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The Curt Towne Band plays Killer Acoustic Show

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The Curt Towne Band

Welcome Southern Rock Music fans, HappyJack is back with another article on one of the South’s favorite new Southern Rock bands.

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I was born here and I still live here in Jacksonville, Florida, home to many popular artists, particularly Southern rockers. Many bands and artists in this town are connected – like family – to each other, because of the music and the friendship this genre brings.

This is the hometown of Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 Special, Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet, The Curt Towne Band and many more great artists.

I was raised on the West Side of Jacksonville, where most of these bands were formed, and I ran into members of these bands all the time. When I  was 16, I actually bagged groceries at Winn Dixie each week for Lacy Van Zant, father of Ronnie, Donnie and Johnny Van Zant.

I remember running into Larry Junstrum (.38 Special ) every month at a local restaurant on Normandy Blvd. and running into Donnie Van Zant at a Grainger’s Lumber store and Johnny Van Zant at another grocery store in the same area. For a Southern rock fan, life is great in this town of Jacksonville.  Seeing these guys around town, not hiding themselves, and acting like normal people was so cool.

And, there are plenty of others who were raised with Skynyrd connections, like local rocker Curt Towne.

Curt has enjoyed the friendship with members of Skynyrd since he was knee high, as he lived just a couple of doors from Allen Collins, and he was able to talk and become friends with him, along with other members and many other bands.  Growing up with these Southern Rock Music Legends, the personal journey of Curt Towne is seen deeply in his new band, The Curt Towne Band, with every song they play.

And of course, this band has opened recently for the best in the industry – Montgomery Gentry – along with a benefit show with hometown heroes of Southern Rock, Molly Hatchet (Bobby Ingram, Tim Lindsey, Dave Hulbek). The Curt Towne Band has been busy recording new tracks in between concert dates – getting down the final touches on the new CD.

I had the chance to catch up with them again recently backstage on tour with Montgomery Gentry and I was surprised to see them announce a special intimate acoustic show to showcase the talents of each member of The Curt Towne Band.

As I stood backstage, I also ran into Bobby Ingram (Molly Hatchet) and his wife who were also there to support The Curt Towne Band and witness the history the band was making tonight in front of 6,000 fans who came from many miles away to see the band and hear the music that has been missing from real Southern Rock. A fantastic double bill show, The Curt Towne Band and Montgomery Gentry, which was a sell out.

The band starts off the show with a great upbeat song instantly bringing fans up out of their seats to dance to the music. The crowd was wonderful with so many in attendance tonight wearing a limited edition black tee-shirts. These black shirts were purchased at earlier shows and no longer in print; seeing all of those shirts showed all in attendance that this band has a following long before the major acts started calling them to open their shows.

We saw hundreds in attendance wearing the black shirts and then watched new fans grabbing everything they could from the merchandise table. The band offered CD’s, shirts, and other great items – while fans stood in line patiently waiting their turn to order, this band gave the headliner a run for the money on total tee shirt sales.

Meanwhile – the band itself is playing song after song from their debut EP, and also added in new unreleased material into the mix, instantly gratifying everyone in attendance. The music was outstanding, in full acoustic sound, with all of the songs that this band has recorded, along with a few new ones – a treat!

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Lead Singer / Songwriter / Guitarist – James Aaron has such a good voice, like a young Bob Seger. He boasts a perfect range with a rough balance. Watching him, you see how passionate he feels about his work, belting out verses that hooks you and grab your attention. He has the ability to put it on the line with a powerhouse voice. The fans listened and when each song is over they all instantly raised there hands in appreciation. It feels so good to be witnessing the beginnings for this much sought after band tonight.

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Lead Rhythm Guitars – Curt Towne, the man with all the experience, all the chords, all the hooks that make this band rock. I’ve met him a few times and he is one of the nicest guys, always receptive, always caring about your conversation with him. He instantly proves his roots with the first song, a dedication to the Southern Rock music genre as he follows in the footsteps of his industry elders. Ronnie Van Zant would be proud of his songwriting, and the fans have made it clear, they love every song he performs with his hard working band. The ability to play chords and change the feelings in each song is simply amazing to see and hear. This band’s music reminds me of the “Nuthin’ Fancy” era recordings of Lynyrd Skynyrd – All classics, all heartfelt. The Curt Towne Band will be around for a long time.

