Big Swig
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Big Swig

Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Band Country Americana

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MERIDIAN — Jimmie is back and ready to Jam! The Jimmie Rodgers Foundation in partnership with Meridian Main Street is excited to announce ‘Jimmie’s Jam,’ an event of the 2011 Jimmie Rodgers Festival. The concert will take place Saturday, May 21, from 5 p.m.-11 p.m. at Singing Brakeman Park in historic downtown Meridian. The concert is free to the public.

Event chairman Josh Taylor said he hopes the event will spur new interest in Rodgers’ music.

“We’re excited to breathe new life into the tradition of the Jimmie Rodgers street dance,” said Taylor. “We hope the event will pass along Jimmie’s music and influence to a new generation. “

The Jam will showcase local and regional bands including Big Swig, Bo and the Show, Southern Drive, and No Requests. Jimmie’s Jam will also include great local food and cold refreshments.

Headlining the concert is Big Swig led by Meridian native Arlan Gibson. Gibson started the band nearly 10 years ago in Atlanta. Since its creation, Big Swig has played at hundreds of venues across the southeast and throughout most of the United States. The band’s website says Big Swig has a "traditional meets alt-country sound [and] is a roadhouse blend of influences by the legends and modern icons of country and southern rock.” For more information on the band, visit big-swig.com.

Classic rock group Bo and the Show, made up of local musicians Bo Denton, Chris Ethridge, David Zettler, and Tom Rovinski, will take the stage before Big Swig. Ethridge, a Meridian native, is one of the most well-known bass players in the world. Ethridge played alongside Willie Nelson for nearly a decade. He also co-wrote numerous songs with Gram Parsons and was a part of The Flying Burrito Brothers and the International Submarine Band.

During the night, special guest Krissy Winstead will perform an original solo. Winstead, 2011 Jimmie Rodgers adult country talent show winner, is a student at Union High School in Union. She is a self-taught guitar player and has been performing in public since the age of 10.

Kicking off the festival will be the acoustical duo No Requests, featuring southern musicians Will Hayes and Jerry Oltremari. Following No Requests will be Southern Drive, the acoustical trio of Clay McRee, Adam McRee, and Chris Courtney. Both groups play a wide variety of music featuring original works and cover songs.

For more information on the festival, visit jimmierodgers.com or contact Josh Taylor at (601) 934-5674 or jtaylor5674@gmail.com.

Here's a rundown of upcoming events scheduled for the Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Festival, which opened with the George Jones concert Thursday at the MSU Riley Center:

• May 20 — Robert Earl Keen at The MSU Riley Center, 7:30 p.m.

• May 21 — 5 p.m.-11 p.m., Jimmie’s Jam at Singing Brakeman Park, Downtown Meridian. Admission is free. This event includes food, cold beer and live music featuring Big Swig, Bo & The Show, Southern Drive and No Request.

• May 25 — 6:30 p.m., Contemporary Gospel Concert featuring Shane & Shane at Singing Brakeman Park, Downtown Meridian.

• May 26 — 10:30 a.m., Unveiling of Country Music Trail Marker, Country Music Comes of Age, in honor of the first Jimmie Rodgers Festival held on May 26, 1953. The marker will be in Dumont Plaza, downtown Meridian.

• May 26 — Noon, Wreath Laying Ceremony, Jimmie Rodgers gravesite in Oak Grove Cemetary.


- The Meridian Star (5/15/2011)


Marietta-based BIG SWIG's new self-titled CD will bring back memories of 70's style Texas honky tonk country to your ears. Arlan Gibson and the boys have compiled an 11 song collection that will have you singing along and up and dancing in no time. Arlan kicks off the CD with the autobiographical Mississippi Boy that harkens back to his own roots. A rockin' southern country song that will get you kicked off in the right direction. Can You Spare A Dime is on the side of the bands style, the Texas Swing sound that is upbeat and full of life. They move to more of a 60's country style with You Don't Love Me No More that has a unique sound that you won't forget and will have you singing the song in your head long after the CD player has stopped. The band slows it down with How Long Can I Last, an easy going heartbreak song. If And When is back to the Texas honky tonk style and the same can be said with One Good Woman. The 11 song CD is a great roller coaster ride that has a ton of country music styles taht shows the verstility of Big Swig. We recommend swinging by Big Swig's site and purchasing this CD for your collection. Go to big-swig.com to purchase the lastest from Big Swig. - Georgia-Country.com, Atlanta, GA (5/19/09) by Dan Seals


