This past weekend I took in the Depot Days Festival. A celebration of the music that paved the way for the music that is played over the airwaves all across the world. I got to see the drummer for Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash show his craft and tell some amazing stories. The legendary Sonny Burgess and The Pacers. These guys were part of the Rock and Roll movement. From Sun Records to Sunset Boulevard, we got to celebrate the music that inspired a generation. By looking at the past, the festival this past weekend, I got a small glimpse into the future. Welcome to Crank It to 11. In this series we take a look at the stars of tomorrow. The stars that will grace the cover of Rolling Stone. (The magazine not the band.) We judge the acts we review on three parts, Song Selection, Band Talent and Entertainment Value. The highest score you can get is an 11, and the lowest you can get is a 0.
In this edition of Crank It To 11, we take a look at Magnolia Arkansas native, Brandon Giles.
Song Selection: This one thing that can make or break an act that is starting out. Do you play stuff that you have done or do you choose to go with the songs that inspired whoever is singing it? In certain areas one will work better than the other. In Newport this past weekend, it was great getting to hear some Ray Charles, Elvis Presley and the one and only Jerry Lee Lewis. In my opinion, you have to have some major talent and balls to pull off songs from those three individuals. Brandon Giles, has both. He gives the classics a modern feel and it’s amazing. I will get to that in just a little bit.
Band Talent: The one thing that will separate a good band from a terrible band is how they sound live. You can make anyone sound great through modern technology. Sounding great is a key to longevity. Brandon Giles and his band the Tricky Two come together to make one beautiful sound. Bass player, Pete Tomarokos has played over 700 shows in Europe and has played for such names as Justin Moore and living legend Stevie Wonder. He has talent and it shows on stage. Lead Guitarist,Steve Schuffert is next up. I told him this, his guitar looked a guitar from Rock Band. However, he surpassed every high score ever accumulated. He is very diverse and can also play piano. Drummer, Kermit “Thumper” Tarver has played with some of the biggest names in country music and rock and it shows. His larger than life personality comes across in the show no other. Finally, Brandon Giles. I am not going to lie about this. I have seen a lot of piano players in my life, Brandon is one of the most talented in not just the country but in the entire world. Put all 4 of these guys together and your money will be well spent in perfect harmony.
Entertainment Value: I got to see Brandon Giles for free at Depot Days. You get to see the legends perform all day and here comes this guy and his band out of the blue. You wouldn’t have thought by looking at them that they could do what they do but I don’t think anyone wanted to them to stop. It’s one of the few performers and bands that I could honestly watch all day. The most high energy show I have ever seen. During the show, Brandon jumped on top of the piano and was playing, playing with his boots, and anything and everything. Lighting his piano on fire. (Which was awesome.) During the show one of the legs fell off the piano and Brandon being the performer he is, kicked it down. It presented this Kodak Moment.
Brandon is one of the nicest and approachable guys in the entire music world and that also goes for the band as well. Brandon Giles has been selected to play Jerry Lee Lewis in an upcoming HBO Miniseries called Million Dollar Quartet based on Johnny Cash, Elvis, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee. They couldn’t have found a better person to play the piano playing legend. If you get to see Brandon Giles, I don’t care if tickets cost $100, go out of your way and see him. If you leave unhappy there is something wrong with you cause I promise you it will be the best show you have seen. Brandon Giles and The Tricky Two get a 10.
If you want to know more about Brand Giles check out his site http://www.brandongiles.com/