Artist Spotlight: Brian Hart and Slick Willy
We always try to introduce you to new music on 99.5 WKDQ, but we can’t put everybody on air. So, I decided to start spotlighting some of my favorite artists just for you! New artists, old artists, in between artists, local artists, I’ve got them all!
I’m a HUGE supporter of local talent. I mean, let’s be honest, would you rather sit home and watch TV or have the option to go out and catch some live music? I’ve seen this band multiple times in various places and they NEVER disappoint. Whether you’re more into the rock side of country or the country side of country, they’ve got them both!
Brian Hart is originally from Marion, KY. You might even recognize him. He won the “Battle of the Big O” in 2012 and had the opportunity to open up for Blake Shelton. He’s been strumming that guitar since the age of 10 after his dad taught him the first three chords. For Brian, music isn’t just a hobby. It’s his release and his passion. With being in music for such a long time, goals have always been on Brian’s mind. His “small” goal is to have the top wanted band around. But that’s not enough. Ultimately, Brian would like to either be the artist, or have an artist take his original songs to the top 10. Brian formed the band back in 2002 with only three members. Since then, the band has evolved, adding new members into the mix, and in his opinion, the levels of talent have gotten better every time. Today, the band consists of Brian Hart (Lead Vocals and Guitar), Emily Ross (Vocals and Guitar), Josh Vanover (Vocals and Keyboard), Dan Biggs (Guitar) and Jamey Marrs (Drums).
Emily Ross has been exposed to music her entire life. She was born and raised in Henderson, KY and started singing at the age of 4 in church. She’s also from a very musically gifted family, and believe it or not, she was able to teach herself the piano AND guitar. Emily is a mother to a three year old, which in itself has to be tough, but she also manages to work and keep up with everything going on with the band. She’ll be the first to admit it’s tough, but she loves it! Emily became a member of the band in the Fall of 2012. “There’s been a few times where I would get off of work, go straight to a gig and then have to go straight back to work at 2:30 in the morning. It can be exhausting, but I enjoy it.” Unlike others, Emily lives in the moment. She’s happy with where she’s at in her life and just enjoys having fun with the audience.
Josh Vanover (keyboard) resides in Owensboro, KY, but is originally from Oklahoma. Music is something that he says was geneticly inherited from serveral of his family members. His great grandmother wrote a song published by BMI records in 1947 called “Lonely Me” and his father was a fulltime musician in the Don Carlton Trio for 22 years. If that doesn’t put music in his blood, I don’t know what does! Although Slick Willy has had multiple changes in new members over the years, Josh has been a steady part for just over a year and a half. His background is in EMT, however, he currently works for a durable medical equipment company. When Josh gets on that stage, regardless of where he is, his main goal is to make an emotional connection with the audience and do whatever he can to make sure they have a great time.
Daniel Biggs started playing guitar around the age of 14, mainly learning by ear and out of music books showing chords. He picked up Bass at the age of 21 after his friend needed a player in his band. After that, the rockstar dream kicked in and the rest is history! With being the oldest member in this band, Dan has found himself to be very lucky. He’s been making music for over 20 years, with some of his most recent highlights being given the opportunity to play at Little Sturgis Bike Rally and headlining a night at Friday After 5 in Owensboro. If Dan didn’t have his music to turn to, he’s not sure what he’d be doing. “I’d enjoy my grandkids, ride my Harley with my wife, Cathy, listen to good music and remember all of the musicians and people I have had the opportunity to meet. I’m a lucky man and the goal when I play is to have fun, make a little extra cash and live out part of the dream. Sometimes they come true and hopefully, I give the people who come out to see us a great show!”
You’ll find Jamey Marrs on the drums. Jamey is originally from Evansville, but he was rasied in the small town of Meinrad, IN. He started playing the drums at the age of 6. His mother was a pianist and his father played the guitar, so the drums for Jamey fit well. He became the fulltime drummer for his parents’ Country/Rock band at the age of 15. Now at age 35, with nearly 20 years playing professionally, he is happily married and has 3 young children. “It's hard to squeeze in time for the band sometimes. I run a computer repair business during the day and a children’s bounce house rentals business on the side. Music is still a passion of mine that will never go away.” When Jamey gets behind the drums, it’s pretty evident that he’s in his zone. Once he starts playing, all of his troubles are forgotten and he can truly relax. Well, that is unless the monitors stop working ;)
Below are some original songs the band performed for me during one of their more recent shows. Stay connected with everything they’ve got going on through Facebook, and be sure to stop by and say “Hi” when you see them out! Ya gotta give me credit for something here ;)