"the evening also included a Battle of the Bands Competition. Performances included all types of music and the winners was the group Big Swig, which walked away with a $300 cash prize." - The Meridian Star, Meridian, MS (2/15/09) by Ida Brown, Senior Staff Writer


For Atlanta-based "honkabilly" group Big Swig, entertaining the crowd and having a good time are priorities. After playing their roadhouse blend of rock, country and pop in nearly 2,200 gigs around the Southeast, entertaining pretty much comes naturally.

Created by Arlan Gibson, a man who dons several hats in the band (guitarist, songwriter and singer), Big Swig also consists of Richy Greenfield (bass) and Jonathon McAdow (drummer). Between working on the newest album, Blur, and a continuing tour across the South, Gibson freed his schedule to tell how they became known as the "small band with big sound." You can experience the big sound yourself at the Peerless Saloon on Friday.


How did your career in music begin?


I moved to Atlanta from Meridian, Miss., in 1989 when I was 21, and started playing professionally that fall in and around the Atlanta area and the Southeast in an acoustic duo. It really "began" when I started playing guitar when I was 15 in the spring of 1983. I wanted to learn to play so one day my dad showed me a few chords.


How old were you when you started performing?

I guess I was about 10 years old when I began playing trumpet in my elementary school band. I performed in a few recitals and marched with the band during those years.

The first time I officially performed as a guitarist and singer was in the summer of 1985. Some friends and I had a band and one night we played at another friend's house party.


Where's your favorite location to perform?

That's a hard one. I honestly don't have favorites. Not a favorite food, color, car, etc. I really love performing and entertaining so much, I look forward to every place we play. I've been to so many great places it's just hard to say. My favorite places to play are anywhere there's a fun audience that loves what we do!


What type of music did you listen to growing up?

I was exposed to lots of music growing up, from '50s and '60s pop, rock and country to '70s classic rock and '80s pop and country. Pretty much everything.


Are you working on something right now?

Yes! I'm very excited about our new CD. I've been working on it for almost the last year now and it's very close to being done. It's a 10-song, (actually 11 with a prelude to one of the songs), all original CD recorded in Atlanta with some of the greatest players in Atlanta.


Do you find yourself wrapped up in your work, or do you take time to vacation?

I get very wrapped up in my work, the band and everything involved in operating it. Vacation? What is that? I haven't had a vacation since the fall of 2001!


What type of advice would you give to those aspiring to have a career in music?


Get a good job and forget it! I'm just kidding, of course, but it can be a hard road. Seriously, I guess I would advise an aspiring musician or artist to know exactly what they were trying to do, and then be very focused and dedicated in their efforts at accomplishing their goal.


Is it natural to be up on stage in front of a crowd?

It's very natural. After 19 years and almost 2,200 gigs professionally, it's natural.


Why is your band known by the slogan "small band, big sound?"

For us to be a three-piece group, we're really loud. People normally walk up to us after a show and are amazed at the sound coming from just us three.


Were there ever times that you thought maybe music wasn't for you?

There have been times over the years playing professionally that I was discouraged in the business and might have thought about "getting out" so to speak, but ultimately and truly, I would never and could never stop being a professional musician.


Who would you contribute much of your success to?

My parents and friends have always been extremely supportive. My parents provided early opportunities to explore the possibility of doing this for a living.


Are your children interested in playing instruments or music?

