South of Heaven
Always endin’ up
No matter how I try
I’m just south of Heaven
Don’t wanna’ think you can have it all
‘Cause all I need is just south of Heaven
South of Heaven, one of the up and coming bands in the Southern Rock genre, has been touring the south and will be performing back at home at River City Brewing Company (formerly The Brewhouse Music and Grille) on Saturday March 25, 2017. I sat down a couple of months ago to talk with the band, what is coming up for them, and their out look on the music industry. Full disclosure, I have known some of the boys in the band for a long time. They were classmates with my daughter, but I promise, these boys kick some major ass. It is like listening at young men with old souls. You might notice that I started the article with lyrics from the classic Lynyrd Skynyrd song”South of Heaven”. This classic song, from one of the greatest Southern Rock bands of all time, was the inspiration for the name of the band. South of Heaven is made up of these extremely talented musicians: TJ Lyle – Lead Vocals, Bristol Perry – Drums, Riley Couzourt – Lead Guitar, Zach Everett – Bass, Vocals, Logan Tolbert – Rythym Guitar, Vocals. The band members are from Armuchee and Taylorsville, GA.
The band all came together from being friends and hanging out. South of Heaven has been playing as a band for 3 or 4 years together but the line up changed recently with the additions of TJ as lead vocalist. The band started playing one of the first gigs as a benefit for Erin Massey, as fellow classmate and cancer survivor. South of Heaven were frequently featured at local restaurants around Rome including La Conquista, Schroeder’s, and WOW Cafe (a memorial concert for Colton Rood, who was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident). The band has moved from the local restaurant scene and is now touring the south.
The band describes their sound as Southern Rock. I have spoken to one of our mutual friends, Them Dirty Roses, about the void of Southern Rock in the music world, so it was only fitting that I get South of Heaven’s take on that void. It is rare when you find musicians as young as these guys to have such deep passion and a clear voice in a genre that seems, at times, long forgotten. In the music world of overproduced, mass appeal,big production, it is refreshing to see a new generation that appreciates a genre of real, deep meaning music stands the test of time and not just music for the fad of the week. South of Heaven agrees that a lot of the music today is so much of the same and no one wants to make their path of originality. They not only see but hear the void of raw talent, singing songs that tell the story of the everyday man. These guys want to work hard to make their own path of music without the electronic, overproduced, sound the same as everyone else music that seems to be flooding the radio.
South of Heaven list their influences to include greats such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, Blackberry Smoke, Led Zeppelin, and CCR. That is evident in the amazing sound that these guys are producing.
I asked the guys if they feel that with the new “easier” path to success with reality singing competition shows has hurt the music industry. These guys feel that it has hurt with musicians working hard and has made music become a smaller market for orgianilty. We talked about music in the 1970’s how Southern Rock had a market in some of the country stations but now with the rise of “Bro Country”, stations are not as willing to give anything that doesn’t fit that mold a chance at air play.
We turned our discussion to how the guys are evolving from being a “cover band” to writing more original material. The guys are wanting to get a new album out with their new sound. The guys write about real life, real feelings, that are relatable to all ages. TJ writes a lot of the songs but they collabrate together. Relatability plays a huge factor as well as storytelling.
South of Heaven will be hitting the road, promoting their music, and doing music that comes from the soul without fitting into a mold. I know these guys are going to do great things. I have watched these guys continue to grow into even more amazing musicans. In a world that is craving honest music, that doesn’t fit into a nice box, these guys are the real deal. If you are in Rome,GA on March 25, 2017 come on out to River City Brewing Company at 10pm and see these guys!