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​Rowdy, Raucous, Longhair Mississippi Glam Rock. 

That's the sound of Easy, The Week's long-awaited followup to their breakthrough al- bum, Dear Bo Jackson. Recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis — a place filled with the ghosts (and gear) of the Replacements, ZZ Top, and Big Star, all of whom traveled to Ardent to create their own landmark albums — Easy finds The Weeks doubling down on a mix of groove, grit, and guitars. It's swaggering and sharply-focused, shining new light on a band of brothers who, although still in their mid-20s, have already logged a decade's worth of sweaty gigs together. 

If Easy bears resemblance to the raw, rowdy attitude of the The Weeks' live show, it's because the album was written at the end of a busy, five-year period that found the group rarely leaving the road. 

"We moved to Nashville in 2010," remembers frontman Cyle Barnes, who formed the band in Jackson, Mississippi, with his three longtime bandmates: drummer (and twin brother) Cain Barnes, guitarist Sam Williams, and bass player Damien Bone. "We spent 2011 to 2015 touring. November 2015 was the first time we ever spent an entire month in Nashville." 

Those years on the road were eye-opening for The Weeks, all of whom were just teen- agers when they began playing together in 2006. By their early 20s, the guys were tour- ing Europe with Kings of Leon, promoting the newly-released Dear Bo Jackson in front of 20,000 people each night. Back in America, The Weeks continued playing their own club shows, too. The experience taught them how to bridge the gap between arena shows and smaller gigs. In short, it taught them how to be themselves, no matter the audience. 

Appropriately, Easy consolidates the band's strengths. While the songs on 2013's Dear Bo Jackson were thick with horn arrangements, strings, and guest appearances, Easy is a leaner, louder beast. The Weeks began working on its 11 tracks after returning home from a long tour and taking some time to rest, reflect, and regroup. Newly ener- gized, they began writing songs at Sam and Damien's home in Nashville, with Cyle and Williams splitting the bulk of the songwriting duties. The whole process relied on col- laboration, with the full band fleshing out the newer songs. 

"Everyone would come to the house, make food, hang out, and play music 'til four in the morning," Williams remembers. "We wrote 25 songs, then picked our favorites for the final tracklist. 

Easy is driving and direct, captured in punchy sound by producer Paul Ebersold. The goal was to clear out any unnecessary clutter, focusing instead on The Weeks' biggest strengths: the elastic power of Cyle's voice, capable of a crooning drawl one minute and a roof-raising howl the next; the range of Sam's guitar playing, from Motown-influenced chord stabs to garage-rock blasts of sound; and the interlocking rhythms of Damien and Cain. They threw some curveballs into the mix, too, riding a lovely, lazy, organ-heavy groove on the southern soul song "Hands on the Radio" and punctuating songs like "Ike" with a small horn section. Along the way, they made good use the studio's vintage gear, finding room on a handful of songs for Elvis Presley's microphone, Big Star's snare drum, the "Green Onions" organ from Booker T. & the M.G.'s. 

"We said, 'If we can do this song in five chords, let's do it,'" says Sam. "That way, when- ever the curveballs do happen, they mean a lot. We focused on the songs first, and then we added stuff, as long as it didn't harm the energy or the groove. We wanted to pick our moments better." 

Inspired by the real-life characters, places, and stories The Weeks encountered on tour, Easy is a record about where the band has been, as well as a sign of where they're go- ing. "I wanted the stories to be real — a little dark, maybe — but I wanted them to be redeeming, too," says Cyle, who began turning the stories into proper songs once the tour ended. He tossed some personal tales into the mix, too, with songs like the auto- biographical "Gold Doesn't Rust" focusing on the joy of plugging in, tuning up and rock- ing out. 

"We just wanted to make a rock record," adds Damnien, shrugging his shoulders at the simplicity of it all. The Weeks earned their road warrior credentials years ago, but they've never defined their ambition — or the wide range of their abilities — this clearly before.


