Tag Archives: Lynyrd Skynyrd

Monster Truck Interview

Monster Truck Interview Backstage at Rockville

I caught up with Jeremy Widerman and Steve Kiely of Monster Truck backstage at Welcome To Rockville and we had an intriguing discussion centered on breaking through on the American rock scene, and a few other random items of personal interest: Florida heat, NASCAR, Video games and more…

Monster Truck band logo

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Curt Towne Band Rocks Fans in Jacksonville

Curt Towne Band Show Review

Hello RARA’s Farm Magazine Fans, Happy Jack is back with another concert review. It’s Halloween night in downtown Jacksonville, and the city is alive with excitement.

Make sure you Like our Facebook at the top of our site for more rock music coverage and to see photos from this show.

This night featured the “World’s Biggest Cocktail Party” – the annual Florida Gator and Georgia Bulldog game at the Gator Bowl; and the city is swarming with all of the Florida & Georgia fans here for the game. Florida Georgia Line, the Country duo, is also in concert just a couple of blocks away. But the real story is a special group of guys playing on a double-billed show, opening for Southern Rockers Molly Hatchet. Our hometown favorite, The Curt Towne Band is definitely the band to see this year.

Fans can relate to everything these guys do, as they are very experienced in many genres of rock music: Southern Rock, Outlaw Country, Classic Rock n Roll, and more. They were raised under the wings of great artists, learning the styles and building on that foundation.

Let’s talk about the band: Curt Towne, Lead Guitar/Vocals; James Aaron, Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar; Mike “the Sultan” Cansler, Drums; and Stewart “Doc” Dalrymple, Bass/Vocals

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See more photos from the show on our Facebook page: Curt Towne Band Album

Curt Towne, Guitar
Towering over six feet with sleek long blonde hair, he instantly reminds you of a young Duane Allman. He was dressed in flared jeans and a cool shirt that fit in well with his persona. Playing the hardest leads, he flashed his amazing ability to find the right note with every tempo or song change-up, I was instantly a fan.

I could tell this was no ordinary run-of-the-mill guitarist. He made everyone pay attention to his passionate playing, and we were happy to see him do it live in concert. Most lead guitarists sound redundant after a while, as we already know what they’ll be playing, and how they’ll be playing it — not with Curt, he really puts the heart into his work, taking the time to have patience with every note and knowing what the note is worth to the music that he is playing.

Not just settling in for the basic generic note, he finds chords that really push the song to outstanding heights – a diamond guitarist! Towne has the ability to reel you in with his mesmerizing chords, taking you on a journey, through every emotion of every song.

James Aaron, Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
As soon as the band arrived onstage you hear this voice; this voice that sounds like a bluesy outlaw seemingly grabbing your thoughts from you. His voice made you feel like you knew him for years. The songs that were written and performed this might in Jacksonville were mostly crafted from this wonderful singer-song writer with amazing vocals. He looked to be enjoying every note and he sung his heart out.

Aaron also played rhythm guitar and the chords changes were astounding. He did not settle for basic chords on the bridges in the songs, going instead to higher planes. They have the perfect singer with enough gusto to take them even further in 2015.

Mike “The Sultan” Cansler, Drums
Looking cool with a tight vested leather hat and goatee, he is steady on the drums. Delivering a swampy beat that makes you tap your feet, he played very well on all the drum breaks and ending hits. Bass drum was solid all night.

I asked him after the show how long he has been playing – over 30 years now! I myself have been playing over 30 years, and I have to tell the truth, I went directly home after the show and popped the Cd in my stereo. I grabbed my drumsticks and jumped behind my Ludwigs, and then played right along with Mike on the first song from their new CD. I was smiling when I was done knowing we had the same beat.

Mike really made this band sound like they came straight from the studio, which they did, recently wrapping up the new songs for the new EP CD.

Stewart “Doc” Dalrymple, Bass/Vocals
This is the most solid bassist rock n roll. I watched Dalrymple play a bass with such perfection that I smiled all night. I kept thinking that he must be playing with a special pedal that makes him sound wide. He knew exactly when to pluck that string and when to pick that string. It was almost like I was hearing six guitars in one bass and he made it all look easy.

His fingers reaching for bass chords that are almost impossible to figure out. I was so thrilled to finally see him play in person. The Bass is important to us.

His stage presence was obvious and the large crowd loved it.

The fans did not want to see this band leave the stage tonight, and thankfully they came back out and did another wonderful song “Long Live My Country.” The house went wild, this song was our LONG AWAITED ANTHEM! Every hand was in the air, all ages waving with the tempo to this heartfelt song. We have been waiting years for these type of songs, you gotta get this CD.

