They are named after an obscure road near Sunbury and their sound is influenced by days past, but the band members of Monkee Hollow are young, vibrant and ready to take on the music industry.

They are named after an obscure road near Sunbury and their sound is influenced by days past, but the band members of Monkee Hollow are young, vibrant and ready to take on the music industry.

First, though, Monkee Hollow will have a chance to showcase its talents at New Albany's Fourth of July celebration Saturday, July 3.

"They eat, drink and breathe this," said Michael J. Clouse III, who listens to Monkee Hollow's music wafting up out of his basement.

Clouse worked in the music industry with the late Jeff Buckley and Nashville producer Anthony Little. Though he is a little biased with his son in the band, he said, occasionally you come across a band that has the "it" factor.

"The whole is greater than the sum of the parts," he said. "These three have an energy about them that is unbelievable."

Monkee Hollow's parts are Michael "Mookie" Clouse, 15, Evan West, 15, and Chad Blashford, 14. The three are writing music for their debut album that will be recorded in New Albany in — you guessed it — the Clouse basement.

Ron Kendle, president of New Albany's community events board, which organizes the fest, said the group held a battle of the bands at FallFest and Monkee Hollow won. The band's prize is to open for the Reaganomics during the Fourth of July celebration.

Clouse said he still has trouble believing the band won that competition. They were the youngest band and the first to perform.

As if that weren't enough pressure, Clouse's amp blew during practice and he had to have his guitar piped through the public address system.

"They decided to run my guitar through the PA and I couldn't hear," he said. "We won, but I didn't expect to."

Monkee Hollow will perform just before 7 p.m. at the New Albany High School commons off Fodor Road. The Reganomics take the stage at 7 p.m.

The elder Clouse has high hopes for the band.

"They're good kids and they're very talented," he said. "Others are recognizing it, too."

The boys are unusual in that they have not been together that long and that none of them has graduated high school. Clouse and West are sophomores at New Albany High School and Blashford is an incoming freshman.

"I've been playing music for a long time, writing music, anything to creatively express things," West said.

West met Clouse when he moved to New Albany as a sixth-grader. The two played music together and eventually began writing songs.

They said it was a difficult prospect at first because they were trying to imitate some of their musical influences, such as Green Day and Nirvana.

"It was all very 'poppy,'" Clouse said, describing how they were missing the punk or grunge feel they were trying to achieve.

It wasn't until they decided just to write without any one style of music in mind that they came up with the 1960s-influenced material they are playing today.

"We wrote for us, writing a song and not trying to force it into a genre," Clouse said. "We wrote what came to us."

The style they created is part pop, part 1960s- and 1970s-influenced music that is less about creating new sounds with recording equipment and more about actual voices and instruments.

On their MySpace page, the boys describe it as "the sound of '60s and '70s music interpreted through young innovative ears. In an era where auto-tuned vocals and fabricated stars are the norm, Monkee Hollow defies that norm and takes us back to a time when music was all about É music."

Clouse first began banging on the piano at age 4 and probably wrote his first song then, his father said. Clouse remembered his aunt teaching him to play his new guitar, but he was about 9 when he really caught the bug after listening to a Green Day album.

"I listened and watched them and tried to figure out how to play chords," Clouse said.

He began transferring chords to the piano and has been playing music ever since.

"He's been playing out since he was 12," his father said. "He's been making money at parties and such."

Blashford came into the mix after another drummer left the band.

"Mookie's my neighbor and he's always had the band thing going," Blashford said.

Blashford learned to drum from an uncle and has been at it only two years. He's learning a lot from West and Clouse, even helping to write some songs for their new album.

"I didn't know a lot about guitar music and notes," he said. "But they are teaching me and I'm improving daily."

Michael J. Clouse said he had put his recording studio days behind him until his son asked him to help record his cover version of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door."

"We've been up and running ever since," he said.

The boys are even securing gigs out of state. They recently returned from Nashville, where they opened for another band at the Hard Rock Café.

For now, they are focused on their music, waiting to see where it will take them. West and Clouse even have joined an online classroom program, which will give them more time for performances.

"I would like to tour and play for people," Clouse said. "I would like to be signed (to a record deal) but I just like to be playing for people. Music is all I want to do."