The Matt Jones Band and The Parkers come to Acoustic Night

For years, Matt Jones and Ted Perry played across Birmingham. The singer-songwriter folk rock duo often played at Oak Hill Tavern where they met Tommy Bowen. 

Bowen, the bartender at the Tavern, would often pull out his trumpet during their sets and join in the music while serving drinks. It was after they invited him onstage one night to play with them, Jones said, that they realized they had found something special.

Now based in Tuscaloosa, Jones and his band, which now includes Steve Walch on upright bass, will bring that something special to the Bama Theatre on Saturday as a part of the Theatre’s Acoustic Night series. The series was started over 10 years ago by David Allgood, the manager of the Bama Theatre and a guitarist and vocalist for The Parkers, as a way to showcase local musical talent.

“He wanted the chance to present a concert series in a more intimate space,” Kevin Ledgewood, publicist for the Arts Council said. “When you have an event in a large theater there’s a lot of work that has to go into that with lighting and sound. Of course we have sound in the Greensboro, room but this is just a chance to present a more low key, low profile of acoustic music.”

This month’s concert will have a cover charge of $5 which Ledgewood said he feels makes it a good opportunity for students who are in town to get to get to experience some local music.

It was Allgood who saw The Matt Jones Band play back in April at the Druid City Arts Festival and invited them come perform.

“For years, Tuscaloosa was the only college town in America without an original music scene,” Jones said. “It was angst deficient. Every other college town in America had fifty 'working' original bands. People here had the wrong drug of choice…it was all beer, football and Greek life. Now Tuscaloosa is embracing original music and it is a very exciting time.”

Jones said his band would be performing all original music including his song, 'Farmer,' which was inspired by the people he works with at the Tuscaloosa Farmers Market.

“Good art and good music has the ability to touch the soul,” he said. “Music will open your heart and create an emotion. When I begin to write a song, it has to create an emotion instantly, otherwise it’s just white noise.”

Sharing those original songs with the audience, Jones said, is what excites him most about this performance. That’s the emphasis of the night according to him - original music, songwriting and unique instrumentation.

“I believe the world is dying for something to believe in,” he said. “Everywhere we turn today, there’s a catch. People are hungry for something genuine and authentic and I believe that we have songs you can hang on to.”

Also performing that night are The Parkers featuring Joey Dukes on drums, Bob McKinney on bass guitar, Mike Orlin on guitar and vocals and the Bama Theatre’s own David Allgood on guitar and vocals. The band has been together on and off since the late 70’s and plays music inspired by The Beatles, Jackson Browne and Tom Petty.

Saturday’s performance will begin at 7:30 p.m.

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