Hightide Blues
Gig Seeker Pro

Hightide Blues

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Band Rock Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Hightide Blues @ Bonnaroo Music Festival"

Dave FM names Search-a-Roo winner Saturday

June 6th, 2008 by Erin Everhart in Music news
As if Auburn and UGA needed another rivalry.
Auburn alums Hightide Blues and University of Georgia grads The Reeds will compete in the ultimate battle of the bands Saturday for their chance to share a stage with the likes of Pearl Jam, Metallic, Widespread Panic and Jack Johnson.
“I share my room with these bands,” said Josh Reid, leader singer of The Reeds. “They’re on my walls as posters. I can’t even imagine playing with them.”
The Third Annual 92.9 Dave FM Search-a-Roo contest scoured the city for the best local band to send to Rolling Stone magazine’s “Best Festival,” Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn.
The winner will be chosen after the bands perform live at the 2008 Virginia-Highlands Summerfest.
“It’s crazy. We’re just normal guys, not hardcore rockers or anything,” said Paul McDonald, lead singer of Hightide Blues. “We’re just college kids. And now we’re getting a shot at Bonnaroo; there are just no words to describe it.”
92.9 Dave FM is the only radio station that runs a contest specifically for local bands, said Zac Altheimer, marketing director for Music Allies, the radio marketing agency that handles promotions for Bonnaroo.
So why Atlanta?
Dave FM has partnered with Bonnaroo since the beginning, and Atlanta is a top-notch market for heavy ticket sales and incredible talent, Altheimer said.
This year, more than 300 musicians entered, said Will Davis, marketing director for Dave FM.
Longtime Bonnaroo lovers, Hightide Blues band mates were already planning to trek to Tennessee as fans of the festival when they heard about the contest through drummer Scott Rollins’ girlfriend.
With only the mastered copy of their new CD, Love Come Easy, Manager Bowe O’Brien dropped off a raw, unofficial copy to Dave FM studios.
Reviewing three songs from each band, the Dave FM staff narrowed the number to 25 based on song style, quality of sound and performance ability, Davis said.
Music Allies then chose the final four, looking for “simply good music,” Altheimer said.
What made Southern rockers Hightide Blues and jazz artists The Reeds stick out from other submissions?
Both bands have a unique sound that brings something different to the festival, he said. They’ve got strong fan bases, and they’ll keep going after Bonnaroo.”
Bonnaroo is its own genre,” he said. “It’s not a jam band festival; it’s not a southern rock festival. It’s its own thing. So we wanted a really fun band that will make you dance and have a really good time.”
The rest was up to the fans.
The bands swarmed Facebook, MySpace and listservs with desperate pleas for votes to score a 30-minute slot at Summerfest, beating out other Atlanta locals Ocha la Rocha and Groovestain.
Together since 2006, Hightide Blues stacks quite the resume, having shared the stage with Sister Hazel, Graham Colton and Sara Bareilles, played more than 150 shows in 2007 and will tour with Benjy Davis Project this summer.
Saturday will be The Reed’s first live performance after months of recording their new CD, Bleed Lust. Reid and violinist Ben Austin have been a duo since high school, but the full band wasn’t added until December 2007.
Both bands will use Saturday’s slot to test out their up-and-coming records.
“I was shocked,” Reid said when he heard The Reeds were chosen. “We usually don’t win contests. We never even make the top 3 at Eddie’s Attic [Songwriter’s Open Mic], so we never thought we’d get this.”

- Creative Loafing: Atlanta, GA

"The Rise of Hightide Blues"

Hightide Blues was formed two years ago in Auburn University by an acoustic duo with a drunken impulse, and you will find them at the very bottom of the Bonnaroo lineup, having survived a brutally Darwinian 16-band vote-off (followed by a battle of two final bands) conducted by 92.9 Dave FM from Atlanta. They won on the strength of their fans and the joy of their music.

