A Local Scene Exclusive: Introducing Kanye Twitty, a Marriage of Hip-Hop and Country

BAND: KANYE TWITTY

GENRE: HIP-HOP/COUNTRY/ROCK

VENUE: ROCK BOTTOM AMERICAN PUB, MONTGOMERY, AL

Hip-hop? Country? Together?!

I was more than just a little curious how these two very different genres of music could possibly be blended together to be performed by one band. On one hand, you have country, a genre that calls to mind rural settings, acoustic guitars and banjos, and some depressing topics. On the other hand, you have hip-hop, a more urban style that seems to follow a more violent and sexual nature. Although, maybe not that much more than country, with its talk of bar fights and drinking…

In honesty, the genres aren’t that completely different. Both tell life stories. Still, the very idea…

I had the opportunity to attend a private sneak preview of Kanye Twitty at the Rock Bottom Pub last Monday. The band’s name is derived from the names of Kanye West and Conway Twitty, hip-hop and country artists respectively. I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw and heard that night.

If you may recall, I have said in the past that, if you’re going to do a cover, then you better make that song your own. Change it up, make it unique. That is exactly what Kanye Twitty does. They take these hip-hop and country songs and turn them into rock hits.

This is far more effective than you may think. These songs are given a fresh new energy. I found myself rocking out to hip-hop songs that I usually can’t stomach listening to. I found myself enjoying country songs that usually inspire me to do nothing more than hum along to the tunes. Not that any of these songs are bad on their own, mind you. And here I will admit to being biased towards rock music, though I do enjoy most of every genre.

My point is, whether you like country, hip-hop, or rock, or all three, I believe you will greatly enjoy what Kanye Twitty has to offer. Before you know it, you’ll be swept up in the energy of the music and brought to dancing in front of the stage, heady with the feel of the music vibrating through the speakers.

But don’t take my word for it. Their first full performance will be this upcoming Friday, June 3rd, at the Rock Bottom Pub. Be there!

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Rocking for the Red Cross

On April 27, 2011, a deadly tornado outbreak struck the deep South, taking at least 280 lives across 6 states. More than two-thirds of those deaths occurred in Alabama. Parts of 31 counties were utterly destroyed. One of the hardest hit cities in Alabama was Tuscaloosa. Entire neighborhoods were decimated by a tornado that spanned a half-mile with winds that likely exceeded 200 mph. At least 53 people died in that tornado, many more injured, and so many more left without home, possessions, cars, jobs…

MFD and The Keith Moody Band

Among the first to arrive in Tuscaloosa that night was the Montgomery Fire Department. They arrived around 11:00 pm and worked tirelessly along with other local Fire Departments to offer aid to the survivors and help search for those who were missing.

A short time after, Alabama native Keith Moody contacted Vinnie, the owner of the Rock Bottom American Pub in Montgomery, to set up a benefit. That was the same day that Vinnie had opened a notebook to start brainstorming ways to help the tornado victims. Together, they set up a benefit concert to be hosted by the Rock Bottom to raise money for the American Red Cross, with 100% of all donations to be given to the Red Cross to help with the clean up efforts in the wake of April’s tornadoes. At one point in the planning, as Vinnie told me, he had to stop calling bands because everyone he contacted was more than eager to come out and play.

In all, 12 acts – 6 acoustic and 6 bands – were scheduled to perform. This included musicians from all over the Deep South; some, like the Keith Moody Band, from as far as Nashville. The bands included: Wes Darnell, Wax, The Keith Moody Band, Leg-N-Liquor, Benny & the Jets, Mama Said, Blanton, Sam Marshal, Angels Landed, Lucky, Charlie C and the Cuzamatics, Zac Young, and Nick Gill. Instead of a cover charge, those who came were asked to make donations.

The music was, simply put, amazing. As promised, the music was non-stop from noon until the end of the night. While the bands inside were setting up or tearing down, you could venture onto the patio and listen to acoustic sets. Every single artist there had terrific talent, and I was amazed by the pure energy of some of them, especially by Benny and the Jets and Charlie C and the Cuzamatics. I also found a new obsession with the Keith Moody Band, as they played primarily originals (something I’ve been dying to hear since I moved to Montgomery). The night was brought to a rocking finale with the ever talented Mama Said.

