Tonight was night two at our Appalachian Fair in Gray, Tenn. It was Uncle Kracker’s night to take the stage as the headliner. But before he did, it was the night the audience would be treated to an opening act. The group was The Twang Bangers. I’m not sure why they picked that name, but if you listen to their music – the name seems to work for them. They are definitely part ‘twang’ and part ‘bang’. And if you are anything like me, still trying to put every artist into some kind of genre’ – I can only suggest that you pick country-rock for these guys.
Their facebook page says they are country, but as a very long-time country music fan, I’d have to say they are a lot more than just ‘country’. Here’s the “About” section taken directly from their facebook: “Imagine Texas alternative country with a Tennessee twang. With influences ranging from Townes Van Zandt and Whiskeytown to Garth Brooks and Travis Tritt, The Twang Bangers play gritty country music with powerful guitars and vocals.” I just saw this group on stage, and I don’t believe ‘powerful’ is nearly enough word to describe what this band does on stage. They need to add a few more adjectives to that. I think words like energetic, charismatic, talented, fun, entertaining…and a few more might work to adequately describe these guys to anyone who may not have seen them.
They are fun to watch. And you find yourself watching each one of them. A lot of times, the lead vocalist gets all of the pictures taken, by the fans. But when this group was on stage, I found my camera going from one to the next. I was paying attention to every move these musicians made. They all worked together to bring out a sound that was very entertaining, and uniquely their own.
One of our Appalachian Fair Directors, Bill Graham, takes a minute from his job of overseeing
everything that happens in the Main Stage area, to stop and smile for the camera.
Let me introduce you all to Tyler McCoy, rhythm guitar; Clint Riddle, lead guitar; Brent Strange, drums; Burl Williams, bass; Wes Holtsclaw, vocals; and Abe Spear, pedal steel. Abe, incidentally, is part of Josh Thompson’s band. He helped form The Twang Bangers, and was on stage with them tonight.
The band is based in the Tri-Cities area in Tennessee, and has been playing local clubs throughout the area. With an ever-growing fan base, and a sound that does nothing but invite even more fans, they are now finding themselves on the stage opening for artists such as Uncle Kracker, Josh Turner, and Brantley Gilbert. They’ve been to Nashville, they have a CD. and I believe those of us who were at the fair tonight saw a group who just got on the elevator, and they’re headed UP!
Some of what we heard tonight included original songs, “Doin’ Right Tonight,” “Cowboy Angel,” “Town that Time Forgot,” and “Saturday Drunk.” Unfortunately, in my haste to get in the house and start writing, I left the rest of the ‘set list’ in the car. But I can assure you – this is not the last time you will be seeing me write about this great group, so we’ll get into more of what they play next time.
It is getting really, really late – so I’m going to finish this up with a few pictures from the show. And we’ll get more up about this great new group soon.
There is so much more I could say about this great group – but, just be patient with me. I’m sure I will very soon. Time for me to get some sleep. I’ll be on my way back to the fair in no time!