Bama to host southern rock nightBy John Hinshaw | 06/26/2014 2:15pm
Photo courtesy of Mike Brannon
“Putting together this much talent in one night has to be the highlight of my career thus far,” said Mike Brannon, originator, coordinator and promoter of the show. “This should be one of the best shows we’ve ever produced.”
Brannon, CEO of the Tuskaloosa Music Mafia and Executive Entertainers, has been working in the music industry for about 35 years and has shared the stage with Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Alan Jackson, Charlie Daniels, Marty Stewart and more.
In addition to working behind the scenes, Brannon will take the stage Saturday with his band, Michael B Reddy and ?The Blues Crew.
“There is no one band I’m looking forward to hearing,” Brannon said. “It’s all of them. These groups are some tremendous talent.”
Saturday’s lineup also includes Kenny Smitherman, Shawna P, Chris Simmons and his Royal Blue Band and The Toney Boys.
Glenn Toney of The Toney Boys said he looks forward to playing at the Bama Theatre and enjoying the hospitality of the ?Bama’s staff.
“The Bama is a special place, and it’s even extra special for someone who lives in Tuscaloosa,” Toney said. “It’s a historic site, it’s a great venue. A lot of great bands and performers have plated there, and if you’ve ever walked out on the stage and seen the view from the Bama, it’s special.”
Toney, originally from Nashville, Tennessee, resides in Tuscaloosa, where he works by day and plays with the Toney Boys by night.
“It’s easier for us to play in Nashville because we’re not a cover band,” Toney said. “What Mike [Brannon] is trying to do is put a focus on Alabama musicians, and more specifically, Tuscaloosa and Northport musicians. If you go out to the Strip or downtown, you won’t hear a lot of original music being played. That’s how Nashville differs from Tuscaloosa.”
Like Brannon, Toney said he appreciates the Southern Rock & Roll Blues Show’s lineup of Alabama musicians.
“We really look forward to hearing the acts that will be playing on this bill,” Toney said. “It’s gonna be a lot of fun. When you see the Toney Boys play, it’s a party.”
The Southern Rock & Roll Blues Show will take place at the Bama Theatre on Saturday. The show starts at 6:45 p.m. and will be preceded by a pre-event party, including a crawfish boil provided by Steamers. Druid City Brewing will also be in attendance, serving drinks and introducing new brews. Tickets are $20. To purchase tickets, visit tuskaloosamusicmafia.com.
Michael B Reddy & The Blues Crew: The Blues Crew, formed in 2012, consists of drummer John Kliner, guitarist Michael “Razor” Sharp, bassist Dave Ivie, pianist and keyboardist Don Dendy, fiddler “Ragin Cajun” Thomas Jenkins, harmonica player Jameson “Dynamite” Hubbard, guitarist Gary Edmonds, percussionist J K Terrell and Mike Brannon as Michael B Reddy. Michael B Reddy & the The Blues Crew, who describe their sound as Southern rock and roll blues, will release their new album “It’s Time For Crewzin” at the show Saturday night.
Chris Simmons and his Royal Blue Band: Originally from the small town of Boaz, Alabama, Chris Simmons joined his first band when he was 15 years old. At age 20, he loaded all his musical gear up in his van and drove off to play all around the Southeast at bars and house parties. In 1997, he joined Atlanta southern rockers “Cadillac Voodoo Choir,” and while on tour with them, he became infatuated with the musical mecca of Austin, Texas. He has also performed in one of Leon Russell’s bands and lists him as a huge influence alongside Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, B.B. King and others. He currently resides just south of Hunstville, Alabama, in rural Lacey Springs.
Kenny Smitherman: This Tuscaloosa native has been performing his style of oldies, classic rock, country and modern music for audiences for more than 40 years. He played an instrumental role in forming local bands like Chevy 6 and Hitmen, and he has toured with musical legends Percy Sledge and Johnny Tollitison.
Shawna P : Shawna P, a funk and soul singer from Alabama, competed on the 2013 season of NBC’s “The Voice,” enjoying compliments from famous musicians such as Adam Levine and Shakira. She has been writing and performing her own songs for years and has secured a publishing deal while performing with the Muzik Mafia in Nashville. Her current projects include an autobiography as well as an upcoming album, which has yet to be titled.
The Toney Boys: Brothers O. G. and C. W. Toney, founding members of southern rock, funk and blues band The Toney Boys, are originally from Nashville and now reside in Tuscaloosa. They grew up surrounded by talent, including Dolly Parton and Waylon Jennings, and began writing songs in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. A fire in the early ‘90s burned down their recording studio, leaving them with only one copy of a rehearsal tape, which led to the dispersion of the band. It wasn’t until 2012, at the urge of friends, that the band took its only rehearsal tape to Nashville, which lead to the creation of a 10-song project. The band then ended up exploring Nashville, playing with other musicians and even recording some new music. The Toney Boys’ new EPs “THEN” and “NOW” will be released to the public for the first time at the Southern Rock & Roll Blues show.