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Bass Guitars – Greg Wilson Thompson is as versatile as you can get. Greg plays heavy bass and has experienced playing and touring with many bands including a band called THE LESLIE HAWKINS BAND formed by one of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s back-up singers. The solid foundation he plays today at this event makes the band stand out as a contender in the highest regard for a new Southern Rock music era.

The band closes with “Long Live My Country”, a must hear tribute song to the beliefs of this band: freedom, religion, gun rights and life.

This song means so much to many people already. It is their anthem, the type of song that any band would want to have as a closer. This song grabs everyone that hears it and brings them in closer. It builds with excitement on every verse and ends with a feeling of being blessed.

I was blessed myself to be part of it all.  I can’t wait for the new album and another great tour from this band.

Thank you to The Curt Towne Band for standing out in this showcase concert for the fans tonight, and the industry reps in attendance.

I’ll be back again with another great story from the band soon, in the meantime look for their music on iTunes and other fine retailers.

HappyJackthe insider on what’s happening in music in Northeast Florida every month right here!
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Scott Verville – The Groove Master Interview

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Scott Verville Interview

Hello again Rarasfam.com fans, I promised fans an interview with Scott Verville, a multi-talented musician who is winning fans all over the State.

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This guy plays some awesome dance grooves mixed with all of today’s genres of music. I grabbed some time in his busy schedule to ask some questions on Easter weekend.

Happyjack – Hello Scott, great to see you and we are excited to have you today for the interview. Fans have been asking me to help them know you better. Let’s get right into the interview, what was your first big break as a professional artist?

Scott – Well I’m still waiting for the “BIG” break, but I’d say getting “Skinny Girls” published a couple of years ago definitely opened some doors for me professionally speaking.  After the publishing deal my song Skinny Girls got placed on 2 compilation CD’s.  The Best Artists 2010, VOL 3 and Kate Margret and Friends, VOL 3.

Happyjack – When did you start playing ?

Scott – Guitar in 5th grade and trumpet in 6th grade.  Started seriously singing in 8th grade.

Happyjack – Was it your idea to write original music ?

Scott – Of course!!  I’ve always written my own stuff.  Even way back in my high school garage band.  It’s a form of expression I can’t live without.

Happyjack – Is it easy for you to write the songs ?

Scott – Sometimes yes and sometimes no.  It all depends on the inspiration.  I don’t like to force a song to it’s completion.  I still have tons of unfinished ideas just waiting to be completed.  However, there’s been lots of songs that just come out of me and I’ll have them done in a day.

Happyjack – What’s your current instrument gear ?

Scott – I have a lot of guitars, amps, effects pedals, trumpets, etc..  However, the main gear I use today is my US Masters guitars along with my Boss pedals and Rivera Amp.  I also play my Callet Soloist as my main trumpet.

Happyjack – Highlight of your career so far?

Scott – I’d say after releasing my debut CD VERVILLE while stationed at Pearl Harbor Hawaii, I was interviewed on air and had 3 of my songs played by the rock station Star 101.9.

Happyjack – Who inspired you to begin making music?

Scott – Well neither of my parents were very musical, but my dad was a huge jazz lover and had all these great albums of Dizzie Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington playing around the house all the time.  Not to mention all the jazz crooners like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, etc….  So when I wanted to take guitar lessons and play trumpet in the school band, they were very supportive.

Happyjack – What’s next for “Scott Verville” in 2015?

Scott – I’ll be retiring from active duty in August after a 20 year career as a military musician.  As I enter civilian life, I really can’t see myself doing anything else other than music.  It’s what I love and what I do best.  So I will continue working as a musician playing solo shows, performing with the band Take Cover and trying to get my music out there to the masses.

I’ll also be releasing 2 new CD’s this year.  First will be a CD I co-wrote with  my friend and Take Cover guitarist Mark Parisi and the 2nd CD will be a new VERVILLE CD I’ve been working on for a while now.  Here’s a little sampler of each.

