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Smokin’ Mother Nature: Local band has the sound, and the personalities, to hit it big

When Smokin’ Mother Nature played at the Bluesboro in June, the members of the band had literally only been together one week, but collaborated very well.

Unlike many live bands, the vocals were strong enough to be heard over the powerful instruments, and the performance was fun with the lead singer playing up the crowd.

One could tell a lot of effort was put into the show. The band provided bright, multicolored lights that danced about onstage, lighting the back wall in blues, pinks and greens.

Paul, a bartender at Bluesboro, said “It’s one of the best light shows since the Kiss Army.”

These talented guys hail from all over the South. Andrew Ashley, vocals, and James Hogan, guitar, both come from Florida, while Bevan Davies, drums, is from North Carolina and Jimmy Staxx, bass, is from Mississippi.

“Years ago, James and I worked together in Florida,” Ashley said. “The rest of us are friends of friends, we met in a reunion of sorts.”

The main factor that brought these guys together was their love for music; and not just any type of music, but as they like to call it “rock ’n’ roll” or “driving music.” If you listen to their stuff while driving, however, it’d be hard not to get pulled over for driving too fast.

Smokin’ Mother Nature has a classic rock sound intertwined with some ’90s grunge that equates to an interesting mix somewhere in between Pearl Jam and Whitesnake.

“We have a wide variety of influences,” Davies said, “everything from Miles Davis to Megadeth.”

The band’s name even comes from song lyrics.

“One of our influences, Tracii Parrish, who showed me the ropes when I was 16 years old, gave us the idea for the band name,” says Ashley. “It’s a line in a Damn Yankees song . . . we liked the sound of it, so we used it.”

Most audiences also seem pleased with the band’s name, and sound.

“I think Smokin’ Mother Nature is smokin’,” concertgoer Ralph Benton said about the band. “They’re rock stars and they’re real. They’re doin’ what it takes.”

When asked what they hoped for the future of the band, Ashley said, “Pretty much world domination. Just take over the [rock ’n’ roll] world, ya know?”

We’ll just have to wait and see.

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