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TAKING THE COUNTRY BACK29-Mar-2014

COUNTRY MUSIC BAND CIMMARON GAINS POPULARITY, PROMOTES PATRIOTISM WITH NEW SINGLE, "TAKING THE COUN..

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CIMMARON                                                                            2010 PUBLICITY BIO
                                                                                                   
by: Robert K. Oermann

            If there’s a country-music stage anywhere in the U.S.A., chances are the members of Cimmaron have had their boots on it.

         This enduringly great institution has been running up and down the highways and byways of America for nearly three decades, entertaining everywhere from state fairs to theme parks, from Disney World nightclubs to backwoods roadhouses, from arts festivals to Las Vegas casinos, from the hallowed stage of the Grand Ole Opry to the honky-tonks of Texas. Cimmaron’s high energy, intense musicality, flawless harmony singing and distinctive double-drumming attack have made it a band with few peers in its industry.

         Cimmaron’s members have been featured on dozens of national TV shows. The band regularly earns rave reviews in the pages of Billboard, Music Row, Amusement Business and other top periodicals. Cimmaron videos such as “Stone Country,” “Blacktop Road” and “Can’t You Just Stay Gone” have earned the band notoriety on country’s cable-video channels, and such singles as “Almost,” “Long Ride Back” and “What Do You Wear with a Broken Heart” have brought the band radio exposure as well.

         The band’s three prior albums, 1984’s Losin’ Streak, 1993’s Cimmaron and 2000’s 4U have all been critically applauded. The centerpieces of the band’s fourth collection are six extraordinary recordings. “Another Side of Love” is a stately, majestically melodic outing that is aching, yet hopeful, with gorgeous steel-guitar and keyboard passages and a pristinely sung tenor chorus harmony. “Waylon’s at the Gate” boasts a rolling, steady, thumping “outlaw” beat as it salutes the late, great Waylon Jennings. The ominous sounding “Oklahoma” is another Cimmaron country rocker percolating with twang and rhythm.

         On “My Way Is the Highway,” Cimmaron takes on an almost Latin groove as its saga of wanderlust is “answered” by piano lines then taken for an extended electric-guitar “ride” at the finale. “Too Many Honky-Tonks (On My Way Home)” was once a single for Tom Wopat of Dukes of Hazzard fame, but Cimmaron makes the tune its own with a rollicking, merry rendition. The searing, red-hot “Easy Street” is a slab of churning rhythm, blazing guitar work and gritty, workingman lyrics. The group recently completed a video for this Southern rocker.

         Masterpiece performances like these are nothing new for Cimmaron. The group has made a career out of them.

         Bobby Smith (vocals, guitar, fiddle, harmonica), Joey McCary (steel guitar, vocals), Brian Jones (bass guitar) and Tony Piro (drums, vocals) co-founded Cimmaron in 1980 in Roanoke, Virginia. They were joined by singer/guitarist Curtis Wright in 1984. Curtis split his time between Cimmaron and North Carolina’s Super Grit Cowboy Band in the 1980s. He moved to Nashville in 1987, recorded as a solo artist in 1989-93, was in the Orrall-Wright duo with Robert Ellis Orrall in 1994-95 and along the way became a highly successful country songwriter.

         In the meantime, Cimmaron acquired second drummer Jerry Parris in 1988. Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Terry Hannabass plays guitar, banjo, fiddle, Dobro and mandolin. After 15 years in the band Whitehorse and on the road as a bluegrass sideman, he joined Cimmaron in 2001. Singer and keyboardist Josh Shilling also has a bluegrass background. In fact, when not with Cimmaron, he tours with Mountain Heart or acoustic guitarist Tony Rice.

         All of the group’s members can point to long lists of outside accomplishments. Tony Piro has performed as a sideman for such stars as Billy “Crash” Craddock, Pam Tillis, Vern Gosdin, Tanya Tucker, and Travis Tritt. Brian Jones and Jerry Parris are both experienced recording-studio professionals who have worked in sessions ranging from gospel to rock. As songwriters, Brian, Tony and Bobby Smith all contributed to the tracks on Cimmaron’s 4U album of 2000.

         Curtis Wright’s resume includes writing or co-writing such hits as “Next to You, Next to Me” (Shenandoah), “A Woman in Love” (Ronnie Milsap), “What’s it to You” (Clay Walker), “Too Much Fun” (Daryle Singletary), “Rock My Baby” (Shenandoah), “She’s Got a Man on Her Mind” (Conway Twitty) and “There for Awhile” (Steve Wariner), among others. Prior to rejoining Cimmaron, Curtis co-wrote “What Do You Wear with a Broken Heart” and “Automatic” for the band.

As a vocalist, Curtis has sung background harmonies on records by Lee Ann Womack, Tracy Lawrence, Reba McEntire, Billy Dean, Tim McGraw, Neil Diamond, Lorrie Morgan, Trace Adkins, Kenny Rogers, Merle Haggard, Faith Hill, Neil Young, Toby Keith and dozens more. He also has experience singing jingles for Burger King, Maxwell House and other companies.  

So whether it is top-flight lead vocals, virtuoso instrumental work, lustrous harmony singing, star-studded credentials. live entertainment ability or sensational songwriting talent, Cimmaron has got it covered. If experience is the best teacher, this band has already graduated magna cum laude.

 

CIMMARON - ONE BY ONE

Bobby Smith – lead vocals, guitars, fiddle, harmonica

Joey McCray – steel guitar, vocals

Brian Jones – bass guitar

Tony Piro – drums, vocals

Jerry Parris – drums, vocals

Terry Hannabass – guitar, banjo, fiddle, Dobro, mandolin, vocals

Curtis Wright – lead vocals, guitars

Josh Shilling – keyboards, vocals