Renegades Of Southern Rock
May 10th, 2006
Recently, friend and neighbor George McCorkle invited my wife and I out to hear his band The Renegades Of Southern Rock. To further add to the honor he asked if I would like to be his guitar tech for the evening. As a large fan of George and the Tucker Band, you can imagine how thrilled I was to except. So, here is how the evening progressed. We arrived at Opryland early for sound check and were immediately greeted by the nicest group of guys you could ever hope to meet.
The "All Star" lineup includes:
George McCorkle - Original Marshall Tucker Band
John Townsend - Sanford-Townsend Band
Dan Toler - Allman Brothers, Gregg Allman, and Dickie Betts bands
Jack Hall - Wet Willie
Taylor Caldwell - Southern Cross
John McKnight - One of the most recorded session Drummers in Atlanta
We quickly got George's gear set up and I walked around to the front of the stage to listen to the sound check. I found myself in complete awe, like a kid going to his very first concert. I found myself thinking about all the hits, gold records, and music history up on that stage. I was even more excited when I found out they would be performing a new song off their upcoming CD.
After the sound check everyone went to check into motel rooms, eat dinner, and prepare for the show. My wife and I had the pleasure of having dinner with John Townsend and Renegades Producer D. Scott Miller. We then returned to the "green room" to prepare for the show. As we waited for show time to approach we were entertained by George's wonderful humor and guitar playing. Then the band began filing in one at a time. I again found myself amazed at all the history and talent I was surrounded by. Even more, I was thoroughly impressed by the sense of Brotherhood and friendship these guys shared.
As show time got near, I took George's Les Paul down to the stage and made sure all his guitars were in perfect tune. I had no sooner put the last one on the stand when the intro started and the band took the stage. They wasted no time, and began their set with George's first hit "Fire on the Mountain". I found myself instantly mesmerized by Dan Toler's blistering guitar work. From the first chord the audience did not know what hit them. By the end of the song the band had the audience eating out of their hands and begging for more. The chemistry and showmanship of this band not only entertained but endeared them to you. The Renegades steamrolled the audience with hit after hit from the Allman Brothers, Wet Willie, Sanford-Townsend, Marshall Tucker Band, and Gregg Allman Band.
Then came the new song "Gold in your eyes". All I can say is, "WOW"! If the rest of the upcoming CD is like this song it is destined to be a hit and a classic. Taylor Caldwell sang the new song with a voice and sound that makes you wonder why he is not billed as a lead vocalist. He demonstrates this again in the song Southbound. The band then invited an artist by the name of Sean Costello up to jam with them. Sean had performed earlier in another area of Opryland. They jammed on another one of George's songs "Across the River". The three guitarists just lit up the stage and the audience was going nuts. When they finished the song the crowd was so loud they decided to have him set in on One Way Out. The triple guitar solos were of a caliber I have not seen in many years.
John Townsend’s voice has only improved with age and demonstrated this on Smoke from a Distant Fire and I’m No Angel. Johnny had the whole audience singing and dancing to the Wet Willie hit Keep On Smiling. But Johnny’s voice just blew me away when they launched into Whipping Post. What is so awesome about this band is not only are they each masters of their instruments, but they are all great singers, writers, and showman. Then came the Southern Rock anthem "Can't You See"..... George's ability to win an audience is truly a site to see. He had the entire audience with their hands in the air and singing the chorus at the top of their lungs. So, let me summarize this review for you: If you love Southern Rock, Blistering Guitar solos, amazing vocals, by a band that makes you feel like a welcome guest and not just part of an audience,,, This is the band for you! If you want a set list of some of the greatest songs ever written,,,,, This is the band for you!!! THE RENEGADES OF SOUTHERN ROCK- THIS IS THE BAND FOR YOU!
You can find more info on the Renegades at www.Renegadesofsouthernrock.com