Rockin’ Profs Pack the House

Rock band featuring English Department professors fills local restaurant

When Daryl and the Beans, a rock band featuring Department of English Language and Literature professors Jeffrey Bean, Darrin Doyle and Robert Fanning, decided to kick off this academic year by playing a concert August 27 at Hunter’s Ale House in Mount Pleasant, they didn’t know who, if anyone, would show up.

“We thought Hunter’s would be a great location for a show during Welcome Weekend,” Fanning said, “but it’s tough to get the word out before students have arrived for classes. We worried we might end up playing for just a handful of people out having lunch.”

As it turns out, word spread very fast and very well, and the restaurant was soon packed with dozens of students, local fans, and community members, buying T-shirts and singing along raucously to the band’s signature blend of original songs and eclectic covers. One fan favorite is their heavy metal take on CMU’s Alma Mater. For this show, the trio added a drummer, Simon Doyle, Darrin’s son, and a sophomore at Kalamazoo College.

"The show was a perfect way to kick off the new semester,” said Bean, who plays bass and guitar in the band. “The large crowd of CMU students and faculty and people from the Mount Pleasant community brought terrific energy and enthusiasm. They made us feel like rock stars."  

“I love that I get to have more things in common with my professors,” said Sammantha Loveless, a student from DeWitt pursuing her MA in Creative Writing. “I'm also a musician who loves creative writing! We get to bond over that, and it has truly made the best college experience.”

Emma Harding, an MA in Creative Writing student from Armada, agrees. "Witnessing my creative writing professors onstage only increased my respect for them as writers and mentors."

Daryl and the Beans formed in 2010 to play a planned “faculty talent show” that ended up being cancelled. However, members decided to stay together and continue to typically play one show a year, an event that has become a hit, especially for CMU students. All proceeds from their sale of T-shirts, as well as the band’s CD, “Burnin’ the Eagle,” go to the Daryl and the Beans Award, open to student writers each Spring.

Because the Hunter’s Ale House show was such a success, the band has been invited by the owner to play another show, which will be take place in the Spring. Stay tuned to the band’s Facebook page or the buzz in the halls of Anspach, for details.

View latest news