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Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Times News"

“Hard-charging, frenetic melody with jazzy bursts.”
- Pete Zamplas

"Mountain Xpress"

“This band isn’t afraid of emotionally potent lyrics; their edge comes from the recognition that pop is a powerful thing.”
- Staff Writer

"WVKC - Radio - Illinois"

“Orchestrated vocals with complimented guitar tones.



Senatobia - "self-titled" - Aug. 2000

Surprise - Sept. 2001


Feeling a bit camera shy


Senatobia is a place where the past, present and future come together, also a name of a town in Mississippi, located just South of Memphis, and a native American word that means Sycamore tree. So what do these three have in common? The band that carries this name wishes to answer the question. The concept was first formed by lead singer/ guitarist Phil Lomac, during many long drives from Asheville, NC to the Delta State to visit friends. the idea was to write and perform original music with poetic, meaningful lyrics that captured an array of diverse influences, while remaining rooted in the rock, blues and jazz foundations of American popular music.
The result is the band Senatobia, formed in January 1999, in the Asheville, NC area, by Phil Lomac, bass/backing vocalist Christian Justus and drummer Andy Balla. Phil Lomac, though born in New Jersey, did most of his growing up overseas in Berlin, Germany where he was first inspired to learn guitar after hearing the "Live at Filmore East" Jimi Hendrix record. From there he went on to play in several acts both in Germany and back in the US as a lead guitarist. During these years, many experiences, both political and musical, from being in Berlin when they tore down the Wall to getting to share the stage with such acts as War and Martin Sexton influenced his focus and direction as a song writer.

Christian Justus, who is the only one native to Western North Carolina in the band, spent alot of his childhood on the road in a purple school bus. The son of musicians who were in a full-time traveling rock band called the Orange Purple Marmalade in the sixties and seventies, he was introduced to the sounds of The Flying Burrito Brothers, Bob Seger, and the original Carolina Tams, many of which OPM shared the stage with. After a brief stint in music school at Brevard College, and trying out his hand at several instruments, including violin, tuba and trombone, he settled on bass guitar.

Andy Balla, under the influence of Yes and Genesis, started playing the drums in his parent's attic at an early age. He remained in Rahway, NJ until it was time for college - 14 hours south to study art and design at a school in Eastern North Carolina. Eventually settling in the Asheville area he played in several bands before joining a folk-rock act where he met future Senatobia band mates Phil and Christian. Drawn together through a collective interest and energy to write good music, they spent most of their first year building an arsenal of original material - thought-provoking songs that bridge the sounds of the sixties and seventies with modern rock.

In August of 2000 the band released its debut, self-titled album which was received well by college radio. It soon went into strong rotation on the top 200 CMJ reporting stations nationwide, even appearing on several top 30 and most added charts. "Will be on commercial radio stations nationwide!" (KBGA, Missoula, MT) and "Unique, creative sound! Will take off!" (WERG, Erie, PA) are examples of the great qoutes music directors gave upon listening to the CD.

Because of the band's love for performing and recording music (they currently play at venues from New York City to Savannah, GA and everywhere in between), and a tireless work ethic, they believe they are right where they need to be. "We know what any band struggling for recognition knows," says Phil Lomac, "It takes hard work, patience, dedication and a little luck to make it in this business, and to us, luck happens when opportunity meets preparation."