Grab your dancin' boots and get your mullet on! The Next Smokin' is bringing you back to a time not long ago when the dance hall floors were packed, and boots were scootin'!
This "smokin'" hot new band is bringing back everyone's favorite country hits from the 80's, 90's, early 2000's, and even some treasures from the "way back machine" of country roots. Hits from artist such as: Joe Diffie, Garth Brooks, Brooks & Dunn, Dierks Bentley, Tracy Byrd, Jo Dee Messina, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, and many more...
This band features 6 pieces that make a HUGE sound!
In the back holding down the beat on drums is Jeff Gordon. Jeff is from Minier, IL and has quite musical resume. During the 80's, Jeff was the drummer for the very successful Illinois based band Wildwood. During the 90's, Jeff was the drummer for the band Modern Cowboyz.
Again, a highly successful band during its prime. In the past few years Jeff has played drums for Cadillac Jack Band, as well as Whiskey Bent, both of IL. During his career as a musician, he has opened for many of the artist that this band covers. Jeff has opened for: Tanya Tucker, Asleep at the Wheel, Eddie Raven, Neil McCoy, T. Graham Brown, Jeannie C Riley, Holly Dunn, Wade Hayes, Chris Cagle, Keith Harling, Billy Joe Royal, Kathy Mattea, Trisha Yearwood, Daryl Worley, TG Shepard, Pam Tillis, Desert Rose Band, Martina McBride, Brenda Lee, Mel McDaniel, Freddie Fender, Tim McGraw, Exile, Charlie Walker, Gary Allen, Chris LeDoux, Leroy Parnell, Mindy McCready, Wild Rose, Diamond Rio, Dan Seals, Doug Stone, and Sawyer Brown.
Holding down the low notes, grooving, as well as singing leads and backups is Jon Rapp. Jon is from Heyworth, IL and has been making music since the age of 11. Throughout Jon's musical career, he has played with the Cattle Bandits, Flatland, as well as a variety of of other groups and musicians in Central, IL. Jon has also had the opportunity to play bass on a show with Jeff Carson. During Jon's musical journey, he has opened for: Doug Supernaw, Mel McDaniel, Gene Watson, David Allen Coe, Neal McCoy, John Anderson, John Michael Montgomery, Dylan Scott, Walker Hays, and LoCash.
Pounding down on the keys, as well as as singing leads and backups is Kyle Ripsch. Kyle is from Coal City, IL and started making music at the age of 8. He joined the school band as a trumpet player at the age of 11 and continued to play through junior college. Kyle began playing music out professionally in 2003 at the age of 19. Since then, Kyle has continued to play 100+ shows per year and has played across 12 different states. During Kyle's musical career he has been a member of Central IL based band Cattle Bandits and is a current member of The Clients and River Road Trio. In addition to these groups, Kyle has performed on TV, as well as WGN and WSN radio. Kyle has also been hired to play on 7 different instruments. In Kyle's music endeavors, he has opened for acts such as: David Allen Coe, Neal McCoy, Mel McDaniel, John Anderson, John Michael Montgomery, Gene Watson, Walker Hayes, LoCash, and Kansas.
Bringing back the heart of country music's sound on pedal steel guitar is Tobin Hess. Tobin was born to music educators and has been playing music since the age of 5 years old. Being born in a musical home he picked up mandolin at a very early age and started learning to play in his family band. At the age of 8 he received his first dobro and at 9 and he got his first 6 string lap steel. Joining local jams all the time and practicing constantly, his interest in playing slide instruments sparked. By the age of 11 he got his first pedal steel guitar and played in primarily country bands during his earlier years. Now at age 20 he has branched out to different genres such as pop, rock, blues, funk, and jazz. Tobin has worked with Kinsey Rose and Leona Williams.
Singing her heart out at the front is Melanie Finley. Melanie is from Bartonville, IL and started singing at the age of 10. She was the Colgate Country Showdown state winner in 2007. During her singing career she has sang with several bands in Central IL including Spring Creek Station, Cadillac Jack Band, Beautiful Disaster, Hectic, and New City Road.
Fronting the band, making a telecaster guitar come alive, as well as singing lead vocals and backups, Scotty Lawless has been no stranger to the stage since the age of 11. Now living in Morton, IL; Scotty began his musical journey playing traditional country music in his grandpa's band. It wasn't much longer when he was picked up by a local modern country band, Cadillac Jack Band of IL at the age of 14. Now at age 25, Scotty has since worked with many other bands, became a trained vocalist in college, started a small sound and lighting company (SL Audio & Lighting), and is the music director at a local church. During Scotty's musical career he has opened for David Allen Coe, John Michael Montgomery, LoCash, and Blackhawk.