Friday
Dec.
22
Doors 9pm - Show 10pm
18+
the WEEKS Homecoming Show
w/ DREAM CULT
presented by Rybolt Productions
On first listen Dream Cult is an instant classic. A staple in their hometown of Jackson, MS, their fun catchy pop blends a wide variety of our influences from the vibes of the 80's to the raw sound of the 90's. In 2012 Boyd enlisted brothers Cody and Travis Bass (drums and guitar respectively) to craft a sound reminiscent of their Beach Boys’ influences with a modern spin. They quickly 
DREAM CULT

 ​expanded to include Salar Almakky (bass and vocals) and Justin Moreira (guitar, piano, vocals) for a fuller more realized sound. The result was a nostalgic but not retro, classic yet progressive. Anthemic.

Robby Peoples may not have a degree in music, but he is certainly a scholar of Rhythm and Blues. Having grown up in Mississippi, Peoples learned to play harmonica and guitar in the traditions of Hill Country Blues and Rock and Roll music on the porches of Oxford. His original music, dubbed "Whiskey Folk" and "Ball Kicking Rock," is dominated by his uncanny stage presence and gravel-meets-sandpaper voice, which has been described as the love child of Tom Waits and Joe Cocker.


Saturday
Dec.
23
Doors 9pm - Show 10pm
18+
ROBBY PEOPLES  
and FRIENDS
presented by Rybolt Productions
​With their third European tour under the belt, three full-length albums including a fourth nearing completion, and a gravitational pull to their growing fan base down every American highway, the Vegabonds are on a musical pilgrimage to spread the gospel of pure, unadulterated New South Rock.

Some might assert that their sound is Americana, while others may consider them to be true rock ‘n’ rollers. Regardless of what fans like to call them, the Alabama-born, Nashville-bred quintet is pulling themselves up by the bootstraps just in time for 2018, forging ahead into the future by avoiding pigeon holes.

A group of five musicians with myriad influences between them, The Vegabonds are fronted by lead vocalist and songwriter Daniel Allen, with Richard Forehand (lead guitar/vocals), Paul Bruens (bass), Beau Cooper (keys/vocals), and Bryan Harris (drums) rounding out the quintet.

The Vegabonds released their critically acclaimed record, “What We’re Made Of,” with the help of Grammy-nominated producer Tom Tapley, whose portfolio includes that of Elton John and Bruce Springsteen, among others. Tapley returned to record The Vegabonds’ latest single, “Long Haired Country Boy,” now available on iTunes and Spotify.

“Long Haired Country Boy” gives listeners a taste of the upcoming album slated for early next year as they breathe new life into the Charlie Daniels Band’s country classic. Their modernized rendition of this legendary ballad pays homage to the hard-working, blue-collar lifestyle of the Deep South, but with an electrified, psychedelic intensity that only The Vegabonds can conceive. As they steadily become one of the most sought after, highly-acclaimed Southern Rock bands in music, The Vegabonds’ roots run deep, even alongside the fan base having now extended across the U.S. and Europe. Their devotion to music and their tireless tour schedule illustrates their laser-sharp focus on growing into one of the biggest names out of Nashville, while never forgetting their humble beginnings.

The Vegabonds got their start in 2009 by playing the college circuit across the Southeastern United States. Their popularity quickly burgeoned to the point that they found their fans singing along word-for-word to their first hits like “Georgia Fire” and “American Eyes.” From Ole Miss to South Carolina, students were buzzing about The Vegabonds’ authentic sound and their seemingly effortless ability to bring the house down. Through pure word of mouth, the group’s fan base grew rapidly, and the guys learned they had something distinctive with their eclectic mix of Southern Rock, Country, and earnest songwriting.

With a sound reminiscent of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers mixed with the grit and twang of the Allman Brothers Band, The Vegabonds give their fans a sensational performance with powerhouse guitar riffs and impactful songwriting night after night. Their hard work and unbridled talents have not gone unnoticed; the group has opened for such notable acts as Lynyrd Skynyrd, the late Gregg Allman, and Kid Rock, among others. Rousing performances at festivals like Peach Fest, Magnolia Fest, Sunfest, and Toadlick grew their notoriety nationwide, leading to a west coast tour that formed in-roads with the music and comedy community in Los Angeles. It’s no wonder that Live for Live Music has compared them to musical legends like My Morning Jacket and The Black Crowes, calling them “a force to be reckoned with,” complete with “gorgeous harmonies and impressive instrumental skills mak[ing] for a perfect combination.”

