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Local band Crisp and Davis inking Nashville record deal

Jun. 18, 2010 @ 12:00 AM

Back in the winter a couple of my high school buddies gave me a ring and with one of them coming in town from Columbus, wanted to go hear a good country rock band in Huntington.

That was an easy call.

I took the boys down to the West End to R.T. Champs, where Crisp and Davis have been blasting killer covers and red-hot originals such as "Out Wayne Thing" and "Hicks in the Sticks."

Not surprisingly, we haven't been the only folks rolling over to Champs to check out the band, which includes Kelly Ray Davis, guitar/lead vocals; Rodney Crisp, lead guitar; Bill Fraley, bass and Jerry Lawson, drums.

Just a couple weeks after we were at Champs, folks from Sony Music Group were up from Nashville, and sure enough, Kelly Ray, gave me a shout last week and said they are indeed inking a Nashville record deal for Crisp and Davis.

Ironically, as Kelly Ray pointed out earlier this year, maybe lightning will strike twice in the same place, since Bud Waugh's R.T. (Ragtime) Champs, is on the same property as his bar that launched Billy Ray Cyrus and Slydog.

The old Ragtime might have burned to the ground, but the fires blending up real rock and real country are alive and well in the Tri-State.

Crisp and Davis play 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. today, June 18 and Saturday, June 19 at Champs, and they've got some high-profile gigs coming up including a Pullman Square headline show on Thursday, June 24. Angie Fletcher just shouted over this week and said Crisp and Davis and Rivertown featuring Kala DeHart, who's got the cool song, "17" playing on The Dawg now, are the openers for James Otto for the Dawg Dazzle fireworks show at Harris Riverfront Park. That free show takes place on Saturday, July 3.

You can check out some of the latest Crisp and Davis tunes online at www.myspace.com/kellyrdavis, where they've notched up nearly half a million MySpace plays.

Friday night's alright for rock

There's a ton of cool shows tonight.

From Portland, Ore., the Quick and Easy Boys are rolling through to rock out The V Club, 741 6th Ave., with good buddies, Ben Coll and The Yetti, and the Boys are headed to the New River Gorge on Saturday.

Coll, a Marshall University grad who's also a whitewater rafting guide on the New and the Gauley rivers, has set up another double shot of The Yetti and the Boys at Cantrell's Pub, part of the Cantrell Ultimate Rafting company.

You can listen to some of the Boys' retro rockers like "Boots On," at www.myspace.com/quickandeasyboys. Listen to some of that sweet 304 groove from The Yetti, at www.myspace.com/theyetti.

With temps in the 90s, it might be high time to take the festival scene inside, The Sound Factory, 812 Kanawha Blvd., is doing just that tonight as they host The Recipe's Festival Party with fellow festival favs, the Davisson Brothers.

Call 304-342-8001.

Ironton rocks

Keeping it cool on the Ohio side of the big muddy, are the long-haired classic rockers, The Return. They're back at The Laidback Bar and Grill Friday and Saturday.

Call 740-532-4001.

Also, Friday and Saturday, it's time for the annual ZoneFest, which features two days of live music, a double-elimination cornhole tourney, food, vendors and more.

Tonight, they'll be music from The Whipps (modern country) at 8:30 p.m., and a bluegrass super jam with Men From Tweed (various members from String Therapy, