The Wetsuits are a pop-rock band from southern Maine that performs covers and originals. Jim O’Neil (vocals, drums, percussion, guitar), Dana Pearson (vocals, bass, guitar, harmonica), and Byon Yeatts (vocals, guitar, bass) have been together since 2009, and are reportedly very happy. Keyboardist Mark Gunter was added to the mix in 2015. It was in the summer of 2009 that Jim received a desperate phone call from Don ‘Nuclear’ Wessels, with whom he had been playing regular Friday night gigs at a Kennebunkport restaurant/nightspot. Don had agreed to play a benefit gig at Biddeford Pool; however, he could not fulfill his obligation and was looking to hand the reins over to someone with a pulse. Since the summer of 2007, Jim had occasionally played at the aforementioned Port nightspot with Dana and Byon, who had an annoying tendency to show up unannounced and grab the mic and guitar from Don in a frantic bid for attention. Jim figured he could play in public with these guys (who were then in the band The Nerve), asked them if they were available to perform as The Don Wessels Trio (the name under which Don had originally agreed to perform as), and set about rehearsing a few dozen numbers over the next couple of weeks. When the benefit’s organizer asked for a band name (instead of the noticeably Wessels-free ‘Don Wessels Trio’) to be used for promotional purposes, Jim inexplicably said, ‘The Wetsuits.’ Equally inexplicably, the name stuck.

They played the gig, had fun, and a couple months later, Dana asked Jim if he’d join him and Byon in a trio. After Dana explained to a spooked Jim that he was referring to a band, Jim consented. The Wetsuits were officially formed.

They spent the winter of 2009-’10 building a repertoire of originals and covers, and played their first official show at the Kennebunk Parks & Rec Department’s Summer Concert Series in June, returning to Biddeford Pool for their second performance there the following month. Both of those gigs have become annual events for The Wetsuits. The band has played a variety of venues, including Run of the Mill in Saco, Dogfish Bar & Grill in Portland, Shevenell Park in Biddeford, WMPG’s live radio show LocalMotives in Portland, WSCA’s The Groove radio show in Portsmouth, Oak Street Bistro in Alfred, the Saco Coffeehouse, Goodwill’s annual Little Black Dress and Art Auction events, and numerous private engagements. Regular gigs are performed at One Dock (Kennebunkport Inn) and the Biddeford-Saco Country Club (check the Calendar for dates).

In the summer of 2013, The Wetsuits released their eponymous debut album, comprising 12 original songs. It is available at CD Baby, iTunes, TuneTown Music Gear in Wells, and at any Wetsuits gig. The cover photo was shot by Jim’s remarkably talented sis Maureen on October 9, 2011 during one of those freakishly hot summer-like days at Biddeford Pool. Several photos from that session appear throughout this website.