A VISTA REVIEW
By Rebekah K. Bohannon Beeler
The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) put on the cultural event of the season at their latest concert “Brassamataz” featuring guest artists Buddy Greene with Jeff Taylor at Stone Memorial High School Auditorium (Crossville) on Saturday April 21, 2012.
Conducted by Dr. Steven Sudduth, the concert began with a patriotic salute with an elaborate arrangement of the “Star Spangled Banner” and went on to entertain the nearly 800 patrons who filled the auditorium with such numbers like “Georgia on My Mind” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo” as well as “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” “Blue Rondo a la Turk” and other Big Band era hits.
As a special treat, Buddy Greene accompanied by Jeff Taylor provided a concert within the concert, which infused their incredible musical talents with their big personalities and hearty humor for an interlude with the Nashville recording artists.
With Greene on vocals, multiple harmonicas and guitar and Taylor on the tin whistle, accordion, mandolin, and keyboard, the visionary two-man act put creativity and compilation together in all of their selections.
One of their performance pieces was a three-part arrangement of such classical composers as Mozart, Bach, and Rossini and never have the harmonica and the accordion been so formal.
Greene and Taylor then treated the audience to a rendition of the famous bluegrass railroad song, “The Orange Blossom Special” which had interjections of “The Flintstone’s Theme” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo” among other familiar tunes in this rip-roaring piece.
Among many other credentials, Buddy Greene is recognized for composing the music to the ever popular Christmas song “Mary Did You Know?” which he performed in a reverent and soulful manner on guitar with Taylor adding to the mood with his keyboard and tin whistle.
Green has appeared and recorded with Jerry Reed’s band and renowned gospel group The Gaithers, and has recorded 16 albums from bluegrass to gospel. Jeff Taylor’s numerous accolades include recording with George Strait, Amy Grant, Ricky Scaggs, and Buddy Greene among several others, as well as serving as band leader at the Ryman Auditorium and Opryland Theme Park, appearing on the Grand Ole Opry with top entertainment artists, and is currently the band leader on the General Jackson showboat in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dwight Wages, Southern Stars Symphonic Brass founder, creative director and band member, who brings to our humble plateau this jewel on the palette of cultural fine artssaid, “Tonight’s concert was everything I expected it to be. Outstanding playing by theSouthern Stars, terrific entertainment and musicianship from Buddy Greene and Jeff Taylor, and a huge audience – many of them first time attendees- who now know what they are missing when they do not get to our concerts.”
The performers of the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass put on a professional and passionate concert with such musical romance in the tunes that have been the soundtrack of our lives. “Brassamataz” was a huge success and was the perfect conclusion to the 2011-2012 Season for the SSSB.
“I am in the process of planning our next season and we will present three to four concerts in Crossville, with likely dates in October, February and April, and maybe a bonus concert whose date is yet to be determined,” Wages stated. “We will have guest artists at each concert, and I am already in discussion with another special guest international artist who will have instant name recognition. So, stay tuned and watch our website for our concert season announcement later this summer. We are targeting to grow our season ticket sales to at least 300, as our patrons recognize what a terrific value these concerts are in addition to their outstanding quality.”
The 30-member ensemble is comprised of the finest from this region and elsewhere, including Kentucky and Ohio, and with their formal tux dress they provide premium entertainment while accommodating their audience with an affordable and genuinely unique experience.
Stay current on the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass lineup for the 2012-2013 Crossville Concert Series by visiting their website at www.southernstarssymphonicbrass.com. For questions or more information contact Dwight Wages 931-484-6939 or email him at [email protected]