With their focus on growth, The Vegabonds have much in store for old and new fans alike. Upon returning from their third European tour, the band’s focus will shift to perfecting their highly-anticipated new album, slated for release in early 2018. With a new management and publicity team behind them, their New South Rock sound is destined to reach an even broader audience than ever before. The band is excited to bring in new blood to achieve their overall strategic vision.

Born in Alabama. Bred in Nashville. Seasoned by the Road. Celebrated the world over. Come let your hair down with The Vegabonds.

- Liz Bogie


Thursday
Dec.
14
Doors 8pm - Show 9pm
18+
the VEGABONDS
w/ EBENEZER GOODMAN
presented by Rybolt Productions
The music of Ebenezer Goodman is restricted by no boundaries or labels. Even the world’s most renowned music critics struggle to find the words in the English language that properly describe the four piece from Oxford, MS. With influences from My Morning Jacket, Pearl Jam, and Taylor Swift, their first self-titled LP released in 2017 is analogous to a sonic potluck dinner. Even more sensational
EBENEZER GOODMAN

are Ebenezer Goodman’s live shows. Soulful vocals from Andy Shine (perfectly complimented by his iconic blonde afro) intertwine between Caleb Carroll’s ripping guitar solos, while bassist Avery Goodman and drummer John Brahan supply thunderous beats that have before been prescribed as pacemaker alternatives to victims of cardiac arrhythmia. Also worthy of mention are Avery Goodman’s highly contagious dance moves on stage, with infection rates rivaling small pox in 18th century Europe. Consider yourself warned before attending a performance from this highly eccentric band.
With members in their early 20s, Young Valley is a fitting name for the Jackson, Miss.-based alternative country band. Frontman Zach Lovett, or “Z,” became a household name in Mississippi’s singer/songwriter conversations and wanted to explore the idea of having a band to accompany his songs. While attending Delta State University, Lovett met drummer Spencer Thomas and bassist Carson Braymer. The trio played together in the bluegrass band Dandy and the Lions. During the summer months, Thomas and Braymer joined guitarist and Lovett’s fraternal twin Dylan in the Jackson area. The band has evolved with new members with the lineup consisting of Zach Lovett - Acoustic guitar, harmonica, vocals, Spencer Thomas - Drums, vocals, Dylan Lovett - Electric guitar, vocals, Ethan Frink - Bass, backing vocals, Kell Kellum - Pedal Steel, and Phill Thompson - Violin, keys

Young Valley recorded a four song EP at the former Morning Bell Studios in the Duling School as a way to memorialize their summer jam sessions. Their first full-length project began when Zach’s mentor Byron Knight began building a new studio near Highland Village. The resulting 2014 album No Filter mixes Young Valley's live show—an organic, fun and raucous experience—with delicate studio touches and would not have become fully realized without the support of the communities of Fondren and Jackson. In addition, Young Valley has shared the stage with Lucero, The Weeks, Futurebirds and Phosphorescent.


Sunday
Dec.
31
Doors 9pm - Show 10pm
18+
New Year's Eve Blow Out  
w/ Young Valley, El Obo, & Cody Rodgers
presented by Rybolt Productions
​In the year 1963, some high school pals decided to get together to form a band because of their love of music. After 43 years, several dozen albums… three of which became gold, one of which became platinum, and one gold single from a song known as "Jim Dandy To The Rescue," which was told to them to record by none other than Elvis Presley himself (!), this group of friends still manages to stay together. (After talking to Elvis, Black Oak Arkansas was told the following week by their producer Tom Dowd and by their label president Ahmet Ertegun that these two industry giants were also about to ask BOA about recording that same tune! Ahmet himself only personally signed 5 groups to recording contracts in his long, long recording history… and Black Oak Arkansas had the honor of being number 5!) Many testimonials and awards have been presented to this band by everyone from Bill Graham, (who founded and ran Winterland Ballroom and both the Fillmore East and West), to Wolfman Jack from the Midnight Special; from First Lady Betty Ford to President Bill Clinton!

