"Fire & Water" - Bad Company Tribute
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"Fire & Water" - Bad Company Tribute

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Fire & Water: Can't Get Enough of Their Love"

High school is a social wasteland. An uncertain future looms ahead, with farm and factory work no longer providing the dependable livelihoods they once did. Career options don't look promising. Worse yet, doubt and negative self-image undermines the will to act on a longing for intimacy with the opposite sex.

In this bleak landscape hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of young ears pricked to the eternal wavelength of classic rock radio, roughly from 1975 maybe to the end of the millennium, specifically to a song performed by Bad Company called "Ready for Love." They might have grown up in Leeds, England or London, Ky., but they responded to something in the English band's turbo-charged interpretation of African-American blues and the typically English stoicism of its lyrical presentation.

There was a light at the end of the tunnel, they sensed, listening to singer Paul Rodger's soulful wail and guitarist Mick Ralph's surging crescendo of proto-metal histrionics: "Walking down this rocky road/ Wondering where my life is leading to/ Rollin' on to the bitter end/ Finding out along the way/ What it takes to keep love living/ You should know how it feels my friend/ Ooh, I want you to stay""

Scott Board heard it growing up in High Point. From the age of 12, he found reassurance and reason to persevere in the music of Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd and other classic rock bands. He knew he had to play music no matter what.

He ended up failing his senior year at Central High School in High Point because of music. "I had two study halls," Board says. "I slept through psychology class because I was out playing until four a.m. Because of rock and roll I didn't get to graduate with my class. I had to take summer classes to get my diploma."

He works in the furniture industry, an aspect of his life he doesn't much care to talk about as they sit discussing their new project, a Bad Company cover band called Fire & Water. He's had day jobs for most of his life, but he's never stopped playing music. This interview is all about the music, and the vicissitudes of day-to-day survival are an unnecessary distraction to that higher calling.

Scott Board, a diminutive man with tight, blond coils spilling out from under a cap emblazoned with the words "Cabo Wabo" possesses an irrepressible enthusiasm, a stage charisma that spills off the stage into the mundane transactions of daily life. Mary Board, a woman with flaxen blond locks who manages the band, is apt to dispense encouragement to her husband. "It's about your love and passion for the music" she'll say.

Fire & Water emerged from the ashes of Dr. Fathead, a classic rock band that covered Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy and early Whitesnake, along with Bad Company. Fans responded with gratitude, coming up after shows for autographs and handshakes, but the reaction from club owners to Dr. Fathead was cold. The band chafed at requests from club owners to add a Kid Rock medley and "Play That Funky Music" to their set. So to avoid selling out, the members of Dr. Fathead decided to take their commitment to deep classic rock to its logical conclusion.

"We wanted to create a product that agencies and clubs would latch onto," Scott Board says. "The best way to do that now is the tribute. We want to keep the integrity of the music."

"A lot of us cut our teeth in the metal scene," he adds, "but our roots are in the deep '70s classic rock, influenced by Paul Rodgers, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, Southern rock - heartfelt music."

There's a raw, dirt-under-the-fingernails quality to Bad Company's music, but Scott Board also points to the virtuosity of the players who recorded those classics: Feel Like Makin'Love, Rock 'n Roll Fantasy,and Shooting Star. He says of the '70s English rock bands that "they all speak really fluently" and throws out the word "class." He's not talking about class in a proletarian Marxian sense; he's talking about perfectionism. And yet, he's describing an aesthetic of craftsmanship, so in a way maybe there is an aspect of economic class to it.

Dr. Fathead formed about four years ago, its members alumni of regional bands such as Cerebus, the Electric Horsemen, Dimage and Bone Cracker. In their last show as Dr. Fathead, they brought a new bass player onstage to play three or four Bad Company covers in each set, and announced their rechristening as Fire & Water. The band will make its proper debut Saturday at the Winston-Salem street festival known as Summer on Trade.

In addition to Scott Board, the band is comprised of guitarist John Jones, drummer Steve Arnold and bass player Bennie Niten.

Before playing their first proper gig, they've already been embraced by Bad Company fans, who flourish in countries as far-flung as France and Japan. The guestbook of www.badcompanytribute.com, a website created for Fire & Water by Mary Board, is filled with enthusiastic comments. Lucy Piller, a Londoner who now lives in Atl - Jordan Green - Staff Writer, YESWeekly


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

"Fire & Water" is comprised of talented veteran musicians coming together to celebrate the ultimate classic rock music of Paul Rodgers and Bad Company. Covering the spectrum from the days of Free to all the Bad Company hits plus Rodger's solo efforts, "Fire & Water" excels in reproducing the soulful-rock that undeniably defined Bad Company's sound. If one measures a tribute band by its attention to musical detail and accuracy, then "Fire & Water" exceeds in the tribute arena, sounding eerily like the original recordings while interjecting their own creative angles into each performance.

Fire & Water's intimate knowledge of Bad Company's music is best experienced in their power packed live shows.....come "Rock Steady" with Fire & Water!

Scott Board

Hailing from High Point, North Carolina, Scott Board is a well-known vocalist/songwriter who fronted the International recording rock group, Cerebus, whose albums were in the top 15 on the Metal Charts in Europe. After leaving Cerebus, Scott gained major label interests with the rock band, Dimage, opening for bands such as Queensryche and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Scott has a rather diverse melodic rock vocal style. He has an incredible vocal aptitude reminiscent of Paul Rodgers, Glenn Hughes, and Ronnie James Dio. He delivers each song with the range and power of the hard rock vocalists with a bluesy soulfulness not found in a lot of the music today. A voice to be heard, Scott will leave you in awe!!

Steve Arnold

Steve Arnold can play the drums better than most. With a style all his own, he keeps the groove on non-stop!!! Steve is from Greensboro, North Carolina and has been playing drums since he was a little tyke. He is well accomplished with various types of percussion instruments, which have given him a variety of musical experience. Touring across the US with well-known bands such as Bare Fax, Zak, Bone Cracker and The Electric Horsemen, Steve has gained ample experience and knowledge of the music industry. In addition, Steve has also performed in studio projects with international recording act, Cerebus, along with well-known drummers, Billy Cobham and Simon Phillips. Steve keeps the beat, the groove and has a big kick drum with attitude!!

John Jones

With fire and passion, John Jones can make a guitar smoke like no other!! He has been playing professionally since the age of eighteen with bands such as Fury and Bittersweet. He has contributed to numerous commercial recordings and has accomplished various sessions for several demos. John was also featured on a number of projects and tours such as Leslie Hawkins and Bobby Johns, a well-known drummer from Exile. John also formed the popular regional band, The Electric Horsemen, where his extraordinary talent was show cased before joining Dr. FatHead and now Fire & Water. John even has a string endorsement from Ernie Ball Strings!! John captivates the audience with his electrifying, energizing performance and leaves you begging for more!

Bennie Niten

From Winston Salem, NC, Bennie grew up listening to classic rock and was heavy influenced by Deep Purple, AC/DC and Bad Company. Learning the guitar at an early age then picking up the bass at 19, he has played with well-established bands in the southeast such as China White, Bone Cracker and Smokehouse. Although Bennie has the ability to strike the heart of any musical style, his love for classic rock has lead him to Fire & Water fulfilling a life long passion to play melodic rock and some of the most influential music in rock history. As the bass guitarist for Fire & Water, Bennie anchors the sound firmly with his soulful grooving chops and sets the tone for an unforgettable musical celebration.