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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 27th Annual Nightflying party in December of 2007 and was blown away by his unique vocal styling and super cool arrangements of the covers he performs, along with a great mix of eclectic country rock originals. Once off stage he greeted me as any normal person would and we immediately caught a vibe as friends. Drinking a beer and talking about what else, but music for a long time. Again we crossed paths at the 2008 and 2010 Nightflying parties and chatted and got pictures together etc. We both got parking tickets at the parking lot across from Sticky Fingers last December and we agreed it was a scam, but begrudgingly agreed that we should go ahead and pay them. Lol! We have spoken many times through Internet chats, and have thrown each other proverbial bones so to speak, as to where we might be able to book our individual acts. What a cool cucumber this guy is! With Gold records on his wall and many musical credits to his name, he is a very down to earth and reserved person, and if you did not ever hear him perform, you would not even think 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 performing in the 5:30 to 8:30 slot, where he will be many more times this year with his next appearances 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 so intimate. One of his many weapons is a unique Celtic tuning that simply fascinates me, as it has droning qualities which produce rich overtones that ring magic through the air. His smooth approach and vocals in his originals are truly something you have to hear to appreciate, my favorite being “Tennessee Girl” , but every one is a true work of art. You can preview his songs at www.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”, “Charlie Daniels”, “Climax Blues Band”, “Status Quo”, “Peter Frampton”, “.38 Special”, and “Jerry Lee Lewis” to name a few. After hearing some of Andy's material, Gary Rossington and Ronnie Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynryd encouraged him to give up the audio 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 with Capricorn Records and released "Race With The Devil" in 1977 and "I'd Rather Be Sailing" in 1978. Two songs of Andy's appeared on "I'd Rather Be Sailing": “You Keep Me Waiting” and “Innocent Eyes”. Constant touring kept him busy until January of 1980 when the group disbanded. At that point the line-up included a fifteen year old guitar whiz, the now departed, Shawn Lane. In 1980, Andy relocated to Los Angeles and worked with various local bands including “Legs Diamond”, “Shandra Beri”, “Marcus Malone”, “Chuck Gerard”, “Michael Monarch” and “Jon Hyde” of “Detective” as well as others. Gigging and recording sessions kept him busy until 1983. He was offered the bassist background vocalist slot with Swiss hard rocking outfit “Krokus:” in 1984. Where he 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 1985 because 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. It was a mix of hard rock with a lot of country influence that for 1989 was a little ahead of its time. In 1991, he formed “The Rompers”, a rock-country band that showcased his material and vocal style. They played all over the Hollywood, Los Angeles, 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 some major labels and publishing companies in Nashville. Although it was crudely recorded, the vocal style and song writing stood out enough that they asked for more 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 on the "Jukebox Cantina" compilation with fourteen other artists including “The Ignitors”, “Dan Israel”, “Grievous Angels” and ‘Ronnie Glover”. "Jukebox Cantina" charted well and received favorable reviews worldwide giving Andy notice for his song “You Gotta Love Her”. In 1998 he started production on "Songs From The New South" using “Cody Dickinson” from “North Mississippi All Stars” and “Robert Barnett” from “Big Ass Truck” on drums, “Bryan Ward” from “Bonepony” on mandolin, and “Gretchen Priest” on violin/fiddle. Recorded and co-produced by Veteran engineer “Voytek Kochanek”, who’s worked with “Ozzy Osbourne”, “Steve Vai”, and “Peter

Frampton”,. This project took four years to record and mix but the result is probably his most unique approach to the genre yet. His new Compact Disc and book are slated to be released sometime this year, which are reflections of his life and times which we can’t give too much away, But the CD and book are both called "Love, Redemption and the Memphis Demons." both will be released together and cover stories, legends and observations on the good, bad and ugly of Memphis and the mid south area. The book goes into more detail about his life growing up, family demons, rock star life in the 70's and 80's, the brutal downside of rock and roll and what the future holds for the music business, and if your inquiring minds want to know more you will have to purchase the set online at www.andytanas.com . Andy will be performing his music all over the south in many venues this year such as; “The Red Goose Deli”, “Taylor Grocery”, “April in Arlington”, “The Wood Bridge General Store”, “Skimo’s” and “Cajun’s Wharf” to name a few. Make sure you go see and hear this man and his unique, soulful music in a venue near you, as his is a do not miss act! Look out world here comes Andy Tanas a true southern legend, gentleman, and song writing genius. Nightflying Layout www.RockandRollSociety.Com

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