Tag Archives: Skynyrd

The Curt Towne Band Interview

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Interview With The Curt Towne Band

Hello again to all our worldwide Rarasfarm.com Fans. Happyjack is back with another great interview from my hometown, Jacksonville, Florida – North Florida’s rock n’ roll hometown to many Southern Rock Legends.

Make sure you Like RARAsFarm’s Facebook Page and Follow us on Twitter for rock music coverage.

Here’s our February update:

This time we are proud to follow up on last month’s concert review with this month’s much anticipated Curt Towne Band Interview. These fresh young Southern Rockers from Jacksonville have been getting a lot of attention lately; most notably from major rock bands like Molly Hatchet, Lynyrd Skynyrd and others bands who request this hot act to open their shows. We’re talking shows on major cruise lines and in packed houses all over the country.

A couple months ago I met with band manager Brenda Alvarez Hays, and gained access to meet the band and take pictures for our magazine. This took place at a sold out Molly Hatchet concert who the Curt Towne Band opened for.

The place was humming with excitement the minute I got there. The front stage area was packed with fans trying to get closer to the opening band that they had heard so much about, a band mentioned in some industry circles as the new kings of Southern Rock. The band kicks off with some toe-tapping jams that put a smile on everyone’s face. Girls are dancing and guys are having fun, and it all fits perfectly with the locals’ Southern attitude.  Their hot new single “Whatcha Gonna Do?” is drawing a lot of attention.

The opening show lasted a good hour, leaving the fans wanting more. After they left the stage for the headliner to play, they came out to sign autographs for the happy fans who bought a ticket to see them.

Southern rock fans have been waiting for someone to take the reins and set the world on fire again. and this band is fast becoming a legend. I was amazed by the incredible passion this band has developed with their well-written music and ever-changing melodies that make you stomp your boots.

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Southern Rock fans can check out last month’s Concert Review with the Curt Towne Band here, or in our Southern Rock category in this magazine.

Now, let’s get closer to learning more about them.

Happyjack – Let’s start the questions. What was your first big break as a professional band?
Curt Towne, Guitar – Definitely the band’s first big break was being one of the headlining acts on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man Cruise this past November. Sharing the stage with the likes of Skynyrd, Blackberry Smoke and Foghat to name just a few of the other great bands on the cruise was an honor. Meeting the people on this cruise who are hungry for fresh, original material, who became fans, going out of their way to contact us, spread the word about us and ask us to come play in their locale has been an incredible experience.
James Aaron, Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar – Playing the Simple Man Cruise has to be the first big break for us. It has opened so many doors for us, especially the opportunity to plan a European tour for the Summer of 2015.
Mike “The Sultan” Cansler, Drums – The Simple Man Cruise is our first big break as a band. It gave us the opportunity to share the stage with great bands and artists, along with international recognition.

Happyjack – Highlight of your career so far?
Towne – Being able to share the stage with so many musicians who have been role models to me and have them respect this band’s music.
Aaron – Being a part of The Curt Towne Band has refueled my passion for my musical career.The energy/vibes of this band has taken my songwriting, playing and performing to new heights.
Cansler – Being blessed to share the stage with musicians I admire and having a bird’s eye view watching them do their “thang”.

Happyjack – Who inspired you to begin making music ?
Towne – The one artist who inspired me was Randy Rhoads. However, growing up around the members of Skynyrd, Blackfoot, 38 Special and Molly Hatchet also had an influence on me. As a kid hanging around Skynyrd’s Allen Collins, that was super cool! And Kiss’s Peter Criss, Ian Paice and Artimus Pyle were the ones who got me interested in music. However, it was Randy Rhoads (Ozzy Osbourne,Quiet Riot) who inspired me to play.
Aaron – Going to many Southern Baptist Gospel sings when I was young. Those groups were the ones who inspired me to begin making music.
Cansler – John Bonham, because he had the fattest groove and the coolest hippest drumbeats.

Happyjack – What’s next for The Curt Towne Band in 2015 ?
Group answer- Finish our debut CD and get it out to the fans, opening for national acts, touring, meeting and making many new friends on the road.

Happyjack – I’d never perform without …
Aaron – The belief and passion in what I am singing.
Cansler – Knowing the groove and beat of the music was real.

Happyjack – My most treasured instrument is…
Towne – 1972 Les Paul Black Beauty Custom named Norma Jean after my mom and Grandma
Aaron – Yamaha Drum Set
Cansler – DW Drums

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Happyjack – My favorite Music Artists…
Towne – I can’t pick just one-there are too many.
Aaron – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Cansler – Led Zeppelin

Happyjack –  The best fans are the ones who…
Group answer –  share the same or have equal passion for the music.

Happyjack – The city that has the best fans is …
Group answer –  The world wide city at sea, Simple Man Cruise!