TAKE COVER – http://www.verville-music.com/announcing-we-came-to-party/

VERVILLE – http://www.verville-music.com/sex-me-the-brand-new-single-from-verville/

Happyjack – Describe what this CD is all about – and the future goals – of your music

Scott – VERVILLE CD – Enjoy dancing when you’re happy? Appreciate an uplifting song when you’re sad? Like to hear face melting guitar licks when you need to get pumped up? For all of your crazy mood-swings, Verville’s self-titled CD is the doctor, the pharmacist, and all of the medicine that you’ll need to balance you out. Listed under Sweet-Funky-Jazz-a-Rock, you’ll find this has the perfect cure for what ails you.

Red-n-Verv CD – The Red-n-Verv CD is rock-n-roll duo music in the true sense of the word Duo.  Packed with true duet style harmonies throughout, easy to sing melodies, intense grooves and fun uplifting subject matter, this CD will be the one you take for there long road trips in your life.

Happyjack – What’s your favorite track on the new “Scott Verville” CD ?

Scott – “I’m Coming Home” (A Sailor’s Song).  This song is close to my heart for many reasons, but I wrote this as a tribute to every man and woman who has ever had to leave their loved ones behind while they served their country,

Happyjack – Did you get to enjoy yourself in the studio ?  Highlights?

Scott – I always do!!  Creating and recording your own music can be an exhilarating (and sometimes frustrating) process.  The best part of recording is when one idea sparks several more and you end up with an incredible finished product you are proud of.

Happyjack – How much input did you personally put into the recording itself?

Scott – Everything.  I play all the instruments, vocals, etc…  I do all the recording myself and then usually send out the tracks to be mixed and mastered.

Happyjack – Today’s songwriters lack inspiration say many critics, where then does a songwriter go to get that inspiration?

Scott – From deep within themselves.  We are all products of this world in one way or another, so dig deep and tell me your personal take on a subject or feeling.  Put it to a good melody and you may have a great song.

Happyjack – Your most treasured instrument?

Scott – My 1965 Gibson Byrdland.  Also, my US Masters Guitars.  They are truly incredible hand crafted instruments.

Happyjack – Your favorite music artists?

Scott – Wow!  Way too many to list, and I have such an eclectic palate, but here goes.  Van Halen, Ted Nugent, Scott Henderson, Jimmie Herring, Mike Stern, Pat Martino, Guthrie Govan, Tower Of Power, Earth Wind & Fire, Dizzie Gillespie, Blue Mitchell, John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, Beethoven, Edvard Grieg, Frank Sinatra, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fishbone, Papa Grows Funk, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, DumpstaPhunk, we could be here all day!

Happyjack – The last song you listened to was?

Scott – Just got done listening to Jimmie Herring Band, “Matt’s Funk.”

Happyjack – The best fans are the ones who?

Scott – the ones that hang around after the show to get a beer with you.

Happyjack – Why should major acts and festivals consider you to open their shows?

Scott – Performance experience and I like to think I really engage with the audience.

Happyjack – Did you want to be the front man in the beginning?

Scott – Yes.  The rush is much better!

Happyjack – What does a new artist need to break out in the current Rock biz ?

Scott – Lots of determination and I would say a little bit of luck.

Happyjack – How important is it for a new up and coming artist to have articles in print and on the web?

Scott – Very important!  It’s all about discovery, and what better way to get your name out there than getting it in print or online.

Happyjack – Future Goals?

Scott – I want to keep writing and putting out my own music and playing for live audiences everywhere.

Happyjack – What jobs do you currently work in between gigs and festivals ?

Scott – I am lucky enough to be working as a full time musician in the US Navy for the next few months.  After that, we’ll see, but I’d like to be able to earn enough by just playing music after that.  Stay Tuned!!  🙂

Happyjack – The new released hit single ” Sex Me” is getting a lot of requests, what is the story behind the song?

Grab the song on iTunes here: Sex Me – Single – Scott Verville

Scott – A little ditty about unrequited love.  Actually, it’s just a fun, funky dance tune with a great hook chorus you can sing along to.

Happyjack – Any final words for your fans?

Scott – I just want to give a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout the years and to everyone who has supported me in my original music.

Thank you for the interview. We want to thank you for a great debut CD and fans can’t wait to see you live soon! We also want to thank Scott Verville’s Manager, Tracy Cain, she is the best! Grab the New CD and check out Scott on tour – currently at fine Florida Festivals and Special Events!

Happyjack will be back with another great interview with your favorite artists.-

“Like Us” – Scott Verville and Rarasfarm.com – share with your friends!

HappyJack

Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂

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