rocking Through State College
When Adam Yarger, Brandon Deamer and Alex Sterbenz first talked about forming a band back in 2022, little did they know they would soon have a growing fan base of college students requesting classic country songs every week.
Hailing from Central Pennsylvania, Yarger first met Deamer and Sterbenz through his wife, Lauren. Deamer and Sterbenz were playing in another band at the time, and after a trip to Nashville, the pair knew it was destined to start a country band of its own.
Yarger — a singer, songwriter and guitarist — was pursuing a solo music career at the time, and after moving back home from Nashville during the pandemic, he was ready to start anew. After getting married, his wife, Lauren, introduced him to Deamer and Sterbenz, who played the drums and guitar, respectively.
“We met with a little bit of luck, but Lauren was the one who brought us all together,” Sterbenz said.
The trio hit it off and decided to take a leap of faith and start their own band, Adam & The Armadillos, in April of last year.
“We’ve been hitting the pavement ever since then,” Yarger said.
The band first started out by recording a few songs to see how the three of them sounded together.
“We did some recording at first just to see what would happen,” Sterbenz said. “Then we thought, ‘OK, this doesn’t suck. Maybe we have something.’”
Yarger described how it was tough to get everyone’s schedules together, but they knew they wanted to make the band happen.
“It was hard at first. [Deamer and Sterbenz] were playing in their other band, and I had a fully loaded schedule from my solo career,” he said.
“Our first gig together was actually an adult Easter egg hunt that was in the middle of the day. We thought if we don’t do this then we might not ever do it,” Yarger explained.
Luckily, the Armadillos got a great response. The three of them knew from that moment they could turn their dream into a reality.
The downtown State College music scene was desperate for a good old-fashioned country music band, and Adam & the Armadillos were the missing piece.
Drummer Deamer and guitarist Sterbenz both had ties to the Phyrst downtown. After reaching out to the Phyrst’s management, they started playing Monday nights.
“We wanted to see if we could give the other country nights a run for their money, and it kind of took off from there. We’re doing pretty well for ourselves,” Deamer said.
“The only competition there was a Spotify playlist,” Sterbenz joked.
Only having played two other shows before, the group was shocked at the positive response from the students.
“It went way better than I thought it would go,” Yarger said. “They told us we were playing from midnight to 2 a.m., and I thought, ‘Who’s out at that time?!’”
“Sure enough, that night went really well and the feedback from everyone was kind of insane,” Yarger continued. “It kind of blew my mind because I didn’t realize that many people were into country [music] up here.”
Adam & the Armadillos got its first big gig at THON 2023 when the group rocked the BJC in the early hours of Sunday morning. The band sang a mix of modern country, classics and a few originals.
“The reaction at THON was way more than any of us expected, given the time. Getting the encore was definitely a highlight for sure,” Sterbenz said.
Now he band is planning to head out west to Texas for a few gigs. But the trio will be back in State College for the summer and fall.
You can connect with Adam & the Armadillos on Facebook and Instagram, or see the band live and in person every Monday at the Phyrst from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.