Randy Smith and his Band of Merry Men to Play Tupelo Music Hall

Publish Notes: 

Cider Magazine June, 2013

Randy Smith and his Band of Merry Men to Play Tupelo Music Hall
Randy Smith and his Band of Merry Men to Play Tupelo Music Hall
Randy Smith and his Band of Merry Men to Play Tupelo Music Hall
Randy Smith and his Band of Merry Men to Play Tupelo Music Hall

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT. – Randy Smith and his Band of Merry Men are coming to Tupelo Music Hall on Thursday, June 27 for a special unplugged evening featuring a selection of Randy’s solo material, as well as songs from his days as front-man for Vermont rockers 8084. The show will mark Randy’s first appearance at the White River Junction venue since fronting last spring’s successful show with his reunited 8084 band mates.

Photos by Joe Milliken 1. Randy Smith 2. (l to r) Rich Abel, Randy, Gary Spaulding, Roy Alan Brown 3. Roy 4. Randy and Gary

Currently based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Smith is a Billboard and International award winner, has recorded six albums along the way and toured throughout the United States and Canada. Randy has worked in the studio with Aldo Nova (Jon Bon Jovi, Cyndi Lauper, Celine Dion) and has shared the stage with such national artists as Edgar Winter, Blue Oyster Cult, Foghat, Rick Derringer, April Wine, Warrant and Bobby Kimball of Toto. 8084’s self-titled release in 1987 was produced by Elektra recording artists and former drummer of the band New England, Hirsh Gardner.

Smith’s current band of “Merry Men” include fellow 8084 band mates Gary Spaulding on percussion and Roy Alan Brown on bass and vocals, along with veteran Long Island guitarist Rich Abel and a new-comer Scott Campbell. A native-Vermont fiddler, Scott’s musical background goes back to when he was ten years old, learning the craft from his father, fiddler Ken Campbell and other Vermont and Canadian fiddlers. Scott’s accomplished resume includes competing (and winning) in various fiddle competitions throughout the North East and Canada.

"I am really honored to share the stage with this band,” Randy states. “Roy Brown is simply an amazing talent and one of the most sincere, unselfish people that I know, while Gary Spaulding has always been the backbone behind me, providing the framework so I can do my thing. Guitarist Rich Abel is the shy guy, but brings a very tight musical sensibility to the mix and our newest addition Scotty Campbell adds energy, humor and a load of talent to our band. Playing music, even in rehearsal, with these guys is just a wonderful experience."

Having witnessed this band perform last year (at Putney, Vermont’s Next Stage) with a mere two rehearsals under its belt, this writer can attest that the musicianship and chemistry was already pristine and showmanship top-notch, leaving no doubt that these upcoming shows will be exciting. "The band is really becoming tight,” Randy affirmed.

The set list will include several songs from Randy’s last solo effort titled Bittersweet, including “All My Life,” “Cowboys” and “Savannah’s Song,” as well as several fan-favorites from his rockin’ days with 8084 like “All Right” and “Too Late For Love.” Of course, don’t be surprised to hear a couple new songs and/or arrangements sprinkled in as well. In fact, this writer is already wondering if they will again perform their moving version of the Kansas classic “Dust in the Wind.”

“The treatment and arrangements of my songs is exactly what I had envisioned with this line up,” Randy added. “It's a bit of alt-country with a rock sensibility… we've worked very hard on the both the vocal harmonies as well as featuring a nice blend of fiddle and guitar solos. Performing with the Merry Men is a wonderful experience. You know, I learned many years ago that if your surround yourself with talent it brings your own game to an even higher level."
Opening the show is 20-year-old and Fairfield, Vermont-native Keeghan Nolan, a rising talent with a powerful voice, combining elements of country, blues and a tinge of rock into a style that’s all her own.

Randy Smith and his Band of Merry Men will also be performing at South Burlington’s Higher Ground on Friday, June 28 with special guest and former 8084 guitarist Andre Maquera in the house, (with Nolan opening the show) as well as Saturday, June 29 at The Art Block in Greenfield, Ma., with Nolan also opening. For ticket information contact the Tupelo Music Hall, Higher Ground and Art Block box offices, or visit Randy Smith’s Web site at www.Randotunes.com.