Southern Rock Alive and Kickin !
This article is a combination of a review and interview; you'll see what I mean!
I was invited to concert in Sussex County N.J were the headlining acts were Southern Rock Bands. I have a place in my heart for Southern Rock so it was a no brain-er. We jumped in the truck and three hours later, we reached our destination at a field in the middle of nowhere land. If you could have put any New Jerseyan in the area we had arrived at, other than the local folks, you would swear you were in the middle of Kentucky. The surroundings were beautiful. Coming up from the Jersey shore with a Tee shirt and shorts on, I found myself and my partner in Crime Steve stopping at a local department store to by some warm cloths. The temp went from a warm 82 to a cold 54...Yea 54!
As we were led backstage by my dear Old friend Matt, who invited me to this outdoor shindig, we were greeted with a warm welcome by band members and friends of the band SOUTHERN FURY. (I will get to them later).
The first band on the bill was THE ARTIMUS PYLE BAND . ARTIMUS was the original drummer in the LYNYRD SKYNYRD band who left the band because of so-called conflicts between band members and himself.
ARTIMUS was the only name that was familiar to me in his band. The band did not disappoint, as they played all the old SKYNYRD songs we grew up on, and doing a fine job with them. The band did manage to play a couple originals that were ok at best. ARTIMUS, who was always a favorite drummer of mine, displayed his swift crispness on the kit. He showed no signs of age! The band was tight and convincing. They displayed professionalism and spread enjoyment throughout the crowd. Overall, I still would like to see ARTIMUS back with the original line-up but we all know the song and dance routine of squabbling musicians. Overall THE ARTIMUS PYLE BAND sounded great.
Next up was my friends Matt Clancy's cover band SOUTHERN FURY. Matt and I go way back and actually played in a band together called NUKE OUTLAW where he was the lead singer and yours truly provided the thunder. I had seen SOUTHERN FURY a few times and I must say if you want to see a replication as close to the real deal, then SOUTHERN FURY is the band you must see for all your southern fixens! One class Act!
<Matt had told me of a few special guest appearances they were having jam with them... Dangerous Dan Toler, a southern pickin guitar slinger and Tony Perrino, a Hammond B3 master. Honestly, I told Matt "Never Heard of the Gents" but after doing some research on both of them, I came to realize we were in for something special! These guys have been around the block before and have swapped licks with the best of the best!
Dan Toler has played with the ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND and the GREGG ALLMAN BAND. Enough said! And many other notables!
Tony has played keys with BLUE OYSTER CULT and has made many guest appearances on many top performers' albums. I was feeling we were going to be in for something special!
Before they graced the stage Matt had led me to Dan and Tony's trailer were I had the pleasure of a one on one interview and personal chat with Dan and Tony.
Tony was just out right friendly and explained his keyboard set up to me in detail. He had told me of projects past and present that he was working on. Talking with Tony, you would think you were talking to one of your closest friends! Just a great warm person and one hell of a musician; I wish I had more time to chat with him, hopefully down the road I will get the pleasure again!
I met Dan who was warming up on his Fender Strat, which showed signs of heavy abuse! I mean that in a good way! Like an old baseball glove. I must also say Dan is an amazing person. Not just in his musical achievements but just another warm and personable guy!
Dan and I chatted on his musical career starting with his influence's from guys like Lonnie Mack, Chet Akins, BB King, Stevie Ray and yes Eddie Van Halen just to name a few.
Dan has graced the stage with the ALLMAN BROS. BAND for many years trading licks with Dickie Betts. Dan has also played with the GREGG ALLMAN BAND as well and as recently with Dickie Betts and GREAT SOUTHERN. Yes, Dan is a heavy hitter but you would never know it by his kindness and modesty!
(I must apologize! The tape recorder I used for the interview died and destroyed the tape of the interview. I will recall from memory to the best of my knowledge of my chat with Dan. Which won't be hard because he is an intriguing person to talk with.)
Dan talked about his long and fulfilling career with all he has played with. The great times and the bad, the long trips in a bus and the countless times he has visited places where the only thing he could remember was the great acoustics inside because it was back on the bus and off again.
I had asked Dan were he thinks the line is between Southern Rock and Country Rock and were does southern rock sit today? Dan stated "good question "!
Dan believes that Southern Rock is still alive and kickin' and still being performed by the boys who really created it! Country Rock is a commercial take off of Southern Rock!
I agreed! We also both agreed that there are some real good Country Rock bands!
Time was running out, as Dan, Tony and SOUTHERN FURY were getting ready to take the stage.
SOUTHERN FURY, a cover band from North Jersey started out with the song "South is Gonna Do It Again." That lit the fire. From there on out the train just kept rollin!
SOUTHERN FURY clearly demonstrates why Southern Rock will never die! Fine musicianship and energy is put in to every song they do! The band consisted of Matt Clancy lead vocals, Paul Alesi- bass guitar, Bobby Delsapio -Guitar, Bill Buchanan -guitar, Kevin Ahern - drums and Linda Grace lead and backing vocals.
Like I said if you need a southern fix look these guys up and go see for yourself!
SOUTHERN FURY then summoned Dan Toler and Tony Perrino to the stage where the sound just got enormous. Tony laid his paws on the ivory and a shiver went through you like sippin whiskey on a cold night!
The first song was a Gregg Allman song called "Just Before The Bullets Fly." Guitar was hummin as the drums were thumpin! Sounded great! I truly enjoyed the next few songs were Dan shined on guitar. He is a brilliant player. Dan let's the song breath were needed and compliments it when demanded. "Midnight Rider" another Gregg Allman song was truly enjoyable. Tony P filled the air with the B3 sound that is unmistakably the best sounding keyboard sound ever. Tony knows how to put it down. They closed out the set with GREGG ALLMAN BAND's biggest hit "I'm No Angel."
With the SOUTHERN FURY BAND, holding ground Dan Toley showed why he is one fantastic guitarist! Like I always say, "Feel Baby" that's what makes great musicians! Dan Got It! It was a truly amazing show!
My hats off to their performance!
Next up THE OUTLAWS! These southern boys also know how to through it down. Led by none other than the legend guitarist Hughie Thomasson, They played a lot of their hits that included "Ghost Rider", "Hurry Sundown", You Are The Show" and my favorite, "Green Grass and High Tides". There were a few more that I did not catch but these were the more memorable, especially "Green Grass." THE OUTLAWS definitely rocked that cold evening! Bravo!
As this review was being processed, Rockeyez was informed of some very sad news.
Legendary guitarist Hughie Thomasson of THE OUTLAW<,/b> passed away of a heart attack on September 9th 2007. The staff at Rockeyez would like to express their deepest sympathy to the Thomasson family. Hughie will surely be missed but rest assured Hughie will grace the stage in Rock and Roll heaven!
Overall, the night was a big success! Yes, Southern Rock is still going strong! If you have the chance to get out, put your boots on and go see what Southern Rock is still all about.
JUST DO IT!
Another quick note Dan Toley has released a new CD with some amazing other musicians! The band is called TGZ and the CD is called "Living Dangerously"! I have previewed the CD on myspace and I was very impressed; I will be reviewing the full CD in the near future. I can tell you one thing this is the real deal! Buy It! You will not regret it. I have added the links to their sites as well as the other bands!
Again Southern Rock Is Still Kickin' ASS !!!
ARTIMUS PYLE BAND (MYSPACE)
ARTIMUS PYLE BAND OFFICIAL SITE