Tag Archives: The Curt Towne Band

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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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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