Big City Sunrise
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Big City Sunrise

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"On The Verge: Big City Sunrise"

Any band whose influences range from David Grisman, Bob Marley and The Allman Brothers to Red Hot Chili Peppers, New Grass Revival, Cake and Stephane Grapelli is likely to offer something of a musical surprise. And that’s exactly what the sextet Big City Sunrise does. Daybreak, the band’s debut, is a veritable melting pot of sounds and styles. The complex “My Love” somehow mixes almost all the aforementioned influences into one song and boasts some exquisite guitar work. Elsewhere they offer a variety of sophisticated music. There’s the jazzy-folk juxtaposition of “Folks” and a wonderful bluesy jam on “Clarice.” The band has been honing its skills in Northeast Georgia. “We couldn’t ask to be a part of a more artistically supportive community,” says bassist Adam Kahn. “They dance holes in the floor every show.” Rhythm guitarist Doug Meads explains the band’s philosophy as “creating a community atmosphere…we believe that community should be the embrace of individuality and the learning that takes place between different walks of life.” Daybreak is highly recommended. The band continues to play in the Southeast but plans to embark on a formal East Coast tour early in 2005. “Having six members helps broaden our range of musical influences,” says guitarist Chris Thacker, adding, “We feel comfortable bringing any genre to the table.” That they certainly do! www.bigcitysunrise.com - RELIX Magazine


"Dawn Breaking- Big City Sunrise Lights Up During The Moon Mountain Music Festival"

One of the first bands we saw at the Moon Mountain Festival this past weekend (May 30 – June 1rst) at Neverland Farms was Big City Sunrise from around Helen, GA (Sautee). Few young bands blow your central spinal nodes clean out the first time you see them, but these guys smacked it down with lightning. After downing a couple cups of coffee and trying to catch up on those random missing mental processes that had taken a detour the night before, the guys opened up and everything came swinging back into alignment. I was literally blown away, you could say my Tevas are still scorched into the concrete at Dan's Hall in Blairsville. Hard rocking funky rhythms filled the air, while deep and soulful lyrics lined with 'the force' from the band's overly energetic front man and fiddle player, Jeff Bynum, stuck in my skull. I felt like I had just witnessed the Dead Milkmen teaming up with the Chieftans right before they took the stage with Kentucky Thunder. When the guys launched into the old Charlie Daniel's hit, “The Devil Went Down To Georgia”, and there was no question in my mind who was the best young band of the weekend. In the words of my cousin Zeke, this band is off the hook. - Bluegrass Jam.net


"Catch Big City Sunrise at Asheville Pizza and Brewing Halloween Bash Saturday"

BIG CITY SUNRISE will appear at Asheville Pizza Saturday October 28 as part of the venue's Halloween bash. The event will also feature a costume contest with prizes, horror movies showing on both big screens, sumo suit wrestling and strobe light twister. The event is FREE and starts at 10:00pm. The birth of Sautee-Naccoochee, GA's Big City Sunrise reads like the prelude to a southern gothic novel. On a chilly 2003 March night, complete with southern fried catfish, PBR and "pickin'", six disparate personalities found common musical ground. Five hours and forty seven minutes later, as their bio professes, "a band was born." And it came out kicking and screaming and ready to take on the high road. In July of 2004 Big City Sunrise released their first studio album entitled "Daybreak". The freshman effort was the band's first opportunity to document the music that they had been creating over the course of the last year. "We recorded the album at old gymnasium that was built in the late thirties in Sautee, GA", said Christopher Thacker. "The gym now belongs to the local community center and once we were granted permission to use the space we brought in a mobile studio and took over for a week and a half." Over the next year the band preformed relentlessly, honing their ever grown live show and their unique sound. This comfort zone of the stage spurred the recording of Big City Sunrise's second album, "Live at the Georgia Theatre". Recorded in March of 2005 before a tremendous crowd in Athens, Georgia at the famous Georgia Theatre, percussionist Sam Steele says, "The feel of the record embraces what we have grown to become. We love playing music and I think that passion really shows on this record." The band is now in the studio with famed Athens producer John Keene (R.E.M., The Indigo Girls, Widespread Panic). "We knew exactly who we wanted to produce and record our third album," says Jeff Bynum, "John has an ear for musical detail that is unrivaled, and patience to bring out the best in the musicians he is working with." The record is slated for release in late 2006. - Asheville.com Community New


