The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 98

of these musicians are making $100 a night when they play." And they don't always play often. Where's the money? "Corporate events, weddings and colleges,"
says Martin. "Cruise ships are good." For gigs like those, a band can bag $2,000 to $3,000 a night, he says.
Some musicians-like rapper/hip-hop performer Poe Mack (honorable mention on the list)-have a solid national following, but Mack is also a prominent
promoter, who sells background music, as well. He is also Jane Powell's nephew, giving him something of an "in," which is often necessary for musicians, says
Kerry Hurley. Hurley has worked all the angles on music for money: club owner, band singer, radio personality, promoter and he knows that there "are a lot of
cliques and if you're inside one, you do well, you get a lot of bookings. But it's tough to get in."
Some groups-like My Radio, which flirted with national attention in recent years-"don't seem to desire national fame," says Martin, "but they're world class."
Roanoke has its own venues for the nation's best, and occasionally local bands or individuals will open a show at one of the civic centers, The Jefferson Center
or the Harvester in Rocky Mount. They are good venues for exposure.
In any case, the music is here, it's good, it's prominent and most often, you can afford to go see it. Here are the bands our panel picked as the best in the
Roanoke Valley, in no particular order:

HOPPIE VAUGHAN & THE MINISTERS OF SOUL, FAT
DADDY, JO JO STOCKTON AND SOULACOUSTIX/HOTT
SAUCE, THE KINGS, GROOVA SCAPE, THE WORX,
RADAR ROSE, LENNY MARCUS TRIO, LAZYMAN DUB
BAND, MARIE ANDERSON
Star City Swag, Acoustic
Endeavors, Poe Mack, Thrillbillyz,
My Radio, Canned Biskits, Le
Hotclub de BigLick, Larnell
Starkey & The Spiritual Seven,
Uptown, $5 Shake, Latin Clive,
Tobacco Apache, Morgan Wade
and the Stepbrothers, Bluegrass
Boys, The Rhythm Runners.

Hoppie Vaughan & the
Ministers of Soul is the region's
standard and Vaughan, a former
session musician in Nashville, is
the crowning touch, regardless of
the group he's performing with,
including those nights when he's
alone on stage. His guitar and bass
playing are simply unparalleled here
and his singing is quite good.

Here are brief descriptions of
the top bands. The quotes are from
the selection committee, though
they didn't want to be identified
specifically because-as Oberg
said-there's a lot of ego and
competition out there.

Fat Daddy is one of two
of Kerry Hurley's bands named
(Thrillbillyz is honorable mention)
and that's because nobody here plays
the blues better. Lively, bouncy, fullthroated. Hurley recently played
several gigs in Paris. France, not
Texas.

Hott Sauce is JoJo
Stockton's primary band, but
Stockton "has played with all of
them." He's on lead guitar and bass
and is as busy as any musician in
the Valley, although he has a fulltime job with the Roanoke Sheriff 's
Department. The recent report of a
"farewell performance" by Hott Sauce
was true to a degree. Says Stockton,
"Solacoustix is the band I'm booking
the most now (same musicians,
different singer). I am, of course, an
independent blues artist (so JoJo
Stockton and Solacoustix) and I still
do Hott Sauce. I just use them more
as a specialty band, mostly due to bar
budgets and all that is involved.We
cost more than bars normally pay."

RagTop
Empty Bottles
Jerry Wimmer Trio
Uptown Band
Morgan Wade & The Stepbrothers
Virginia Electric
Seph Custer
The Floorboards
Amanda Bocci

Sharayah Spears
My Radio
Place Called Home
The Rogues
The Bell Hornets
True Cadence
7 Mile Ford
Mended Fences
Eighty Proof

Honorable Mentions:

we asked...
you answered!
We asked our friends
via social media about
their favorite bands and
musicians in the Roanoke
region. Here are their
suggestions:
98

MAY/JUNE 2018

The Kings were formed in the
'60s and was the house band at the
King's Inn during the 1970s. It has
never let up on the gas pedal. It plays
full-out (blowing its horns, in spite
of Mark Knopfler's entreaty that
"there ain't no horns in rock 'n' roll")
and playing music you know.

Crawford and Power
Unnerve
Low Low Chariot
TK-421
Ill Iteracy
Chris Prythm
Brightwork
Corey Hunley
Gryzzle

Groova Scape has stormed
onto the stage in the last couple of
years, following the lead of Henry
Lazenby (nationally noted author
Roland Lazenby's son) and singer
Brittany Sparks (whose Janis Joplin
set stops the show). It's bluesy, hot
and wildly popular. The band "has
come a long way in a few years,"
says a panelist.

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - May/June 2018

The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - Intro
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - Cover1
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