The prize: 30 minutes on the Sonic Stage beginning at high noon on Saturday – but the bragging rights are forever. Four Auburn University students – Paul McDonald on rhythm guitar and vocals, Jonathan Pears on lead guitar, Scotty Rollins on drums, and Cragon Sims on bass – are in awe. They couldn’t be hungrier, and they couldn’t be happier.

“We have developed into roots rock with hints of soul, but we don’t choose the music to play – we play the music that we feel in our souls and heart,” Rollins said.

The journey began after McDonald ran into Rollins at an Auburn University Battle of the Bands. “Several weeks later, I was approached by a drunk Paul proclaiming that his band was looking for a drummer,” Rollins said. “We took a shot, drank a beer, and the rest is history.”

This proclamation, fueled by liquid courage, has led the foursome to what they consider the highlight of their careers. “I have been to every Bonnaroo there's been since it started and of course Bonnaroo has affected my music. It's always been my favorite weekend of the whole year ever since the first year back in 2002. The people you meet and the energy and atmosphere is something you can't find anywhere else,” McDonald said. “I couldn't even describe what was going on in my mind when I got when I found out we were playing Bonnaroo. When we first started the band that was one of my biggest goals. Now that it’s here it’s very surreal.”

Pears concurs. “We can't keep yelling ‘We're playing Bonnaroo!’ over and over at each other, all week. To be a part of something you love so much and count down to every year is amazing. It’s hard to fathom, much less express.”

The band grew quickly, expanding from their Auburn base, traveling the Southeast, writing and recording albums, and watching the snowball form due to, as bassist Sims put it, “good music and great fans.” Pears adds that “The first time I thought people might actually like us was when we sold out Zydeco in Birmingham – having 600 of your fans sell out a venue that draws national acts, especially after growing up in Birmingham, was a great feeling.”

The train has gathered steam on the strength of their performances. “Our live shows are a testament for how much we love the music we play. The stage is almost a grounds for us to release our emotion and creativity. We try to push the energy past the stage and over the crowd so that the whole place can relate to what we are feeling,” Rollins said.

Despite the newfound backstage passes and the half-hour onstage, expect to see the foursome wandering the grounds as the Bonnaroo veterans have in years past on the other side, according to Paul McDonald.

“I still plan on roughing it a little bit and eating some sweet grilled cheeses, jamming some acoustic guitar with my friends, and drinking some really cheap beer.”

Hightide Blues plays at noon on Saturday on the Sonic Stage. - Bonnaroo Beacon

"The BMI Band Wagon: Atlantans jumped on for a special record company showcase at Smith’s Olde Bar"

"Hightide Blues brought the house down. Easily the best band of the [BMI showcase], the Blues boys were a four-piece full of fire and brimstone boiling and blowing us all away. Dressed sharp and shaggy, the quartet ripped through a handful of songs with a sound that was one part Matchbox 20 and two parts Black Crowes. Tamborine jangle, hip swinging and soaring guitar riffs churned the room around and covered listeners with real rock and roll in a low country bash. Rollicking and rolling through the Atlanta night, Hightide Blues made everyone feel right at home. A must see."
-Nick Margiasso, (NBC 11Alive) June 30, 2008 - Metromix Atlanta

"The Tide Rises for Hightide Blues"

"In only two years, local rock band Hightide Blues has made their mark on the music scene with their Americana/roots style of rock that lends itself to the sounds of bands like the Black Crowes and Ben Harper. In these two short years, the guys have gone from playing local bars to playing in front of thousands at Bonnaroo, one of the biggest music festivals of the year.
-Carla Merrill (Auburn, AL) June 25, 2008 - The Corner News

"Auburn Grads Hightide Blues Shoot For Stars With New Album"

"Imagine Ryan Adams playing high-octane Southern rock with the Allman Brothers Band, raising his voice to the skies with somber conviction, but still being able to sit down on the front porch and tell his life to the world. This may be a fantasy, but the Hightide Blues come close with "Love Come Easy."
-Drew Taylor, (Univ. of Alabama) June 19, 2008 - The Crimson White