In their long musical history, the BOA boys have shared a stage with the likes of James Gang, Kiss, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Bob Segar, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Black Sabbath, Foghat, Bad Company, Bruce Springsteen, Boston, Iron Butterfly, Grand Funk Railroad, B.B. King, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, The Outlaws, Deep Purple, 38 Special, Marshall Tucker, Buddy Miles, Billy Preston, Jerry Lee Lewis, BTO, Robin Trower, Humble Pie, Earth, Wind and Fire, The Eagles, Blackfoot, Credence Clearwater, Johnnie Winter, Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer, Steppenwolf, Allman Bros., The Doobie Brothers, Z Z Top, Chuck Berry, Lynyrd Skynyrd , Charlie Daniels, James Brown, Steely Dan, J. Geils Band, Cheech and Chong, Steve Martin, Danny Thomas, Evel Knievel , and the list goes on and on and on! Warner Bros. released a DVD on the early years of the band, and then charged forth with another release of a Black Oak Arkansas DVD live at Royal Albert Hall in London! BOA has donated many hundreds of thousands of dollars to charities in their career, and both the mayor of Little Rock and the governor of the State of Arkansas even declared a “Black Oak Arkansas Day” on October 6th. There is now a permanent display in the Arkansas State Museum and the Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, Arkansas dedicated to the band.


Friday
Dec.
15
Doors 9pm - Show 10pm
18+
BLACK OAK ARKANSAS
w/ FRAMING THE RED
presented by Rybolt Productions
Framing The Red is a Southern Rock n Roll band that is taking the national music scene by storm. They are not trying to get their foot in the door of opportunity, they are knocking it down. For a band that has only been together and touring for a little over 6 years, each and every member has the talent and can put on a show that any onlooker would think this was a seasoned band that has been touring for
FRAMING the RED

years. Framing The Red promises to deliver a show like none other, grabbing their audiences and bringing everyone to their feet with catchy riffs, great lyrics, and high impact live stage show that people will continue to talk about!

In 2010, Framing The Red started with five guys straight out of the heart of the southern United States. During the first year and a half the band went through lineup changes, recorded their first E.P., and began touring the nation hoping to make Framing The Red a household name! The bands first single “A.O.” gained mass popularity across the south beginning with a local station (Rock 93.7) out of Lafayette, La spinning the single on a constant rotation. After the release of their self titled E.P., which produced 2 radio singles “A.O” and “Lay Down Beside Me” the band set back and began writing what would become their freshman album “Welcome To The Show”.

In August of 2012, Framing The Red released their debut album "Welcome To The Show" producing three radio singles off the freshman album, along with a video release of the third single "Country Band Man". 

2016 brought about the single "Mississippi Hippie" which has a video directed by music video extraordinaire, J.B. Lawrence. The video can currently be found on YouTube as well as on this webpage.

The past few years have brought about even more changes. Jordan has added an All-Star lineup of some of Mississippi’s finest musicians with the addition of Cody (Cleverform) on guitars, Chris (Southern Bastard Church, Lobotomy and Lillian Axe) on bass and Murph (Tuff Luvs, Supercrush and Spacewolf) on drums. Framing The Red has recently been signed to Old Trace Records/Malaco Music Group and will have a new album coming out in 2018.

Framing The Red has had the privilege of sharing the stage with such bands as Motley Crue, Sevendust, Black Stone Cherry, Cavo, Rains, Alien Ant Farm, Sevendust, Pop Evil, Hurt, Smile Empty Soul, Lynam, 10 Years, Saving Abel, Black Oak Arkansas and festivals such as Rocklahoma and Sturgis just to name a few! Framing The Red is the next “big thing”, this band embraces Rock ’N Roll at its finest and is a firm truth that Rock ‘N Roll is not dead.

​Wrong Way was formed in Athens, GA in the early 2000’s. Since then, the band has changed shape, location, members, and suffered some tragedy within. However, the passion for the music remains, and the name pushes on.  

Wrong Way has, and still does, perform in a wide variety of venues and events. You can find them in your local 500 cap room, or at a festival with tens of thousands in attendance. A hiatus in the early 2010’s has proved to be a setback for the band most recently. Currently regrouping to “catch up” to an online presence, the fire is still in the live show. We hope you’ll get to witness sometime soon. 

The music of Sublime lives on. In a very major way. The players of the project (Wrong Way) have been, and continue to be members of the local rock / reggae scene in various original projects. Sublime remains the gospel. “I’m always taken back at the range in age of these audiences that repeat every word of these songs back to us. It’s quite humbling and pretty fascinating.”

Check in on Wrong Way at wrongwaymusic.com to find when and where they’ll be next.


