Southern Nites Band
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Southern Nites Band

Band Country Rock


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"The Road to Riverfest Rock Finalists Country Finalists Riverfest 2007"

Published June 6, 2007

A look at the rock and country finalists in the talent competition


Gadsden-based Ballyhoo consists of Chris Bradford, vocals and rhythm guitar; Brett Browder, drums and vocals; Justin Dodge, bass and vocals; and Kevin Jenné, lead guitar and background vocals. The group specializes in powerful, guitar-driven songs covering many genres of rock, including classic rock, heavy metal, grunge, alternative and funk.

B Miller

B Miller (Bobby Miller) was born in Gadsden and developed a passion for music at a young age, imitating Michael Jackson and LL Cool J. He then discovered Run DMC and with their influence, began making a name for himself as a rapper and songwriter. He has opened for many of the top artists in his genre. He has overcome a host of obstacles in his life and now owns a business in Rainbow City.


Charger features high school classmates Jay Shehi, Zach Sheffield and Phillip Hall, who had a two-year run as Prophecy. That band folded in 2004, but the trio regrouped a year ago with singer Eason, who joined after answering an ad that had been placed at a music store. Eason has added his own sound to the music, while also handling the recreated group's original songs.

Delilah Why

Coming out of Nashville, Delilah Why combines a new rock sound with a taste of yesteryear's Southern Rock, featuring front man Dave Norman's soulful lead vocals, the solid, yet sensible backbone laid down by bassist Cullen Tierney and drummer Pete Pulkrabek and lead guitarist Dan Smith's ripping solos.

Seth Costner

Gadsden native Seth Costner is a recent graduate of Belmont University's school of music. Costner's musical style is eclectic, mixing pop and rock with rhythm and blues. Costner, who plays guitar and piano, is working on a CD and starting to introduce his original songs to a growing audience.


Jeff Whitlow grew up listening to country music and has played and sung most of his life. He stays busy from spring to fall performing at many events across north Alabama and southern Tennessee including festivals, fairs, barbecues and concerts.


Kelli Johnson grew up in a musical family in Talladega. She began singing in local churches and talent shows, got her first paying gig at a club in Anniston in 1999 and eventually became the first female member of bluegrass band Distant Cousins.


Jay Shell, born in Piedmont and reared in Spring Garden, and Chris Austin have built a following in Northwest Georgia and Northeast Alabama. Other band members include Dave Harper, Shannon Wilson and Derrick Ingram.


Southern Nites was formed in the 1980s, and has had various personnel changes over the years. The current lineup was formed in 2006. It has an eclectic song list - classic rock, country, Motown, blues and R&B.

Mccaffrey & FOWLER

Wesley Fowler of Sand Mountain and Wayne McCaffrey of Albertville have put in years of hard work developing their unique style, which has roots in gospel music, a staple of the Deep South.

This year's event spans three days, starting Thursday with Road to Riverfest.

This talent search competition is down to 10 acts, five in the genre of country music and five rock music acts.

The winner in each category becomes the opening act for the corresponding genre.

At 6 p.m. Friday, the Road to Riverfest rock act winner takes the stage, followed by .38 Special, Cherish, a laser show and Daughtry, featuring "American Idol" finalist Chris Daughtry.

At 6 p.m. Saturday, the Road to Riverfest country act winner opens for Bobby Bare, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, a fireworks display and Joe Nichols.

Weekend passes are selling fast. In fact, organizers anticipate selling out.

For the time being, adult weekend passes, which include admission to the talent search, are $25. Weekend passes for those 6 to 11 years old are $5.

Single-day tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for those 6 to 11 years old.

The event is sponsored by The Chamber, the chamber of commerce for the area.

Call 543-3472 or visit for more information. - The Gadsden Times

"Ballyhoo, Southern Nites win competition"

Published June 8, 2007

Tickets sold out for Riverfest, but patrons can still pay at the gate

Ballyhoo will open the show tonight at Riverfest and Southern Nites will open on Saturday as the Road to Riverfest winners in the rock and country categories.

A crowd packed the Mort Glosser Amphitheater Thursday night as the top five groups in each category performed for the chance to open the Riverfest shows.

Large crowds are expected at Riverfest tonight and Saturday. Tickets are sold out for both nights, but anyone can pay $20 at the gate to get in.

"This is the largest presale of tickets since 1997," said Tom Quinn, president of The Chamber of Gadsden and Etowah County which hosts the event.

Quinn said tickets sold out that year because Gulf States Steel and Goodyear - the county's largest employers at the time - bought large numbers of tickets for employees.

Quinn said people will be allowed to pay $20 to get in at the gate until the fire marshal deems the crowd too large to handle more people.

The amphitheater held a capacity crowd as well for the Road to Riverfest.

Lisa Harris of Attalla was among those who got a pleasant surprise when they saw who the judges were.

Harris, a big fan of the country music group, Alabama, was chosen to compete on stage with Teddy Gentry of Alabama. He was one of the judges.

Harris won $25 on stage in a "Name That Tune" game pitted against Gentry to name an Alabama song in seven words or less.

Pat Upton, a DeKalb County native, also judged the event and performed his hit from 1969, "More Today Than Yesterday."

Ballyhoo of Gadsden won in the rock category at Road to Riverfest.

Other performers in the rock category included B. Miller, Charger, Delilah Why and Seth Costner.

B. Miller had a big show of support from family and friends.

Miller, of Gadsden, has been performing for years.

"He always put on a show in front of the family," his sister, Karla Miller said.

B. Miller's wife, Kenya Miller, said a lot of customers from their Rainbow City business, Miller's Detail Shop, came to see him perform.

B. Miller performs R&B and hiphop music, but performs all types of music, mostly tunes he has written.

"It's hard to get exposure in Gadsden and this has been a big opportunity," Kenya Miller said. "I really feel like the crowd loved him."

When the winners in that category were announced, many wearing B. Miller T-shirts clapped for Ballyhoo.

In the country category, performers included Jeff Whitlow, Kelli Johnson, Kneck Down, McCaffrey and Fowler and Southern Nites. - The Gadsden Times


Self-recorded sample album, 2007



Southern Nites was originally formed under Danny Slick in the 80's and has undergone various changes among its membership over the years. The current configuration was formed in 2006, but played together intermittently in various configurations over the past several years. Three of the members played together as the "Brothers Band" beginning in the mid-90's. The band has an eclectic song list which includes classic rock, country, Motown, blues and R&B. Shows are designed to meet specific client requirements and audience preferences. Audience participation is encouraged and always part of the show. Sound reinforcement and lighting equipment is tailored to the specific venue. The band is based in the east central area of Alabama, (Jacksonville, Oxford, Saks, Centre, and Leeds), and has opened for such national acts as:

Rascal Flats
Joe Nichols
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Charlie Daniels Band
Mark Wills
Wade Hays
Kentucky Headhunters
Confederate Railroad
David Allen Coe
Bobby Bare

After placing second in the 2006 competition, the Southern Nites won the 2007 "Road to Riverfest" competition on June 7, 2007.