"Breaking Me Down"

After that, Big City Sunrise got up and played. I think I counted six band members. Either way, their fiddle dude has a mohawk and is the most bad ass you find in the southeast (besides David Blackmon...). I know...when you throw the whole factor of a fiddle in, it immediately becomes some kind of backwoods, country, honky tonk, right? Mmm, not really. Remember...DMB made that cool back in the 90's, and he is FAR from backwoods. Anyways, my point is, these dudes kick ass, and it's completely a stray from my normal listening material, but I like it. Okay, I genuinely like it. They have fun. They play because they love to. They classify themselves as a jam band, which they kind of are, but only borderline, if you ask me. Either way, check out their MySpace link up there and listen to "Folks." - Confession of a Music Addict


"Online Profile: Big City Sunrise"

With the hope that their music can create a sense of community and make everyone feel at home, Big City Sunrise uses their bluegrass-tinted, foot-stomping mountain funk to further this ideal. Playing with the belief that a “pure, youthful enjoyment of music will create a fulfilling atmosphere for both audience and musician,” Big City Sunrise takes every opportunity on stage to play with unbridled emotion and energy. Guitarist Chris Thacker says, “We love to play, we love to listen, and we love to watch others play. It is our passion, it is our outlet, it is our playground. We have a blast creating music together, and even more fun performing on stage.”Formed in 2003 when Thacker, Doug Meads (guitar, harmonica), Jeff Bynum (violin, lap steel), Adam Kahn (bass), Sam Steele (percussion), and Kevin Rainwater (drums) came together over fried catfish and a couple of cases of beer to do, in their words, “a little pickin’ and grinnin’.” A few hours later they realized they had a bond both musically and personally, and Big City Sunrise was born.
Since then they have found time to release two albums, Daybreak in 2004 and Live at the Georgia Theatre in 2006.They recently spent time in the studio with producer John Keane, (Widespread Panic, R.E.M. and the Indigo Girls,) finishing up their third album for a spring 2007 release. The new album looks to continue to incorporate a wide range of elements from many genres into the Big City Sunrise sound, with the idea that it will “keep it interesting for the listener as well as keeping it interesting for us, the players.” Their new album is sure to be full of the bouncy, vibrant homegrown music that the band has become known for, yet at the same time it is sure to include an ever-expanding range of influences and styles – a bluegrass shuffle, a honky-tonk backbeat, a hip-hop breakdown. As Thacker says, “We enjoy stylistic diversity and try to create pieces of music that embrace the moods of each song, treating each of them as individual pieces of art.” - Honest Tune


"Big City Sunrise Host Sautee Jamboree"

The birth of Sautee-Naccoochee, Georgia's Big City Sunrise reads like the prelude to a southern gothic novel. On a chilly 2003 March night, complete with southern fried catfish, PBR and "pickin'", six disparate personalities found common musical ground. Five hours and forty seven minutes later, as their bio professes, "a band was born." It came out kicking and screaming and ready to take on the high road.

This year, the band marks three years of making music with The Sautee Jamboree on September 30. A one day event at the Sautee Nacooche Community Center to raise funds to restore buildings on the property, tickets are $25 in advance and $30 day of show. Also playing are Blueground Undergrass, Sol Driven Train, John Harris and the Sin Hounds and Houndog.

Nestled in the Appalachian foothills of Northeast Georgia, the Sautee Nacoochee Community Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing creativity and protecting the natural and historical resources of the Sautee and Nacoochee Valleys and surrounding area. The SNCA maintains Sautee Nacoochee Center, a thriving cultural and community center housed in a restored rural schoolhouse, offering a Theatre, Gallery, Art Studio, Museum, Environmental Studies Room, and Conference Facilities. The Association has established Sautee Nacoochee as an official Historic District and one of "The 100 Best Small Arts Towns in America."

More about Big City Sunrise:
Big City Sunrise is now in the studio with famed Athens producer John Keane (Widespread Panic, R.E.M., The Indigo Girls). "We knew exactly who we wanted to produce and record our third album," says Jeff Bynum, "John has an ear for musical detail that is unrivaled, and patience to bring out the best in the musicians he is working with." The record is slated for release in late 2006.

