The guys of Gringo Grande, who are all Scotch drinkers, were rather hilarious to talk to and judging by the interview I had with them, there is no doubt they put on a rockin’ show! The band members come from all over and now rock out the Macon music scene, where they now call home. The guys all went to college in surrounding areas such as Mercer, UGA, and Southern and have all been playing together since then. The band consists of Baxter on rhythm acoustic and vocals, George on electric guitar, Alex on drums, Randy on harmonica and John on bass.
The guys describe their music as a mixture of blues, folk, and rock and roll and have been playing since early October or 2010. Alex, Baxter and Ross all played in the cover band known as Tron Jackson, but they “wanted to try something original… wanted to have one [band] of their own- they needed original stuff”… so the three guys branched out and formed Gringo Grande, adding two more members. Now, let me address the question that I’m sure is on everyone’s mind- where did they come up with their band’s name? It’s a funny story actually, Baxter, chuckling while explaining said, “Well, Alex’s cousin is in International Business and is stationed in Bolivia… 6’7”, not athletic- couldn’t jump over a beer bottle but he was so tall, they called him Gringo Grande and we decided that was a good name”.
Baxter and George write for the band, but Ross “is bringing some stuff out” they said. The band’s major influences include The Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radio Head and The Beatles. The main themes found in most of their songs reflect on past experiences and describe realistic true stories. Laughing, the band collectively concluded that “ there is not one song about love, lust maybe. But mostly guilt, regret and lies”. Baxter went on to say “everyone is on the same level as far as thought process and life. The songs are heavily concentrated on each member’s experiences- whatever the topic may be.” They are set to record their first album in the Spring, but until then you can check them out on Facebook to listen to demos, they also encouraged for fans to come talk to them.
For those of you wanting to start your own band, Gringo Grande says, “make sure you’re playing with people that you like, the beauty of it is that we are all like family. It’s important to be comfortable with them; if you don’t like the people you are playing with then you have a short shelf life.” As interesting as the band was off stage, I look forward to seeing what they will bring on stage. Visit them on Facebook for more details
The Vineyard is a band consisting of three members who have an immense knowledge in musical instruments. Sean on back up vocals, bass, guitar and saxophone; Amber on vocals, but she can play guitar and piano to write songs; Andrew on vocals, guitar, piano and drums. The trio comes from surrounding counties and certainly knows a thing or two about songwriting and playing for a crowd. The band originally began with brother/sister duo Andrew and Amber in 2004. Amber had met Sean in 2003 at Gordon College where they both studied Music together and he eventually joined the band about a year ago providing more of an alternative feel to the band.
You can find this trio drinking beers such as Blue Moon or PBR, “we like good beers” they said, “but if you’re going to drink a cheap one, it’s PBR or Sweetwater”. When choosing a name for the band Amber and Andrew felt like the Vineyard represented them well because, “it represents everything growing and flowing and providing a fruit. And that’s how our music is, flowing naturally out of us.” After pondering the name, Amber said “we began to see the name everywhere and felt like it was a sign.”
“All us wanted to play for people” Amber said when talking about what inspired them to form a band. For Amber “it’s always been a dream since an early age and we were finally able to put it together. Everything has fallen into place for us” she said. For Andrew, “he started learning to play the guitar and after being around it and listening to it, got inspired to play” for others. Andrew and Amber do the songwriting for the band and say their themes consist of “ everything… we write about people we know, heartbreak, life experiences, and sometimes made up stuff and sometimes real stuff.” Amber went on to explain “we like to tell stories about people. We take a person and tell their story for them.” This trio places a lot of emphasis on songwriting and melodies above all else. Whether these themes found in The Vineyard’s songs will change over time, Amber feels that they already have as she reminisced on a love song she wrote fresh out of college, “the song had a meaning but now seems very superficial as I’ve gained more life experience.” Andrew added that his “views and opinions change” and so does his songwriting. The band contributes their sound and inspiration to numerous artists, which span over several genres of music such as, The Mommas and The Poppas, Janice Joplin, The Beatles, George Straight, Johnny Cash, all country artists of the 90’s “except” Andrew added, “Billy Rae” they laughed, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and the list goes on.
As of now, The Vineyard is not signed with any record label, but, they “are kind of starting one.” They have a studio called “Love Sic Recordings” in which they currently record their music and hope to one day turn it into a record label.
For those of you who want to start your own band, The Vineyard encourages that even though it “seems hard just do it. It’s hard to take the first step but go for it, you figure it out along the way… practice and don’t get discouraged… things will fall into place.” With all the musical knowledge, songwriting abilities, and entrepreneurial spirit, The Vineyard Band is a true inspiration. I certainly wish them the best and can’t wait to see what they have in store for the future. You can check them out on Facebook, last.fm, twitter and reverbnation.com/thevineyardband.
The Dirty Sound Professors
The Dirty Sound Professors, better known as DSP, is a group of college guys who are from surrounding counties all brought to Macon, Georgia by Mercer University. Luke loves to drink Makers and Gingerale, while David and Will love Carbombs, and Brad… well, he is underage so Ill ask him again in a couple of years. Band members consist of Will on guitar and vocals, David on bass, Brad on drums, Luke on guitar and Allen on keyboard. DSP is a cover band, but, to switch things up a bit they alter the songs to their liking. They “do a lot of blending and mixing of songs” to give the crowd a little bit of what Dirty Sound Professors sound like; they do however, “plan to write their own songs in the future”. They said they “really like to play party music- upbeat music that everyone will know and sing along with” and every now and then, they like “ to pick a couple of songs they just like playing, even if no one knows it.” The bands inspiration comes from My Morning Jacket, Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The genre of their music ranges from Classic Rock, to reggae to New Rock.
The Dirty Sound Professors have all known each other for about two years but began playing together about a year and a half ago. The boys all got together and “could play, so we decided to jam” they said, playing songs they all knew. When they got a gig at a Homecoming party, The Dirty Sound Professors came to life and they began playing gigs at other places.
“The Dirty Sound Professors” sounds like a very random name, and after hearing the story behind it… it is just that. The guys said they used google’s band name generator and “chose the most random name they could” But more than that, the name impacted the group on it’s ambiguity in the meaning. They “didn’t know what kind of sound would go with The Dirty Sound Professors” giving them freedom in their work, and, the acronym “DSP, rolls off the tongue nicely”.
Their advice for those wanting to start their own bands is “just start playing… practice, and come to Open Mic Night at the Hummingbird” and remember “to have fun; as long as it’s fun, do it.” Fans can learn more about DSP by accessing their Facebook page, where they plan to put videos up of their performances.
Fatty & The Fast Fingers
Fatty & The Fast Fingers consist of Daniel Walker, Tyler White and Jay Manly all from Forsyth, although the all live in Macon now.
Daniel Walker- Irish Car Bombs
Tyler White- Chocolate Milk or Irish Car Bomb
Jay Manly- Mountain Dew or Yuengling
Have you changed your band name? Yeah, about 25 times. It started as joke but just stuck.
Describe your music? Full-tailed, boogie-woogie, booty shakin, rock and roll.
What genre is your music? Who are your major influences? Classic rock, pop rock, hip hop, Steely Dan, Kings of Leon, Eagles of Death Metal, The Cool Kids and Wu-tang
How long have you been playing together? This past year
Do you have a record label? Independent
What advice to do have for up and coming musicians? Practice, play every day, keep your eye on songwriting
Who writes your songs? We play a lot of covers right now but Daniel is the songwriter.What are the themes of your music? Partying, sex, relationships, the usual.
Written By Kasey Stewart
Certified Zumba Instructor