"Dave FM names Bonnaroo winner"

"..a unique sound that brings something different to the festival. They've got strong fan bases, and they'll keep going after Bonnaroo. Bonnaroo is its own genre, it's not a jam band festival; it's not a southern rock festival. It's its own thing. So we wanted a really fun band that will make you dance and have a really good time." –Zac Altheimer, Marketing Director for Music Allies & Erin Everhart, Creative Loafing (Atlanta) June 6, 2008
- Creative Loafing

"Bonnaroo Day 3: Hightide Blues, Mason Jennings, Abigail Washburn, B.B. King, Ben Folds, Chromeo"

"Yesterday afternoon I caught the end of a set from an Atlanta-based band called Hightide Blues, who play a rollicking, jangly, southern brand of rock n’ roll. The band came to Bonnaroo after winning first prize in a radio contest, and they were like kids in a candy shop, jumping around stage and grinning from ear to ear. This sort of enthusiasm is refreshing after seeing a bunch of shows from more established artists, and can be powerful stuff. Best of luck to them." -Nick Anderman, (New York) 6/15/08
- The Village Voice

"High Time for Hightide"

High Time for Hightide
Debut album honors a friend
Chris Welch
The Huntsville Times
published June 19, 2008
There was no way Paul McDonald could ever miss Meg Ingram when his Southern rock band, Hightide Blues, played in Tuscaloosa.
That's because Ingram, a Huntsville High School grad and University of Alabama cheerleader, was always on the front row of the Hightide Blues shows, cheering on her friend who grew up in the same neighborhood and attended high school with her.
Ingram was a special friend and fan, so McDonald was saddened when he got the call in February from Meg's mother telling him her daughter had passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. Meg's mother, H.J. - well, actually Meg - had a request. Would McDonald play at her funeral?
"Her mom called me as soon as she passed and Meg had wanted me to play a song at her funeral," McDonald said during a recent visit to Huntsville. The group also played at the Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, Tenn., last week.
"We had just got done with a weeklong stint on the road traveling through the Southeast and we were on our way up to Nashville to hit the studio the next day. Anyways, I got dropped off in Huntsville the day before the funeral and went to her visitation."
McDonald, 23, said he planned to play a song from an old record, but after the visitation he was touched by Ingram's memory.
"Meg had always joked on me for not writing her a song, so that night I went home and stayed up until about 5 in the morning writing a song for Meg," McDonald said. "The next day I played it at the funeral and immediately after drove straight to Nashville to get to the studio."
McDonald played "Dancing with the Angels (Meg's Song)" at the funeral and felt like he'd written something special for somebody special. When he got back to the studio, although surely exhausted, he showed it to his producer and the band agreed it should be on the next record. In fact, McDonald and Hightide Blues were so focused and tuned into the song that the very first take was the final cut.
The new album is called "Love Comes Easy" and is being released Monday, and some proceeds will go to the Meg Ingram Memorial Scholarship Fund. To pre-order the CD you can go to hightideblues.com or Meg's Fund at megingram.org.
As for Hightide Blues, the group is developing a fan base after being together just two years. They've shared the stage with national acts such as Sara Bareilles, Graham Colton, Jason Isbell, Karl Denson, Sister Hazel, The Whigs and others. In January, the group signed with Atlanta-based Bowe Inc. for management. - The Huntsville Times

"BMI Showcase"

