It was Soundman Extraordinaire Scott Shrewbury‘s Half Century Throwdownat Dixie Tavern. His choice of music for the occasion was Pistol Town, but they were not the only talent in the house. Some of the best musicians Atlanta has to offer came to celebrate Scott going over the hill! “I felt honored to be in the mist of such talent!”
Pistol Town is an original power pop punk band based in Atlanta that tours the US and Canada! I became a fan listening to the originals off their CD “Days Away,” but seeing them live is a whole other experience! They are “Pure Energy” and with 3 vocalists, it adds a wide range of diversity to the set list. They cover everything from Johnny Cash to George Michael, Weezer to Sublime, but with their own Pistol Town style.
“Ben’s Passion comes through Loud and Clear!”
Who would you want to share the stage with Dead or Alive?
Tell us about PJ.
“With Pj you can’t help but to Stop Look and Listen!”
What was the first music you purchased?
That I can remember? Probably the Michael Jackson “Bad” record.
Advice for new players?
Find a friend, or group of friends you can play with. You can learn all the scales and technique you want, but you really don’t learn to play music until you have to play songs with other people. At least that is my experience.
Your experience, training, background?
I’ve had several teachers that did a lot for me. Back when I lived in Virginia, a teacher I had by the name of Stephen Gregory had a huge impact on my playing and my love for Motown.When I first moved to Atlanta though, Russell Rogers at the Atlanta Institute of Music had a huge effect on the way I approached the bass. I’ve played in variety of musical situations before finding my home with Pistol Town. One of the coolest gigs I was able to play was with The Coasters for New Years Eve in Huntsville, Al about 10 years ago. I also played bass in an orchestra pit for a musical theater in Wytheville, Virginia for about a year after graduating college. I actually liked that gig a lot !!
Ben is one of the hardest working, honest, faithful, and understanding guys I’ve ever met. Besides being one hell of a front man, guitar player and songwriter, he’s been a big brother to me. For many years, he endured me at my worst while I was dealing with some personal demons, and I am very grateful for the understanding he has taught me.When he isn’t on the road with us, he is an elementary school teacher for gifted children, a loving husband, and as of this week, father. Always level headed, always keeping us humble, and quick to call us out on our BS. We’ve gone through almost any situation I can imagine on the road together, and he’s most definitely one of my best friends in the world.
“Joe is Skill Driven Power!”
What music is on your playlist right now?
Oh goodness…my iPod is so congested with so much different music. From stuff I’m studying, to pieces my students have inspired me to listen to, to songs I have to learn for gigs/sessions. Probably top 5 I’d say right now in recently played would be Snarky Puppy, The Black Keys, Nerve, Lettuce, The Who.
If ya could share the stage with anyone who and why?
Haha! That’s such a killer question. I’m really trying not to over think this one…I keep coming back to Michael Jackson or Stevie Ray Vaughan. Not your standard choices for a “rock” drummer I know…but living in Austin, I gained such an appreciation for SRV and he was a clear example of a tortured man who literally played to save his life. And as for Michael…love or hate him. What he did for the world and for music won’t be done again…period.
My musical quest began in 1988 with two fly swatters, some pots/pans and Eddie and The Cruisers. Everything and every moment of my life was somehow tied into an element of music or rhythm. It just helped me get through the day or finish my homework/chores efficiently. After a LONG detour, once I began playing again and playing “for keeps.” I went straight into the heavy metal scene in Texas. After a long stint in that scene I started to yearn for more groove/feel oriented music rather than just a full on assault…that brought me to guys like Eddie Garza and James Moran. One of the more gifted players I’ve been able to jam with. They really helped me see through my own words the true power a SONG can have. Which was a turning point for me and song writing.
Tell us about Tommy.
Oh my sweet Thomas Stansbury…contrary to his “cruise control” style demeanor…there is an incredibly driven young man with an incredible gift. I’ve definitely enjoyed each time sharing the stage with that dude.
“Tommy is the Total Package!”
Who are your musical idols?
Here is a behind the scene look at life on the road with Pistol Town!!
Birthday Boy Scott Shrewbury had this so say about Pistol Town:
“They’re totally high-energy, the whole time they’re playing. Not only are they great players with fantastic tone, they just look so damn cool on stage… so much so that I kind of want to slap them.”
Photos by Bob Lee