By Loretta Gillespie
The Cullman Times
Get a bunch of guys together jamming in a garage and some will never do anything but jam in a garage, however, some of them will go on to become big names in the world of indie garage bands, such as Kings Of Leon, The Strokes and My Morning Jacket.
Such may well be the case with local indie garage rockers, Vintage Cowboys.
Lead vocalist Zach White, of Hanceville, came up with the name. The rest of the band felt it was a good fit and made official.
Zach is the lead vocalist and plays rhythm guitar. His vocals are a mixture of sounds from the past, shaken, stirred and uniquely blended with a fresh sound of his own. In songs he wrote, like ‘Cadillac’ (with his wife, Hannah) and ‘Lone Star State of Mind’ you can almost hear a young Bob Dylan, or a much, much younger Mick Jagger, especially on some of the Stones ballads. His lead guitar on ‘She’s a Mad One’ (which he co-wrote with Wes Duren) is addictive; you’ll listen to it again and again.
Dustin Duren’s light licks on Cadillac are one of the most memorable pieces of music to come around in a long time. It gets under your skin and stays there, but it’s a comfortable feeling.
On bass guitar is Jon Tidwell, of Vinemont. “Jon is someone you'd like to be in the trench with if you we're at war. The song "Hannah" is one that really showcases Jon’s talent,” praised Zach.
The band got its start playing at places like Zydeco and Matthews Bar and Grill in Birmingham, and The Blind Mule in Mobile. Locally, they played in a Battle of the Bands at Desperation Church. The competition was designed to bring together different groups who would vie for the distinction of opening for the big bands at YouthQuake.
They didn’t win the Battle, but local promoter, Shane Quick, was there and took note of them. His endorsement helped to open other doors.
They’ve played at the Local Standard, and other establishments both in Cullman and in other nearby cities. Their last big gig was at a thing you might have heard about, called Rock The South.
And Rock The South, they did. Their synergy and enthusiasm could be felt throughout the crowd. Their show was a hit. “It was a real accolade for us to be asked to perform at Rock The South,” said drummer, Wes Duren, of Good Hope.
For the guys, the best thing was being on-stage, doing what they do best, jamming for their friends, but it was fun for them to get to visit with the other bands. They were impressed with the quality of the sound system and the professionalism of the stage crews and the sound and lighting engineers who did such a great job.
All the guys enjoyed talking to the musicians backstage. “Everyone was really friendly,” said Zach. “They made us feel right at home.”
In defining their own sound, Wes laughingly compares them to a musical cobbler, “We are a mix of everything,” he said. “We have gotten a lot of positive feedback from Rock The South.”
His brother, Dustin, on lead guitar, bears a striking resemblance to Warren Oats who portrayed the outlaw gangster John Dillinger in the 1973 film by the same name.
Wes plays drums and sings back-up vocals.
The guys are still at their day jobs for the moment. Zach is an electrician at Craft Electric. Wes is a greens keeper at the Cullman Municipal Golf Course, Dustin works at Rock Tenn, and John is a map maker with Atlantic Group in Huntsville.
“If we get to a place where we can play music for a living we’ll be satisfied,” smiled Zach.
Just keep in mind that Eddie Vedder was a night security guard, Ozzie Osbourne worked in a slaughter house, Mick Jagger was a porter in a mental hospital, Gene Simmons was assistant to the editor at Galmour and Vogue, Elvis drove a delivery truck, Tammy Wynette was a beautician… I’ll bet most of them jammed in a garage, too.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org and check out their sound at www.facebook.com/vintagecowyboys and here.
Vintage Cowboys will be performing Tuesday, July 9, 2013 as part of the Cullman City Parks and Recreation Department’s Coca Cola Summer Concerts series at 6:30 p.m. at Heritage Park’s recognition gardens