BMI Showcase
By Shane Harrison
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
NEW KIDS ON OUR BLOCK: Performing rights organization BMI sponsors this showcase for up and coming talent. Four of the five acts are from Atlanta. Florida-born pop singer-songwriter Aslyn released her debut album, "Lemon Love," on Capitol Records back in 2005. It was a promising start and the self-released four-EP set "The Grand Garden" shows the kind of growth that bodes well for her upcoming sophomore release. Southern rockers Hightide Blues played at the most recent Bonnaroo festival thanks to a win at the annual Searcharoo contest. This gig also serves as a CD release celebration for the band's new EP, "Love Come Easy." The funky pop groove of Golden will have you thinking what it would sound like if Jason Mraz fronted the Dave Matthews Band. One listen to the soul-infused pop of Zachary Kale and it will come as no surprise that he gives props to Gavin deGraw on his MySpace page. The lone non-Atlanta act on the bill is Baltimore's Emma White, whose soul-infused pop fits right in with this batch of Atlantans.
The 411: 8 p.m. $10; $8 advance. Smith's Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Midtown. 404-875-1522, www.smithsoldebar.com.
http://www.accessatlanta.com/music/content/music/stories/2008/06/24/atlanta_concerts_aso.html - Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Southern Rock Kings to Play Midtown"

By: Casey Phillips
Friday, July 25, 2008
Chattanooga Times Free Press
2007: "Tired of Leavin' "
2008: "Love Come Easy"
After two years and as many EPs, Hightide Blues is finally beginning work on a full-length studio album, which should be out by next year. The group delayed its full-length debut out of fear of releasing sub-par material, said lead singer Paul McDonald. "Your first album is a big deal," he said. "We don't want to rush into it ... because, by year three, we could be 10 times better."
When it comes to their goals, young bands can either be realists who just want to sell off the boxes of CDs in their parents' living room or idealists with visions of groupies and platinum albums dancing in their heads.
For 2-year-old Atlanta-based Southern rock quartet Hightide Blues, however, even the out-of-reach seems possible.
With their second year still green on the vine, Paul McDonald (lead vocals), Jonathan Pears (guitar/harmonica), Scotty Rollins (drums) and Cragon Sims (bass) have already played at the Bonnaroo Music Festival.
Still fresh is their Bonnaroo performance, which was the culmination of beating out 300 groups in a battle of the bands hosted by Atlanta radio station Dave FM.
"We just really love Bonnaroo and the whole spirit of what it is and the music," Pears said. "To be part of it was really cool," he said, adding that he and McDonald have gone every year since the festival started.
Having passed one of their milestones, however, the band is still pushing forward like a football team during preseason. Their blues-injected blend of raw, throwback Southern rock fronted by McDonald's soulful voice was a big hit down on the farm in Manchester, Tenn., and they're putting in two-a-day practices to keep it honed.
"Playing a festival like that, you really have to step up and be at your best," Rollins said. "Ever since then, it's really been helping us out. Bonnaroo's a big thing, a big deal, and it's been opening doors for us."
Hightide is in the midst of a furious touring schedule. Earlier this summer, they played a new city every night for three weeks straight, and no gig is too small, as long as it gets them in front of people, McDonald said.
"We're going to play as many dates as we can for whoever will let us in," he said. "We'd rather be playing somewhere on the road than hanging out at home."