I have a wonderful 8-year-old son. He loves hearing me play guitar and is very aware when I'm writing a song. I gave him his first guitar when he was 9 months old, and he likes when I give him a guitar lesson.


When can we expect your next music project?

The new CD should be out in about a month or so. I'll begin recording the next CD soon.


Do you write your own music?

Absolutely. Big Swig plays cover songs as well, but the new CD is all original material. - The Anniston Star, Anniston AL (9/11/08) by Erica Brown, Special to the Star


Big Swig, the band led by Meridian-born Arlan Gibson, will play the Echo Lounge, 2104 C St., in Meridian this Friday and Saturday.

Big Swig was the band that won the Battle of the Bands competition during Meridian Mardi Gras in February.

Friday also is Gibson's 41st birthday.

"It's my birthday and my hometown, which makes this gig even more special," Gibson said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

Based in Atlanta, where Gibson has lived since 1989, Big Swig is currently looking for a label for a collection of 10 original songs. Gibson is the band's singer/songwriter and front man.

"I spent a year recording it with some of the best musicians in the South," Gibson said. "They all play with some of the biggest names in country music."

The CD has Gibson on lead and harmony vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, Chris Blackwell on lead and rhythm guitar, Jaff Brewer on bass, Tommy Dodd on pedal steel, Jonathon McAdow on drums, Dave Schliesmann on piano and organ and Rob Tyler on fiddle.

Gibson is a 1986 graduate of West Lauderdale High School.

He credits Meridian as a rich start for his musical career, being the home of Jimmie Rodgers, Steve Forbert and other well-known musicians. He also comes from a musical family.

Gibson describes his sound as honkabilly.

"It's an overwhelmingly countrified semi-traditional to alternative-country thing but there are elements of other genres as well such as rock, pop and southern rock. It rocks but it’s very honky tonk at the same time," he said.

"I really enjoy entertaining people. I love to see them smile and dance and enjoy what we’re doing. There is obviously a feeling people get from seeing and hearing live music and being the one that gives them that feeling is a great feeling itself."

One of Gibson's earliest musical memories is carrying around a clunky tape recorder when he was about 5 or 6 years old, playing a cassette tape of the Johnny Cash album, "Orange Blossom Special."

By the time he was 15 and preoccupied with music and the guitar, Gibson's main influences were guitar-driven bands like ZZ Top, .38 Special and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

He lists his current favorite artists and who he is listening to as Dierks Bentley, Toby Keith, Keith Urban, Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Jason Aldean, The Lost Trailers, Blake Shelton, and Kenny Chesney.

For more information about Big Swig visit the band's Web site at www.big-swig.com, or go to the band's MySpace profile at www.myspace.com/bigswigband. Gibson, along with Richy Greenfield on bass and Kevin Caldwell on drums will play The Echo Lounge in Meridian this Friday and Saturday. Gibson said he also is scheduled to do a live interview on radio station WMOX 1010-AM Friday at 8:15 a.m. - The Meridian Star, Meridian, MS (3/12/2009) by Steve Gillespie, Assistant Editor


Discography

Big Swig (2009, self-titled CD)

Photos

Bio

Big Swig, "a honky-tonkin', rock 'n' rollin', good time", was established in 1999 by veteran musician, Arlan Gibson. A Mississippi born, county-raised country boy, Gibson came to Atlanta in 1989 to pursue a music career. After 10 years as a professional singer, songwriter and guitarist playing the Southeast, and abroad, in a variety of bands, Gibson formed his own band. Now, after a decade in existence, Big Swig is an experienced, professional, cover and original band that plays to all. The band's "traditional meets alt-country" sound is a roadhouse blend of influences by the legends and modern icons of country and southern rock.

Since its inception, Big Swig has entertained thousands of fans at hundreds of gigs at a multitude of venues and locations. They include classy joints, trendy bars, honky-tonks, festivals, colleges, private residences, corporate locations, country clubs, backyards, mountain tops and pastures among others. Big Swig is a full-service, self-contained, travel-ready band committed to providing entertainment at the highest standard.