Saturday
Dec.
16
Doors 9pm - Show 10pm
18+
WRONG WAY Tribute to Sublime
w/ CRANE
presented by Rybolt Productions
Working with Crane over the past year has been exciting. His ability to go at the creation of songs with an open creative mind makes it beneficial in our writing sessions. He has a great work ethic, from booking his own shows and the fact that he supports himself through music puts him a step ahead of the rest. I am looking forward to working more in depth on his project and the 
CRANE

 ​release of the material we have created together.
- Brad Todd
Playpro Media Founder, Faith Evans Management 

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Crane in the studio – some of the most pleasurable sessions I’ve ever had. He’s incredibly professional, talented, and works hard, what more can you ask for in an artist?
- Mack Woodward 
Producer/Engineer (Maroon 5, Beyonce, Gwen Stefani, Fergie)

Anthony is a blues baked singer/songwriter born and bred from that red Georgia clay. He has a smokey, whiskey-soaked voice that will reach down the back of your throat and grab your fucking spine. He has an onstage presence that will make you believe he should have been in Midnight Of the Garden of Good and Evil. All by himself-Anthony Crane is a good time…
- Barb Fara
CEO & President, Musicincider

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Best described as crossover music, Crane has a sound that is all his own. Musical influences range across the board, but most prevalent in his current writing would be Soul, Reggae, R&B, and Pop. Hypothetically, you might find him on tour with Ben Harper, G Love, The Dirty Heads, Citizen Cope, or Allen Stone.

With an average of 250 performances per year, including 5,000-attendee festivals, cruise ships, dive bars, and wing joints, Crane’s motivation in 2016 has been a business-minded focus on “not keeping the band a secret anymore.”

Since the release of the “I Love Women” EP in September of 2014, Crane has toured non-stop. In the midst of a rigorous live performance regime, he’s managed to find himself with a new management team, new content, new material, and writing with even more Grammy Award winners and International-touring artists. We look forward to releasing all of the new music that has been developed since the “I Love Women” EP.
In early 2015 Ben began a stint as a full-time lead guitarist with south Florida jam legends Crazy Fingers; a gig which exposed him to the music of the Grateful Dead until his full time departure in August of 2015. On August 18th, 2015- the night before moving to Nashville, TN- he assembled his own band and welcomed many guests to the stage of the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, FL. This band would undergo some personnel changes and quickly prove to be an in-demand musical force in the southeastern United States and beyond and is now called the Ben Sparaco Band. In May of 2016, the Ben Sparaco Band released “Bring The Jubilee EP.”

On January 13th, 2017, Ben released his debut full length album “Wooden.” Produced by Ross Holmes (Bruce Hornsby and The Noisemakers, Warren Haynes, Mumford and Sons), the record displays a decided shift in Ben’s sound towards a more string-based Americana sound mixed with his wide-ranging jazz, rock, and soul influences.

Ben has had the opportunity to share the stage with members of The Allman Brothers Band, Dead and Company, North Mississippi Allstars, Warren Haynes Band, Susan Tedeschi Band, Jerry Garcia Band, Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds, Devon Allman, Matt Schofield, The Heavy Pets, Roosevelt Collier, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and more at venues across the country.


Friday
Dec.
29
Doors 9pm - Show 10pm
18+
BEN SPARACO BAND  
 
presented by Rybolt Productions
Riverbend Reunion's classic, gritty in your face sound derives from the hills of Tennessee and the mountains of North Carolina. With a southern rock core featuring elements of the psychedelic, the band revels in their live performances that include plenty of improvisation and extended jams. They join a genre pioneered by bands like The Allman Brothers, The Grateful Dead, and Widespread Panic.

Riverbend Reunion is respected by fellow musicians and beloved by an ever expanding and inspired fan base. The band reunites long time friends, seasoned through their journeys with previous bands in the jam band scene, into one group. John Smith (vocals/guitar), Stuart Montez (guitar/vocals), Rick Reese (bass), and Brandon Buck (drums), bring their extensive experience on and off the stage into one brotherhood of road warriors far beyond their home town of Nashville, TN.

By blending infectious grooves and passionate improvisation into thoughtfully crafted songs, Riverbend Reunion’s chemistry and dedication is obvious.