Conceived under the idea that the creation of pure, youthful music would create a fulfilling atmosphere for both audience and musician, Big City Sunrise still believes these to be the key ingredients to a great evening of entertainment. Rhythm guitarist Doug Meads alludes to the philosophy that Big City Sunrise is committed to "creating a community atmosphere…" at live shows bringing different personalities and walks of life together within the context of fine music and excellent presentation; continuing a pattern much like the inception of the band itself. Bassist Adam Kahn states emphatically that Big City Sunrise’s live show unearths the innate joy people find in music. "We couldn’t ask to be a part of a more artistically supportive community; they dance holes in the floor every show.
- Honest Tune


"Festival Review of the Sautee Jamboree: Where Everyone Plays Well Together"

Sautee is a beautiful town nestled in the hills of north Georgia. Although it is often referenced as being "near Helen," it has much more character than the famous faux-alpine village. The Sautee Jamboree is put together by the residents of the town in effort to benefit for the Sautee-Nacoochee Community Association, a non-profit community and arts center; more specifically, proceeds are ear-marked for the restoration of SNCA's historic gym. The festival, held September 30, included a great line-up with every act bringing impressive musicianship to the stage. The day started with The Last Waltz Ensemble with Tony G, and Tony Tyler. This ensemble always guarantees great musicians playing classic Band songs. Second to take the stage was Jon Harris and the Sin Hounds, who brought a crew of devoted fans and gained a lot of new ones. Sol Driven Train kept the crowd moving through the day with dueling guitars and enthusiastic horns. Playing on home turf, native sons Big City Sunrise had no problem keeping the crowd warm as the day turned to night. Headliners Blueground Undergrass played until the last allotted minute and closed the festival out in style. Every band brought guests to the stage. It was a community jam to the fullest extent, with up to twenty musicians playing together at one time. This is a festival that could be huge. The music was fantastic. The weather was perfect. However, the most impressive factor was the locals. Everyone was genuinely nice and extremely accommodating and, most importantly, concerned that a good time was had by all. - Honest Tune


"Big City Sunrise at Canyons on Saturday"

The southern rock sound is constantly evolving even as it maintains its roots in the Allman/Skynyrd traditions of electric blues and soaring psychedelic guitar work. The latest band to take the bluesy base of southern rock and turn it on its head is the new six-piece outfit Big City Sunrise from the town of Sautee, Georgia. Big City Sunrise will bring their deep grooves and unique take on modern southern rock to Canyons of the Blue Ridge in Blowing Rock on Saturday, December 9th. The show starts around 10:30 p.m. So what can you say about a raging jamband that is ready at the drop of the hat to go from Led Zeppelin’s “The Lemon Song” into Willie Nelson’s “Whiskey River?”“Any band whose influences range from David Grisman, Bob Marley and the Allman Brothers to Red Hot Chili Peppers, New Grass Revival, Cake and Stephane Grapelli is likely to offer something of a musical surprise,” wrote Mick Skidmore in Relix magazine. “And that’s exactly what the sextet Big City Sunrise does. The complex ‘My Love’ somehow mixes almost all the aforementioned influences into one song and boasts some exquisite guitar work.”The band is currently in the recording studio with famed Athens producer John Keene (R.E.M., Indigo Girls, Widespread Panic). “We knew exactly who we wanted to produce and record our third album,” said Jeff Bynum. “John has an ear for musical detail that is unrivaled, and the patience to bring out the best in the musicians he is working with.” The album is scheduled to be released later this year.”Big City Sunrise’s previous albums include Daybreak (2004) and Live at the Georgia Theatre (2005), the latter of which was recorded in front of a capacity crowd at the historic Athens venue.“The feel of that record embraces what we have grown to become,” said percussionist Sam Steele. “We love playing music and I think that passion really shows on this record.” - Mountain Times


"Area Band to play Bigg Daddy's"

