Based in Marietta, Southside of the Tracks is a home-grown southern rock band, whose members are rooted in country, rock, and blues, and have accordingly combined those roots to create a modern country-rock sound that has captivated the hearts and souls all of those they’ve played before.
Southside of the Tracks has already achieved considerable local success. They have already played many of Georgia’s most esteemed stages and crowds. Southside of the Tracks performs over a dozen very popular original tunes along with their plethora of multi-genre cover songs that are all crowd-pleasers.
A local Atlanta radio station, 94.9 The Bull, has called Southside of the Tracks, “The band that’s taking the Southeast by storm,” and that certainly seems to be the case, being a relatively new force to be reckoned with in the southeastern music scene.
Michael Ellis: Vocals
When did you know music was your future?
The first time I walked out on the stage at the 2011 Oysterfest in front of 7000+ people and them screaming for 1 more song.
Who are your Idols?
Chuck Berry- he is the true king of rock n roll and an innovator that changed music . Brad Paisley – he is one of the best guitar players of our time and an impact writer, that’s why he has topped the charts.
Tell me about “Final Ride.” Where did it come from?
“Final Ride” is a song about faith and love that I dedicated to a dear friend of mine that passed, it’s all about no matter what happens the man upstairs is always around and being happy with the life you have lead because it can end at anytime.
Mathew Danin Bennett is an off the wall cheese ball who is definitely one of a kind; he is very passionate and driven and has a very big heart. He is truly a brother to me and we never agree on anything but I’m sure that has something to do both being left handed lol.
Scott North: Guitar
Share the stage with anyone dead or alive; who and why?
Brad Paisley and Eric Johnson on stage! Both their bands, because of the musical skill level of them and their bands, just pure greatness.
Your training, Background, teachers?
I was trained by Carl Donahugh, one of Atlanta’s greatest guitar players. Also, I am self taught, looking on YouTube and watching such players as Eric Johnson, Brad Paisley, Guthrie Govan, Pat Matheny, Slash and so many more, watching them and learning their different styles.
Mike is very outgoing ambitious and motivated to be the best at anything he does, always says what’s on his mind with no filter even on stage. Great songwriter, wonderful person and a brother to me.
Matt Bennett: Drums
Share the stage with anyone dead or alive who and why?
I’d love to share the stage with anybody. As long as they can play I’ll give ’em a beat they can play to.
What is coming up for Southside?
More writing, more playing for more people and I hope more gigs with Drivin’ n’ Cryin’! I also can’t wait to get on the road with my guys. I love living outta hotels and meeting new people in new places. Whether its a few hours away or a few states away. It’s freedom to me.
Scotty is…Scotty. He’s always got that far away look in eyes like he’s somewhere else. He’s always thinking and he’s very deep. I like that in people because what they aren’t expressing vocally gets expressed in art. Like guitar in Scotty’s case. The way he writes songs always baffles me because it’s complex and never the direction I would’ve expected. And it’s always good!
Joe Ivey, owner of 120 Tavern and Music Hall had this to say!
“This gritty country rock band, fronted by a lead singer who’s a cross between Kip Moore, Jase Robertson from Duck Dynasty and Bob the Builder, is an entertaining and energetic crowd pleaser.”
Photos by Lawrence Andrade