Happyjack – Favorite track on the new EP?
Towne and Aaron – Whatcha Gonna Do ?
Cansler – Maybelline

Happyjack – When did you start playing?
Towne – I started playing the drums at 15 and began playing the guitar at 17.
Aaron – I was beating boxes at 8 years old, started playing drums at age 11 and began singing as well as drumming at age 13.
Cansler – At 16 when I sat down and started jamming to my dad’s stereo.

Happyjack – What does a new artist need to break out in the current rock business?
Towne – You must be true to yourself, passionate about the music you are making and use a grassroots method.
Aaron – You have to believe in what you are presenting to the crowd.
Cansler – Originality. You have to separate yourself from everyone else, marketing and grassroots.

Happyjack – How long did it take to get the EP completed? How long for the CD?
Group answer – 3 months for the EP. It will probably be 6 months for the CD, since we are only in the studio 2 to 3 days a month.

Happyjack – Why do you think The Curt Towne Band was selected to open for Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet?
Group answer – These bands believed in the strength of our music.

Happyjack – Songwriters today seem to lack inspiration. where do you as songwriters go for inspiration?
Towne – I get inspiration through life, the things myself and others have actually lived. My inspiration for songs has to be heartfelt and real.
Aaron – My inspiration comes from life experiences, conversations, personal experiences… real life.

Hey guys , thanks for spending a few minutes for the fans! We are very excited about the band’s future and want to be here for you all the way! Congrats on this year’s new tour schedule and we can’t wait to see you play live again. We will do a follow-up on the new EP with your insight to the songs, as I know you guys are in the studio wrapping up the new CD to be released later.

The band says thanks to Rarasfarm for being here for the fans and they can’t wait to see all of you on their new 2015 tour. Make sure you grab a very hard to get limited edition EP CD Single if you can.

Check out “Long Live My Country” on iTunes

Thanks again to Brenda Alvarez Hays for making this interview possible.

OK, Southern Rock Fans, thanks again for reading Rarasfarm.com, Florida’s rock music source, and please share our interview with friends and “LIKE US,” will ya? When you want to know what’s happening with your favorite bands that come through town visit www.rarasfarm.com, and remember me – Happyjack – the North Florida Music Insider who will be back soon with his Lynyrd Skynyrd concert Review.  In the meantime, read all of our Southern rock articles in our Southern Rock category at the page top.

Please feel free to comment below, where the band will see your thoughts, as well.

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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Southern Rockers Molly Hatchet Come Home

Molly Hatchet Concert Review

Hello Fans, HappyJack is back with another concert review; this time, Southern Rock Legends Molly Hatchet. I got the call that the band was finally coming home to Jacksonville Florida, hometown to many Southern Rock legends. This band has special memories for me, as I have seen them in all stages of the band’s timeline. And, I really like the lineup they have now.

Make sure you Like RARAsFarm’s Facebook Page and Follow us on Twitter for future rock music coverage, reviews, photos and more.


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Playing tonight to a packed house and a very enthusiastic crowd, Jacksonville’s Molly Hatchet hit the stage with full guns a blazing and the amps cranked up loud enough to hear all the way to Jacksonville Beach!  Right off the bat, they came roaring out with “Whiskey Man,” a fan favorite and a must have in your CD music collection.

When Southern Rock history is written, Molly Hatchet is a band no one can deny.  The band was rocking on this night, as the fans held their hands up in support on every song.  The classic tracks included “Dreams I’ll Never See,” “Gator Country,” “Bounty Hunter,” “Fall of the Peacemakers,” “Beatin’ the Odds,”  “Bloody Reunion” and the hell raisin’ “Flirting with Disaster” along with lots of new material that felt like old classics! I am really excited to get the new CD – grab one yourself and sit back and listen to what these guys have put together – one hell of an album.

I enjoyed the show and will be attending every time they return. This show felt like a showcase with each member bringing the hometown crowd some love through their music. Everyone is dancing and jumping tonight; it’s been a long time and we are glad the guys have came home for a few weeks. Soon, another German tour, and Benny the merchandise guy says the band loves to tour there.

I personally know a few members of this band (and also ex-members who have started new groups) and they all thank the fans for their support.

Let’s talk about the 2014/2015 line up

Dave Hlubek – Lead/Rhythm Guitars

The only original member in the current line-up, Dave has been in the band for a long time and is credited for songwriting most of the hits we all love today. He is known Worldwide as the man who made Southern Rockers jump for joy. The sounds he makes with his guitar are like no other player – he knows every trick in the book! His hands worked the strings like a fine tuned motor, playing with 2, 3 or four fingers, all going at speeds that make you blink. Hlubek knows chords that make your body move, and the crowd loved it. This guy is a true favorite of the fans who love him dearly. Just watching Dave is a schooling – a showcase of excitement with every note.

I have video’s of Molly Hatchet in Germany and this guy runs all through the crowd, having a blast with the fans and never misses a beat. We all give full respect to Dave Hlubek and will forever be amazed by his ability to make boogie songs that fans adore. I met him a few times and he is a true gentleman and passionate musician.

Rock on Dave !