Chattanooga Times Free Press music reporter Casey Phillips spoke with the members of the Atlanta-based southern rock band, Hightide Blues, about how the Bonnaroo Music Festival has changed for the better and the state of rock in the South today.
JP: Jonathan Pears (guitar)
PM: Paul McDonald (lead singer)
SR: Scotty Rollins (drums)
CP: Even though your sound is pretty straight-up Southern rock most of the time, your Myspace profile also lists you as blues. How great an impact has that music had on you, and are there any artists in particular you can point to as specific influences?
JP: Our music is more roots rock'n'roll than blues, but we're definitely blues-influenced rock. It's being compared to Southern rock and the new revival of roots rock is really exciting for us because that's always the genre we've gone for. We've all listened to bands like Rod Stewart and the Faces and Grand Funk Railroad, even modern rock like the Black Crowes and Bryan Adams and Ben Harper.
PM: We still listen to stuff like the Rolling Stones, who came from a big blues background. We listen to them a good bit.
CP: Do you guys feel like you're taking part in that revival directly, or are you putting a new spin on the music as well? Where do you fit in in the development of the genre?
JP: I'd like to think it's better. We love the new revival of rock'n'roll with bands like My Morning Jacket and good rock'n'roll like that. We're definitely influenced by those guys, and we'd love to think we're involved in this movement but are putting our own spin on it.
SR: For sure. I dig the direction the band is going, because we're influenced by all these great artists, but we're putting our own musical twist on it.
CP: Elaborate on what you mean by "a new twist." What do you mean by that?
SR: Since our backgrounds are diverse, JP and Paul and all these other cats we've jammed with have influenced me down a different past. When I say a new twist, for me, I'm used to playing a little bit harder rock, but listening to and being influenced by all this music has made me a more mature drummer and helped me put my twist on a genre I was unfamiliar with beforehand. With all our influences combined, it's roots rock and blues rock and southern rock, but at the same time, it's our interpretation of it.
CP: As a band trying to find a place in southern rock as it stands today, what's the state of the genre? How does southern rock today compare to its hey day with the Marshall Tucker Band and the Allman Brothers Band?
JP: I don't know. That's a really good question. With those guys, you're talking about the golden era of music in the '60s and '70s, and that music kicks modern music's ass. I think it's better, when you're drawing on your influences, to go straight to the source. It's like asking, " Are The Black Crowes as good as Led Zeppelin?" They're the modern answer to a band like that, and the answer, of course, is no, but they're a good band in their own right. They've done some cool stuff and are promoting rock and southern rock.
CP: When you played Bonnaroo this year, did it feel like the festival is getting away from itself or is it headed in the right direction by opening up to so many styles of music?
PM: I've been going to the festival every year since it started, and I think it's going in the right way. When it first started off, it was pretty much a straight jam band festival, and it's cool that they're throwing in new music that you wouldn't have expected at the first Bonnaroo. It's cool to see the new music.
JP: It's such a big festival, such a giant festival, that there's no way it could keep stay a hippie jam festival. It's good that they've expanded out to have a bunch of different kinds of music. The hippies who listen to straight-up Widespread Panic like all kinds of music, just like everybody else. It's good to have the variety.
SR: This was my first year going to the festival, and from what I heard, everyone was like, "The atmosphere is so cool. It's so laid back, and this place is so chill. People come to just listen to the music." This being my first Bonnaroo, I knew Bonnaroo had blown up a lot in the past couple of years, so I wanted to see if it was going to be true to its roots when it comes down to the message. It totally did. It was a killer experience.
CP: What was it like getting to play the festival?
PM: Our experience there was incredible. I've been going since the first year, and it was one of our main goals as a band when we first started to play that festival because it's so cool. We were fans of the festival before we ever played it, so when we got there, it was definitely a different experience. We were laughing and giggling as we cruised around the back with the VIPs. They treated us like the big boys hanging out back there. We got to meet all the folks that are our influences and hang out with them and drink a few beers. It was really cool and a different experience overall than we ever had, musically.
SR: There's so much to say. It was an insane experience. Hopefully, we'll get to do it again. We played a 12 o'clock slot on a Saturday and it was raining, so we were worried that no one would show up, but it ended up that a bunch did. We were so shocked to see how many people stumbled our way after their night of debauchery. It was an incredible response, and I was floored by how cool and receptive the people were. You'd see people walk by, and they'd catch an earful and stick around, which was really flattering. Afterwards, we did a little signing next to the stage, and we were there for an hour signing autographs and taking pictures. It was insane.
JP: We just really love Bonnarroo and the whole spirit of what it is and the music. To be part of it was really cool.
CP: Did making it there and playing a dream gig like that change how you view yourselves as musicians or, collectively, as a band?
SR: Absolutely. Playing a festival like that, you really have to step up and be at your best. We knew that before this festival, but that was our reality check like, "we've got to play really well so we can make a name for ourselves in front of all these people." Ever since then, it's really been helping us out. Bonnaroo's a big thing, a big deal, and it's been opening doors for us. We've had to step it up ten fold and be serious. We've been doing two-a-day practices between gigs because we love music and we want to be good at what we do. We don't want to jip anybody who comes to our because we're going to bring it, whether there are 10 people there or 1,000 there. We have so much passion in our band and in our music, which is just one more thing that makes us step up. - Chattanooga Times Free Press