Here’s the single on iTunes: Long Live My Country – Single

The Curt Towne Band took the time to make some diehard Southern Rock fans happy tonight with new music that has so much to offer. The band’s playlist was perfect. The songs were fresh and executed in proper order; songs that seemed like old friends, even though you never heard them before.

Townes, you could tell, enjoyed the heavy crowd in attendance and between songs thanked them all for supporting Southern Rock music. Seeing a person like Curt Towne is so refreshing; the energy, the talent and the commitment to his fans. I suddenly realized I was watching history, an important new face in Southern Rock Music. You can see them yourself when they play Freebird Cafe in two weeks, and I’ll have that review also.

They will also be part of history again, sailing with Skynyrd on the Simple Man Cruise. We have been waiting many years for someone to step up and take the reigns and now we have them – The Curt Towne Band. 2015 will be a big year for the talented band with a new tour being booked while the band also finishes the master tapes for a soon to be released EP.

If you buy anything this year – get this band’s New CD. You’ll be thanking me for the CD you’ll never take off the playlist. This music is just that strong.

Next article is an interview with questions and answers for the band.

Until then – I’m jamming on drums with Curt Towne Band new CD! And as always you can catch me on WJXR 92.1FM

Rock On!
Happy Jack

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Ed Roland’s Sweet Show in Orlando

Ed Roland and the Sweet Tea Project Show Review

Ed Roland and the Sweet Tea Project at Hard Rock Velvet Session
Ed Roland and the Sweet Tea Project at Hard Rock Velvet Session

Ed Roland has been the heart and soul of the legendary rock band Collective¬†Soul for the past eighteen years. ¬†He’s now embarked on an intriguing side effort, The Sweet Tea Project, and sounding better than ever. ¬†Roland and his¬†band-mates¬†hail from Atlanta, Georgia and had been playing Peach City extensively over the past few months, before kicking off their tour at Hard Rock’s Velvet Sessions.

Many in the¬†crowd¬†came expecting a Collective Soul show but were pleasantly¬†surprised¬†with the entertaining and fun set offered up by Roland and friends. ¬†Their music is a totally different take than Collective Soul, featuring a smooth, laid back folksy rock sound with a slight country vibe. It’s a refreshing new path for Roland, and an excellent show.

The line-up featured three guitarists, a bass player and drummer; pleasantly devoid of the synthesizers that dominate today’s new rock landscape. In short it was a nice old school approach with a fresh new sound. Although this is the first stop on their tour, the band was sharp and seemed totally cohesive throughout the show.

They kicked the set off with a rocking version of “Stomp”¬†featuring¬†lyrics that captured the band’s vibe: “Soak up summer… that sweet southern shine.” Throughout the set, Roland was clearly the focal point, yet all of the other band members took turns in the spotlight, and shared vocal responsibilities. ¬†He was extremely in the spotlight and interacted with the packed crowd all night.

The first hour plus was focused on the new music of The Sweet Tea Project, and a few of the fans got a bit antsy for the Collective Soul hits. But Roland and the band were quickly winning over the house and having an¬†absolute¬†blast playing their tunes and interacting with the fans. At one time offering “If it wasn’t different it would be fuckin’ Collective Soul up here.”

There were a¬†few nice twists thrown in, as well. ¬†After sharing how influential Johnny Cash was to him, Roland kicked off a rollicking version of “Devils and Darlins” that morphed perfectly into Cash”s¬†classic “Folsom Prison Blues.” They dedicated a song to folks in the military that was powered by heavy audience¬†participation¬†and later in the show offered up a few Lynyrd Skynyrd tidbits. When a fan shouted out “Freebird,” Roland and the band threw out a spontaneous three¬†minute¬†snippet of the rock anthem. Cool stuff!

They then closed with a nice collection of Collective Soul tracks, but creatively, each was performed with a Sweet Tea Project spin, and again it worked extremely well, highlighted by “December,” “Gel” and killer versions of “Shine and The World I Know.” ¬†A great end to a fantastic show.

If this band is in your area, it’s a can’t miss show, with or without the Collective Soul tracks.

Rock On!

Check out our photo gallery on our Facebook page, and like us while you’re there ūüôā

We strongly suggest you check out Elise Rossi’s interview with Ed Roland on the WMMO website.

Ed Roland and the Sweet Tea Project
Ed Roland and the Sweet Tea Project