Dave Hlubek
Dave Hlubek

 

Bobby Ingram – Lead/Rhythm Guitars / Vocals

Born and raised in Jacksonville, Ingram started playing guitar at the age of 11. He then started a group called “Rum Creek” which gave Danny Joe Brown, Molly Hatchet’s original singer, his first credited gig. Bobby kept playing gigs with his Rum Creek Band while Danny started a new group, Molly Hatchet, and had a couple of hits.

Molly Hatchet was having some eternal problems with bandmates and for a short time had disbanded to clear the air.  The band needed a break after long days on the road to re-energize themselves.

Bobby and Danny Joe were friends and in 1980 they decided to create The Danny Joe Brown Band. The group released a great debut album and was doing OK – but the crowds were not what Molly Hatchet were bringing, so Danny Joe invited Bobby to Molly Hatchet with plenty of fans to offer support. Molly Hatchet was back in action with fresh attitudes and great guitars chops. The band was gaining popularity and then health issues suddenly forced Danny Joe to announce his retirement from the band, leaving Bobby the band’s new owner.

Bobby has been in the band for over 30 years and also produced over half of the band’s catalog of wonderful music. The fans are happy to have Bobby at the reigns of Southern Rock’s most Legendary Rowdy Band. Tonight Bobby’s playing was on fire – he threw picks and the crowd went wild with every lick.

Tim Lindsey – Bass Guitar / Vocals

Raised in hometown Jacksonville, the fans adore this man. He’s played and/or recorded for The Rossington Band, Skynyrd, and others. He has passion that is seen with every move he makes, always assuring the bottom line is tight and he has the ability to make every song sound like he is in the studio – perfect in every way.

The fans jump in front of him tonight showing him support for what he offers us. His white/silver/gray hair looks awesome on stage and he looks great and seems to be having fun playing for the dedicated fans. I met him many times when he played with The Randall Hall Band,  ex-members of Skynyrd Tribute Tour Band, playing at Paxon Lounge on the West side of Jacksonville.

We loved every moment with him. He is the man. He smiled and spent time with the fans afterward , we love him dearly. He is one of Southern Rock’s best Bass guitar players.

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Shawn Beamer – Drums , Percussion

Known as “Thunder” to the fans, he is very dedicated to his work.  Playing song after song like he wrote them, we were all thrilled to see him again. He plays with a nice pro drum set that has powerful toms which bring the guns out – blazing beats that back the band’s wonderful song line-up. He did not miss a beat tonight and nicely added flare when needed to make the songs really stand out.

The drums sounded like cannons all night which everyone loved to hear. No tap tap tap, but rather boom boom boom! Beamer was in a great mood and smiled with the fans who came to see him. After eight years with the band, this band is really tight; we are happy to have him in the line up – forever!

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John Galvin – Keyboards / Vocals

John has been with the band for a long time now coming from Detroit to join the Danny Joe Brown Band, then eventually joining Molly Hatchet in the early 80’s. John is great at adding wonderful fills on his keyboards to every song. Raised in Ohio, with 12 years of studying classical and jazz piano, he has been helping the band hit the heights we love musically.

I watched John and noticed him having the time of his life. John, we the fans had the time of our lives. Thank you for your dedication to the band and to the fans. You are home now.

Phil McCormack – Vocals / Ring Leader

He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, moved to Dayton, Ohio then Washington D.C. , and now calls Jacksonville his home. Playing Southern Rock for decades, he was on the road with The Dixie Road Ducks and other bands – making fans happy with each show. Joining Molly Hatchet in 1996, he has been a driving force to be reckoned with onstage.

This guy has the stage presence of a Southern General of the Southern Rock Army, with a cool looking cowboy hat, and solid leather boots that will kick the fire out of you if you cross the line. With his cowboy trench jacket he looks to have 3 shotguns hidden ready to fire at a moment’s notice. He is what we Southern Rock fans have been wanting to see onstage – all out rowdy! The fans flock to his feet when the first song kicks off, and they are happy, His gravelly rock voice commands the stage and everyone in a mile’s distance will remember him.

His ability to hit the range the songs need is amazing to see and hear. He struts the stage like a rooster, screaming above the loud guitars and thunder drums and the crowd doesn’t stop!

Thank you to the band management and Molly Hatchet for their undying love for the music – the fans can see it and feel it with every show. The current line up will be around for a long time and we’ll be here for them. The fans really came out tonight for this, and loved it.

Molly Hatchet is back – with guns a blazing!

Thanks again to RarasFarm.com – Central Florida’s Premium Rock Music Blog and thanks to River City Brewing Company for the event.

I’ll be back soon with another review of your favorite bands. Soon, Ex-members of Blackfoot with a new band called Two Wolf and a very hot band called Southern Steel is around the corner. And I even have a review coming for this years Grammy Award Nominee’s – “Blister” – Heavy Metals New Giants.

Like us on Facebook and share our content with others – PLEASE !
Love you guys –
HappyJack
92.1FM
Jacksonville Florida

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 (upper left) for future updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂

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

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 🙂