Saturday
Dec.
30
Doors 9pm - Show 10pm
18+
RIVERBEND REUNION 

presented by Rybolt Productions
​Born and raised around Holly Springs, Mississippi, Cedric Burnside, grandson of legendary R.L. Burnside and son of drummer Calvin Jackson, has been playing music all his life. He has developed a relentless, highly rhythmic charged style that takes the blues to another level. This four-time winner of the prestigious Blues Music Award’s Drummer of the Year (2010-2014) is widely regarded as one of the best drummers in the world and has begun to make a name for himself as a traditional blues guitarist, as well.


Monday
Dec.
25
Doors 9pm - Show 10pm
18+
MARTIN'S Christmas Show w/
Cedric Burnside & Lightnin Malcolm
presented by Rybolt Productions
Cutting Edge Bluesman LIGHTNIN MALCOLM, a charismatic and energetic guitarslinger with a deep soulful voice, has taken his irresistable Dance grooves from Juke Joint teen years as a One Man Band to World stages with mainstream artists such as Robert Plant, Jimmy Buffett, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, The Black 
LIGHTNIN MALCOLM

 Keys, Widespread Panic, Big Head Todd, North Mississippi Allstars, Lucero, and Gary Clark Jr.

The Mississippi based Multi-instrumentalist combines the Tribal Rhythms and raw electrifying power of the Hill Country Blues with melodic songwriting wisdom of heroes Bob Marley, Sam Cooke, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, and Jimi Hendrix. MALCOLM fuses elements of Funk, Soul, Rock, Reggae, Hip Hop, West African World Beat, Gospel and Country to create an Authentic Signature sound in modern day World Roots Music.

featuring members of Flow Tribe, Gravity A, & More

Jermaine Quiz (Jealous Monk)
KC O'Rorke (Flow Tribe)
M@ Peoples (M@ Peoples Collective)
Bryan Santos (Flow Tribe)
Russel Olschner (Flow Tribe)
Andrew Meehan (Gravity A)
James Martin (Trombone Shorty's Orleans Ave)

When you bring musicians together who love the material, you get magic. When they love the material and their bandmates, "then its sabotage". Formed from the finest young talent New Orleans has to offer, Sabotage is a true tribute to what the Beastie Boys stood for. Pure energy and a funky attitude. Anchored by some of new orleans best musicians and led by 3 notable frontmen, Sabotage is not your average tribute band. Their energetic take on 3 decades of Beastie boys material, truly does justice to the legend of the infamous trio.


Friday
Jan.
12
Official Facebook Event
Doors 9pm - Show 10pm
18+
SABATOGE  
(New Orleans Beastie Boys Tribute)
presented by Rybolt Productions
The Grateful Dead continue to have one of the most rabid and loyal followings of any band in history, and deservedly so: They wrote great songs, and they were excellent musicians and terrific improvisers who never played a tune the same way twice.

Grateful Dead cover band The Stolen Faces deftly capture the spirit of the Dead, covering a wide variety of songs from the band’s expansive catalog and delivering them with the sort of energy and spontaneity that might have you thinking you’re standing in the Fillmore West in 1971. Led by bassist Christian Grizzard, the group features guitarist Jack Silverman, drummer Matt Martin, and a rotating cast of some of Nashville’s top session and touring musicians.

The members of The Stolen Faces all share a love for the Dead, and for the freeform jamming and good vibes that music entails. The group puts a high premium on nailing the vocal harmonies, and has the instrumental firepower to take the extended jams into some seriously trippy sonic territory. In a short time, touring through Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, they’ve begun to establish a reputation as one of the Southeast’s most solid and rockin’ Dead bands!


Friday
Jan.
19
Official Facebook Event
Doors 9pm - Show 10pm
18+
the STOLEN FACES  

presented by Rybolt Productions
​Rock ‘n’ roll epitomizes escapism in its purest form. 