Legs-N-Liquor "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"

However, as talented as everyone was, one of the musical highlights of the day came when the vocalist of Legs-N-Liquor invited a little girl up to the stage to sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” between bands. This little girl, along with another who was too shy to get up on stage, danced their little hearts out to Legs-N-Liquor, and even had the chance to go up on stage and dance with the vocalist on one of the songs. The entire bar melted at the girl’s sweet voice as that short song whispered out over the sound of cameras snapping.

The musicians weren’t the only ones raising money for the Red Cross. The bar owner’s 6-year-old son, Riley, also played a huge part in raising money by setting up a lemonade stand inside the bar. That’s right, this benefit concert had it’s own lemonade stand! On a hot May day in the Deep South, with temperatures climbing into the upper-90s, that cool, quenching lemonade hit the spot. In all, this little entrepreneur sold 102 lemonades. At 50 cents a glass, he earned $51 dollars for the Red Cross.

The benefit concert was an outstanding success. Over $3,000 were raised. This was the second of Keith Moody’s three benefit concerts, the one before in Franklin, TN, and the next will be on Memorial Day in Fairhope, AL.

The tornado season isn’t over yet. Just this past Sunday, a monstrous F-5 tornado ripped through Joplin, MO, taking over 100 lives, making it the deadliest tornado since 1953. Already, at least 487 people have lost their lives to tornadoes this year alone, and many more have lost their homes. It’s never too late to volunteer or donate to help the victims of these disasters.

The Red Cross is always taking donations. Or if there’s a different charity you’d rather donate to, go for it.

Until next time, stay safe and keep rocking!

Big Event!

If you’re in or around the Montgomery area, you will want to be at the Rock Bottom American Pub on May 22nd! They will be teamed up with the American Red Cross for a 12 hour music event! Yours truly will be there to cover the event (excluding any unforeseen circumstances). The music will be from 12noon to midnight, with 12 different groups performing. No cover charge. However, they will be taking donations to help with the tornado relief for those affected by this springs’ tornadoes.

Go here for more details!

Upcoming Shows

It’s been busy at work with Easter coming up and everything, but I do have new bands to review lined up! Tonight, I will be going to the 1048 downtown to see Surgestone for some accoustic action. Then Saturday night, I will be headed to Rockbottom for some Splendid Chaos. I am currently listening to Splendid Chaos via their website, and I am extremely excited about this show! I also love the lighting at Rockbottom, so I should get some good stuff!

The interview with The Eastern Wave is also coming soon!

Keep an eye open for updates. 🙂

A Night of Getting Miss Used


Miss Used

 

 

BAND: MISS USED

GENRE: ROCK

VENUE: ROCK BOTTOM AMERICAN PUB, MONTGOMERY, AL

 

 

 

 

Silver light flashed across the stage as the band entered. A thunderous rhythm resounded from the drums. The bassist, guitarist, and vocalist stood in a ragged line, their backs to the audience, whose cheering and screaming rose to the rafters. The guitars struck their first chords, and the Rock Bottom Pub thrummed with vibrant life. The pub’s patrons were drawn to the music and the stage like a starved man faced with a grand feast. The show Miss Used provided was mesmerizing, their music full of heady energy.

The greatest issue I have with cover bands is that often they do little more than mimic the form. There’s no energy, no creativity, no flair. Not so with Miss Used. With every song, they reminded their listeners why they loved those songs and made them enjoy them anew. This wasn’t just some gig in a small pub in Montgomery. This was a full-blown show that transformed the sports bar into a true concert venue.

It was apparent that the band was having tons of fun, and their joy at creating such wonderful music was infectious. It was impossible not to sing along or get up and dance. From those first chords, Miss Used grabbed hold of you, took you for a wild ride, and didn’t let go of you until you were spinning and laughing with wild abandon, drunk on music (and, let’s face it, alcohol).

In short, Miss Used was captivating. They were everything a cover band should be.

Check out their website for tour dates. Though based in Birmingham, AL, they tour much of the Southeast. Believe me, they are not a band to be missed! Especially if, like me, you’re a lover of rock. Unless you hate rock or having fun, you will not be disappointed by Miss Used.

After you’ve checked out their tour dates (what are you waiting for? Go look! Now!), please check out the slideshow below for more photos of this amazing band.

 

 

 

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