"Love Come Easy" E.P.
- June 2008

"Live at Tipitina's"
Recorded in New Orleans
-Jan. 2009

"Tired Of Leavin'" E.P.
- March 2007



Hightide Blues took the stage for the first time in 2006 and has been gracing hundreds of stages for thousands of fans ever since. Now based in Nashville, their sound is a throw back to roots rock with a modern twist and an original delivery that's in a category of its own. With their high-energy performances and huge fan base, it's no surprise that Hightide Blues has shared the stage with artists such as Sara Bareilles, Augustana, Zac Brown Band, Rocco Deluca, Matt Costa, Donavon Frankenreiter, Jason Isbell, The Whigs, JJ Grey & Mofro, Dead Confederate, Pat McGee, and many more.

Their delivery of acoustic and electric guitars with a hard-hitting rhythm section has lead to sold out shows all over the Southeast and won't be stopping there. Hightide Blues played Bonnaroo 2008, SXSW 2009, and are expanding their touring with shows all over the US of A, from Colorado to New York.

In February 2008 Hightide Blues recorded their second EP "Love Come Easy" with producer Richard McLaurin at House of David Studios in Nashville, where music legends Elvis, Neil Young, B.B. King, Joe Cocker, and Roy Orbison recorded some of the most influential albums in music history. The highly anticipated "Love Come Easy" is generating excitement from fans and major music industry people alike, with the lead singles "Dreamin' Alone" and "Let It Roll" getting into full rotation on radio. Being labeled the hottest up and coming band in the Southeast, Hightide Blues is following in the footsteps of the many music legends who graced the very same studio, and anything is possible for this band as they tour the country picking up momentum and fans along the way.

Hightide Blues’ lead single “Dreamin’ Alone” is featured on the Paste Magazine sampler in the September 2009 issue.

Hightide Blues played Bonnaroo 2008, winning a competition of 300 bands by judges' selection, fan voting and a live performance to win the Saturday slot at Bonnaroo.

Hightide Blues plays 180+ shows/year, including venues such as Antone’s (Austin), Exit/In (Nashville), Tipitina’s (New Orleans), Schuba's (Chicago), Sullivan Hall (New York City), Walnut Room (Denver), Georgia Theatre (Athens), Smith's Olde Bar (Atlanta), WorkPlay (Birmingham), and Varsity Theatre (Baton Rouge).

Hightide Blues sells out shows in Birmingham, Huntsville, Auburn, Tuscaloosa, & Atlanta and draws 200+ average at live shows.

Hightide Blues tours nationally, with shows throughout the Midwest, the East Coast, and Texas/Colorado.

Hightide Blues’ first single “Dreamin’ Alone” has been featured on full rotation on Live 100.5 FM Birmingham, AL.

Hightide Blues has made numerous television and radio appearances, including Fox 5 Atlanta, 92.9 Dave FM Atlanta, WBRC 6 Birmingham, and WEGL Auburn.

Hightide Blues has been featured in Paste Magazine, Relix Magazine, The Village Voice (New York City), Six Degrees Magazine (Atlanta), Creative Loafing (Atlanta), Chattanooga Times Free Press, The Huntsville Times, and many others.

Hightide Blues has made numerous festival appearances, including Bonnaroo 2008, City Stages 2009 (Birmingham), Airtran Peach Drop (Atlanta), Florida Music Festival, BamaJam 2009, and many others.