RVA VIBE: Skydog

Don’t tell me girls don’t like the Allman Brothers,” challenges Jeremy Simmons, bass player and vocalist for Skydog. “They’re front and center at every show.”

Don't tell me girls don't like the Allman Brothers,
Keith Cable: Drums/Percussion;
Joey Ciucci: Organ/Piano;
Jamie Deane: Guitar/Slide;
Brian Fones: Guitar/Vocals;
Dusty Ray Simmons: Drums;
Jeremy Simmons: Bass/Vocals
photo by Dan Collins

A local tribute band that faithfully reproduces the distinctive sound of the Allman Brothers Band, Skydog is increasing its tour schedule and exposure on college campuses in particular.

Of the Allman Brothers’ enduring appeal, Simmons opines, “They were the first to successfully combine rock and jazz. They had massive improvisational prowess that was never self-serving. The music is rooted in the blues, which is timeless; their chemistry on stage, undeniable.”

Carved from diverse genres, the songs of the Allman Brothers Band call for the stylistic versatility of well-rounded musicians. The members of Skydog, who individually contribute their talents to such assorted ensembles as funk/soul DJ Williams Projekt, jazz/fusion Near Earth Objects, Grateful Dead cover band King Solomon’s Marbles, and B Side Electric Blues Band, are artists whose resumes reflect that sort of eclecticism.

Simmons-whose other projects include funk/groove Gray-V and blues/rock The Dirty Truth-points out that his own original tunes are influenced by the varied styles of Frank Zappa, Steely Dan, and Motown.

But paying true homage to the recognizable tunes of the Allman Brothers Band, according to Simmons, is no small feat.

“The music’s quite daunting, actually,” Simmons explains, pointing out that it took Skydog six months after its formation in March 2009 to master enough songs to begin performing. “We’re not trying to do our own versions of their songs. Doing it properly is very challenging because you really have to pay close attention to the details and nuances that make each song shine.”

While appreciative of Skydog’s popularity among college students, Simmons hopes to expand the band’s fan base and get the word out to older audiences who may not be aware of the band. “We’re shooting to be for the Allman Brothers what Dark Star Orchestra is to Grateful Dead and The Last Waltz is for The Band,” he explains.

Skydog performs in Richmond periodically at such venues as Cary Street Cafe, The Camel, and The Hat Factory. They will headline at Scucci Fest in Midlothian on September 10th.

CategoriesArtists, General, PlayTagged

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