An exciting bill of Americana-infused rock and roll!
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One sad night in New York City, Adam Weiner was playing “Stormy Weather” to twelve half-naked drunks at a drag karaoke bar called Pegasus. He had left New Jersey 10 years earlier with lofty hopes of artistic success in the Big Sexy Apple… and this salty dump is where he had landed and gotten stuck like a musical kidney stone. A small Asian man dressed as Diana Ross was finishing the last verse and segueing into “Sometimes When We Touch”, while Adam plunked the piano keys with bluesy relish.
Right at this moment, a thought occurred to Mr. Weiner. ”Why don’t I start the greatest rock n roll band this town has ever seen? Why don’t I titillate and massage the throbbing cultural masses in unknown ways? Why don’t I dream a new boogie for all of mankind?” Instantly, the room started to spin with sensual visions and Elvis ambitions. Barry Manillow whispered in his ear “DO IT!”. The patrons all shook their stuff and tipped Mr. Weiner generously. ”The slump was ending”, he felt.
The next morning, he called up his old buddy Dan “Swampmeat” Finnemore in Birmingham, England. A couple years before, Adam and Dan had shared a urine-soaked stage in a gnarly UK warehouse and gotten stuck in a freight elevator for 4 hours with nothing but guitars and a duffel bag of booze. They had emerged brothers from across the pond. When the phone rang, Dan was busy duct-taping his wounds after a night of heavy punkabilly brawling and low-brow impregnations. He had screamed his head off and been spat on by rabid drunks and footballers. Adam asked him if he wanted to turn their slumps around and light a mighty rock n roll flame. Dan picked up his sticks and said “Fuck it, let’s get weird. See you in 6 hours, fool.”
Sensing the creation of a profound cocktail of boogie and benevolent sleaze, Weiner and Finnemore scoured the crab-infested streets of old Philadelphia looking for a couple of salty vagabonds to complete the line-up. At the end of a sad alleyway, they found a couple of swarthy tramps watching the Golden Girls through the window of a retirement home. They resembled Trading Places-era Ackroyd. After a quick interview, the Hebrew and the Brit realized they could clean these boys up, make em look like half-decent musicians, and no one would ever know the difference. They agreed to work for beer and Slim Jims, and Low Cut Connie was born.
“Less is more.”
That’s the mantra that Rev. Chitwood Hammaker, brothers Noah and Justin Crowther, and Kelly Ravin deployed as they converged from a honky-tonk in Burlington, Vermont, to create Waylon Speed.
Ever since Waylon Speed formed in April 2009, the four-piece brotherhood of family and past friends has toured nationally and collected fans like empties at a pig roast in support of their albums: the debut, Georgia Overdrive; their two-disc sophomore set, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades; and their latest effort, The Boots EP.
The press has called Waylon Speed “gas on the fire of the current music scene” and “heavy, fiery country rock, for those who like their punk rock with some twang in it – but also appreciate high quality, intelligent songwriting.”
Ask Waylon Speed what it seeks from its stained-blue-collar, straight-up-from-the-underground rock, and the answer is simple: make people happy. The evidence is at their aim-to-please shows, where audience connection is a priority.
Waylon Speed has shared bills with: Jane’s Addiction, Clutch, Little Feat, Reba McEntire, Elvis Costello, Primus, and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.
Waylon Speed’s influences are Motorhead, Fugazi, The Mother Hips, The Drive-By Truckers, and Frank Zappa. Waylon Speed’s influences are not mainstream music.
‘Course, if the guys had to be someone else in another band, they would choose either Kris Kristofferson (Kelly), Willie Nelson (Noah), Johnny Cash (Justin), or Waylon Jennings (The Reverend).
Welcome to Waylon Speed.
In late 2005, the first song was written. By late 2006, the skeleton for the first record was laid out and scratch recordings were underway. In February of 2007, the first show was played to a small room of around 150 people and Old Southern Moonshine Revival was born. In October of 2007, Old Southern Moonshine Revival released their self-titled debut album to a sold out Ziggy’s crowd in Winston-Salem, NC…
Flash forward five years to 2012. With their second full-length album debuting it’s first few weeks inside iTunes Top 100 Country Albums, Old Southern Moonshine Revival is touring in support and is turning heads everywhere they go. “It has been a ton of hard work, but we love what we do. We have to do this. It’s not something we can turn off.” says lead vocalist Marcus Kiser. “These songs hit close to home for us, and we are finding that they hit close to home for a lot of people. That’s a pretty special connection between the artist and the listener. We don’t take that sort of thing lightly.” Neither do the fans. Old Southern Moonshine Revival has shipped music or merchandise to 40 different countries around the world, have 45,000+ online friends/fans/followers, and “The Revival”, as they call it, is still growing. “We love our job. We take it very seriously, but it is hard to not have fun playing music for a living” explains lead guitarist Brent Lain. “We enjoy the hard work side of this business. It is gratifying to see our hard work come together into something way bigger than ourselves.”
Old Southern Moonshine Revival has a unique sound and a unique approach of making that sound heard. “Passion. Above all else. Passion.” adds bassist Jamie Shaver. “People know when you’re faking it. They know when you don’t believe in what you’re doing. Passion breeds followers. I am a perfect example of that.”
No one knows what the future holds, but if Old Southern Moonshine Revival has anything to do with it, The Revival is going to keep right on spreading. Around your town. In every state. Everywhere there is an ear to hear, The Revival is coming…