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Southern Legend - Andy Tanas

Southern Legend - Andy Tanas

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Story about Former Black Oak Arkansas & Krokus Bassist- Andy Tanas
Story about Former Black Oak Arkansas & Krokus Bassist- Andy Tanas

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Published by: The Rock and Roll Society on May 03, 2011
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11/14/2011

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Southern Legend - Andy Tanas
By Tommy Roeck Pics by Sharon Brown I first met Andy at the 27
th
Annual Nightflying party in December of 2007 andwas blown away by his unique vocal styling and super cool arrangements of thecovers he performs, along with a great mix of eclectic country rock originals. Onceoff stage he greeted me as any normal person would and we immediately caught avibe as friends. Drinking a beer and talking about what else, but music for a longtime. Again we crossed paths at the 2008 and 2010 Nightflying parties and chattedand got pictures together etc.We both got parking tickets at the parking lot across from Sticky Fingers lastDecember and we agreed it was a scam, but begrudgingly agreed that we should goahead and pay them. Lol! We have spoken many times through Internet chats, andhave thrown each other proverbial bones so to speak, as to where we might be ableto book our individual acts. What a cool cucumber this guy is! With Gold recordson his wall and many musical credits to his name, he is a very down to earth andreserved person, and if you did not ever hear him perform, you would not eventhink that he is a virtual musical genius just by meeting him.I recently caught up with Mr. Tanas at Cajun’s Wharf in Little Rock performingin the 5:30 to 8:30 slot, where he will be many more times this year with his nextappearances being April 22nd & May 14th. With style and grace honed by 40+
 
years of experience he makes playing guitar seem effortless and fun, yet oh sointimate. One of his many weapons is a unique Celtic tuning that simply fascinatesme, as it has droning qualities which produce rich overtones that ring magicthrough the air. His smooth approach and vocals in his originals are trulysomething you have to hear to appreciate, my favorite being “Tennessee Girl” , butevery one is a true work of art. You can preview his songs atwww.reverbnation.com/andytanas.Andy started his career in 1975 when he toured as part of an audio crew with”Lynyrd Skynyrd”, “Marshall Tucker”, “The Outlaws”, “Wet Willy”, “CharlieDaniels”, “Climax Blues Band”, “Status Quo”, “Peter Frampton”, “.38 Special”,and “Jerry Lee Lewis” to name a few. After hearing some of Andy's material, GaryRossington and Ronnie Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynryd encouraged him to give up theaudio end and pursue playing and song writing more seriously. In 1977, he joined“Black Oak Arkansas” as a bassist, vocalist and songwriter. Black Oak signed withCapricorn Records and released "Race With The Devil" in 1977 and "I'd Rather BeSailing" in 1978. Two songs of Andy's appeared on "I'd Rather Be Sailing": “YouKeep Me Waiting” and “Innocent Eyes”. Constant touring kept him busy untilJanuary of 1980 when the group disbanded. At that point the line-up included afifteen year old guitar whiz, the now departed, Shawn Lane.In 1980, Andy relocated to Los Angeles and worked with various local bandsincluding “Legs Diamond”, “Shandra Beri”, “Marcus Malone”, “Chuck Gerard”,“Michael Monarch” and “Jon Hyde” of “Detective” as well as others. Gigging andrecording sessions kept him busy until 1983. He was offered the bassist -background vocalist slot with Swiss hard rocking outfit “Krokus:” in 1984. Wherehe was in four videos including the MTV concert video that year. Touring the U.S.,Canada, South America and Europe with the band until leaving them in 1985because of artistic differences.He then released a four song EP in 1989 that he wrote, produced and financed,which received good reviews as well as air play on college radio in the southeast. Itwas a mix of hard rock with a lot of country influence that for 1989 was a littleahead of its time. In 1991, he formed “The Rompers”, a rock-country band thatshowcased his material and vocal style. They played all over the Hollywood, LosAngeles, and Orange County area and opened for “Commander Cody”, “Mark Collie” and many others until he relocated back home to Memphis in May of 1993.1995 saw him completing an eight song demo that caught the attention of somemajor labels and publishing companies in Nashville. Although it was crudelyrecorded, the vocal style and song writing stood out enough that they asked formore material. In 1997 he released "Memphis Boy vs The Eight Track From Hell".A hybrid mix of country and rock with different subject matter. This led to meeting“Stuart Baker” with “Haydens Ferry Records” in Arizona. He was invited to be onthe "Jukebox Cantina" compilation with fourteen other artists including “TheIgnitors”, “Dan Israel”, “Grievous Angels” and ‘Ronnie Glover”. "JukeboxCantina" charted well and received favorable reviews worldwide giving Andy noticefor his song “You Gotta Love Her”.In 1998 he started production on "Songs From The New South" using “CodyDickinson” from “North Mississippi All Stars” and “Robert Barnett” from “Big AssTruck” on drums, “Bryan Ward” from “Bonepony” on mandolin, and “GretchenPriest” on violin/fiddle. Recorded and co-produced by Veteran engineer “Voytek Kochanek”, who’s worked with “Ozzy Osbourne”, “Steve Vai”, and “Peter

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