Helen gets a double dose of pre-New Year's Eve music as regional favorites Big City Sunrise and Sol Driven Train appear at Bigg Daddys Dec. 30 in Helen.The story of the birth of Sautee-Naccoochee's Big City Sunrise reads like the prelude to a Southern gothic novel. On a chilly March 2003 night, complete with southern fried catfish, PBR and pickin', six disparate personalities found common musical ground. Five hours and 47 minutes later, as their bio professes, a band was born. And it came out kicking and screaming and ready to take on the high road. The band is now in the studio with famed Athens producer John Keene (R.E.M., the Indigo Girls, Widespread Panic) putting the finishing touches on their third record. “We knew exactly who we wanted to produce and record our third album,” says Jeff Bynum, “John has an ear for musical detail that is unrivaled, and patience to bring out the best in the musicians he is working with.” The record is slated for release soon.The bio of Charleston's Sol Driven Train is a bit like the band itself; quirky, unpredictable and completely unpretentious. They compare themselves to a “five-headed musical monster emerging from the swampy South Carolina Lowcountry.” With a fiery blend of world-beat, southern fried funk and melody driven rock, SDT is indeed a monster of infused styles, perfect harmony and down right fun.Although the band officially got together in 2000, their roots go back to middle school, and the joy of childhood friends writing and performing music together is apparent when the band takes the stage. There is no front person because the band is constantly shifting roles and instruments which include bass, drums, guitar, keyboards, trombone and sax and heavenly harmonies. All the members contribute to the songwriting.Creating music keeps Sol Driven Train in the clubs and festival and venues on a nearly daily basis. But the band's members also devote time each summer to performing at children's camps and have even released a children's CD - White County News


Discography

Daybreak(2004)
Live at The Georgia Theatre (2005)
Bring It Back (2008)

Photos

Bio

Emerging as the jewel of the grass roots music scene Big City Sunrise has garnered quite a following by creating a unique and energetic atmosphere at every show. Bluegrassjam.net said, “Few young bands blow your central spinal nodes clean out the first time you see them, but these guys smacked it down with lightning….I was literally blow away, you could say my Tevas are still scorched into the concrete!”
In March of 2003 six people with very different backgrounds came together over fried catfish and Pabst Blue Ribbon to do a little pickin’ and grinnin’. Though some were old friends and some new faces, it didn’t take very long to realize that musically and personally they had found a bond; five hours, three catfish, two cases of beer, and forty-seven minutes later a band was born. Conceived under the idea that a sense of community and a pure, youthful enjoyment of music would create a fulfilling atmosphere for both audience and musician, Big City Sunrise still believed these to be the key ingredient to great music.

In July of 2004 Big City Sunrise released their first studio album entitled “Daybreak”. The freshman effort was the band’s first opportunity to document the music that they had been creating over the course of the last year. “We recorded the album at old gymnasium that was built in the late thirties in Sautee, GA”, said Christopher Thacker. “The gym now belongs to the local community center and once we were granted permission to use the space we brought in a mobile studio and took over for a week and a half. It was nice to be at home making a record and the atmosphere allowed the sessions to be more relaxed and helped give the album a feel of home.” The album has been best described as a “veritable melting pot of sounds and styles, boasting some exquisite guitar work, and offering a variety of sophisticated music,” by Mike Skidmore, author of On the Verge for Relix Magazine. ‘“Daybreak”,’ he says, “is highly recommended!”

Over the next year the band preformed relentlessly, honing their ever grown live show and their unique sound. This comfort zone of the stage spurred the recording of Big City Sunrise’s second album, “Live at the Georgia Theatre”. The record was recorded in March of 2005 before a tremendous crowd in Athens, Georgia at the famous Georgia Theatre. “The feel of the record embraces what we have grown to become,” said Sam Steele. “We love playing music and I think that passion really shows on this record.” The live record was released in March 2006.

Most recently Big City Sunrise was selected as one of four bands to be involved in the Searcharoo Contest created and sponsored by 92.9 Dave Fm of Atlanta. There were hundreds of submissions and the "Live at the Georgia Theatre" record was submitted and choosen by the staff of the station. Upon selection BCS was then voted into the top two finalist by more than six thousand participants. "What a great feeling," says Kevin Rainwater. "To have an overwhelming amount of support and encouragement from fans is a blessing; we can't say thank you enough." Unfortunately BCS wasn't selected for Bonnaroo, but their music and the power of their live performance was brought to a larger audience through several weeks of premium radio publicity and air play on one of the southeast’s most notable stations.

At the present BCS is in the studio in Athens, Georgia with John Keane, esteemed producer and engineer for legendary bands such as Widespread Panic, R.E.M, and Indigo Girls, working on their third record. “We knew exactly who we wanted to produce and record our third album,” say Jeff Bynum, “John has an ear for musical detail that is unrivaled, and patience to bring out the best in the musicians he is working with.” The record is slated for release in 2008