It’s not just artistic anesthetization either, but rather a galvanizing force that inspires us to keep pushing through life’s trials and tribulations. That’s why we still listen to Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Rush, and countless others all these years later. It’s the same reason audiences will be talking about Backup Planet’s second full-length album, Reactions, for a long time to come. The Nashville, TN quartet—Ben Cooper [keys, vocals], Chris Potocik [drums, vocals], Gavin Donati [guitar, vocals], and Blake Gallant [bass, vocals]—write arena-size anthems echoing with progressive intricacy, funk swagger, and even a little metallic edge. Giving listeners an inspiring and invigorating aural haven, their moniker couldn’t be more apropos…

“I worked at a liquor store all through college,” remembers Ben. “I was sitting there one night in a funk because of school work and a fight with my girl at the time. Every channel on TV decried, ‘The end of the world is nigh!’ I thought, ‘Man, I wish I had a Backup Planet where I could go and escape.’ It dawned on me. That’s what naturally happens when you play music; you’re transported somewhere else. It’s a shared experience where everybody goes together.”

The name perfectly fit the tunes Ben and his college buddy Gavin wrote starting in 2013. Rounded out by Chris and Blake, Backup Planet became a local favorite around the University of Tennessee Knoxville. They independently released their full-length debut, Element, during 2015 and began sharing the stage with the likes of The Revivalists, Papadosio, and more in addition to headlining countless packed shows. Relix proclaimed them “On The Verge,” and one fateful gig led to signing with powerhouse management firm Red Light Management [Dave Matthews Band, My Morning Jacket, Dopapod, Phish,]. 

However, tragedy struck Backup Planet only weeks after this big milestone.

“I had a weird sense of premonition,” admits Ben. “We had just left a show, and within 30 seconds, our van was flipped over on the interstate sliding. There were sparks, glass, and metal flying everywhere and people screaming. Fortunately, we were all alive, but we lost our van, gear, and trailer. It flipped our whole lives figuratively and literally on their sides.”

Rather than engage audiences via crowd-funding, the band quietly saved throughout the rest of the year by performing local headline gigs to re-build their infrastructure. Bruised but not broken, they entered Syncromesh Studios in Birmingham, AL with producer Jason Elgin [Collective Soul, Maylene & The Sons of Disaster,] to record Reactions during 2016. In just three weeks, they tracked everything analog the old-fashioned way.

“We love production in all of its forms, and working with Jason was an awesome learning experience,” the singer goes on. “He knew every in-and-out and possible thing you could do in the studio, and it became like a creative sanctuary.”

Now, “Earth As A Dream” rises like a phoenix from a torrent of shimmering keys, bombastic percussion, and incendiary guitars before exploding on an expansive refrain.

“Lyrically and thematically, there were a lot of things going on for us and in the world at large,” Ben comments. “There’s this pervasive mindset, particularly in Western society, that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. However, the earth could be hit by a comet or some crazy catastrophe completely out of our control might happen. It’s supposed to make everyone think. It’s a visual journey where you might be looking at the earth from the stars or on some distant planet millions of years later, reminiscing. It’s a testament to how cool it is that we get to live here and have this place while we do.”

Then, there’s the haunting and heartfelt “Sublimation,” which conjures up a simmering stew of impressive fretwork, percussion, and towering vocals. “Two days after the wreck, one of our close friends passed away,” he continues. “It was a crazy tragic house fire. It really hit home, because I just lost everything. My girlfriend was cheating. My buddy died. I was sitting in my room in a state of reflection. I felt like I was having a conversation with him, and the chorus, ‘Take my hand child, let me show you how to breathe’ was his advice to get out of this slump.”

The title REACTIONS evokes the devotion of these four musicians, facing a near death experience and bouncing back with a deeper appreciation for their craft and a definitive body of work. 

“It plays into the laws of physics and thermodynamics,” he says. “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. You never know what’s going to happen. Everything can change in an instant. It’s about how you react. There are those thematic elements in the music and songwriting. That’s been the story of the last year and ties into what we created.”

As these four talents continue “reacting” at the highest level, listeners everywhere fall into an escape fueled by mind-blowing musicianship, poetic songwriting, and hooks that resound past the heavens.

“This is what we live by musically,” Ben leaves off. “We say this all the time, ‘You can play to three people or three-thousand people, but if you’re not enjoying it and connecting with your band mates, what’s the point?’ Our approach is to take something negative and turn it into a positive by using the language of music. It comes down to overcoming adversity. This makes us complete, and we hope you feel that.”


Saturday
Jan.
27
Official Facebook Event
Doors 9pm - Show 10pm
18+
BACKUP PLANET

presented by Rybolt Productions