Rufus Hawkins
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Rufus Hawkins

Band Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Rufus Hawkins Band Hits Local Music Scene"

Tonight will see a host of bands playing in Tuscaloosa. But there is one band playing at Harry's Bar that will bring something different to the table: The Rufus Hawkins Band.

The band is fronted by guitarist/vocalist Jim Andersen and guitarist/vocalist Eric Vines, both members of Kappa Sigma fraternity. The rhythm section is rounded out by Riley Smith on bass and Dan Vallencourt on drums.

The band, whose name is taken from a fraternity brother's idea, got started in the summer of 2006 when Andersen and Vines joined up as an acoustic duo, making their first appearance at Boo Radley's. Vines, a graduate student in finance and psychology, described the material then as a little bit out of the ordinary.

"We were more upbeat than most acoustic duos in Tuscaloosa at the time," Vines said.

For a few months, Andersen and Vines played around Tuscaloosa. This all changed when Vallencourt, a junior majoring in management information systems, returned to school in January after dropping out in December of 2005.

Vines had played in a previous band with Vallencourt, and he and Andersen were looking for a band lineup to fill up the sound. It was not long after Vallencourt returned that they started playing around and then joined the band that same month.

The lineup was completed when Riley Smith, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, filled in on the bass. The band made their first appearance at The Legacy soon after.

Vines made special note that with this full band, the music really began to take off.

"I thought to myself, 'We can now actually play the songs the way they are supposed to be played,'" he said.

Andersen, a senior double majoring in finance and advertising, said the eclecticism of the band can be explained by just the love of music.

"We pretty much listen to everything," Andersen said.

One general consensus of the band was that one joy of playing music is all the fans that come out to see them play.

"By your fifth gig, you know who the real fans are," Vallencourt said. "I can't emphasize enough how great our fan base is."

Smith said it is always good to see people be turned on by their music.

"I'll see people walk into a bar across from where we're playing, then soon afterward, I'll see those same people walk in to see us play," Smith said.

There will definitely be a good number of fans for tonight. Andersen said the fan base is getting bigger the more the band plays. The Rufus Hawkins Band began the school year with an already packed schedule, including performances at the Mellow Mushroom, the Filling Station and 4th and 23rd.

When it comes to material to play, the Rufus Hawkins Band plays songs from many different artists in different genres, including material as diverse as 311, the Allman Brothers Band, Nirvana, Alice in Chains and even the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Despite all the shows and music, Andersen said he and the band are trying to move past the typical cover band format.

"We don't want to play covers in Tuscaloosa for the next 10 years," Andersen said. "We want to start playing at all the college towns in the Southeast."

The band has written two original songs, "14 Days" and "Me and You." They have other songs in the creative process, but they are still trying to perfect them before they play them in front of a crowd. Andersen noted there is more to come from the band than these songs.

"We are working on a five-song recording to be finished sometime early next year," Andersen said.

The band will be playing at Harry's tonight at 10.. The band will also play the following night at the Kappa Sigma house at 10. - The Crimson White


Will I Meet You There? (demo)
Fourteen Days (demo)
KMRS (demo)
Raise Another (demo)
Me and You (demo)
Feel Alive (demo)



Some bands make a name for themselves by lighting up the stage with energy and emotion; others build a following through their ability to craft captivating songs that listeners can latch on to and relate with. Rufus Hawkins is striving to solidify their place among a select few bands that truly stand out across both aspects.

Rufus Hawkins is a rock band comprised of four friends from Tuscaloosa, AL. The band has been actively performing at venues across the southeast since February of 2007. Until now, the continual expansion of the band can be attributed to the strength of their live performances. However, with the release of their first EP in June of 2009, Rufus Hawkins believes music fans will have another compelling reason to check them out.

The bands influences are a melting pot ranging from Led Zeppelin to 311 and from The Beatles to Metallica. Through frequent experimentation over the last two years the band has developed a flair for creating fresh songs that allow these various influences to shine through. The bands debut E.P., which includes the acoustic ballad ‘KMRS’, and the powerful and melodic ‘Will I Meet You There?’ is going to be an instrumental step in the bands pursuit to bridge their commanding live performances with their songwriting capabilities.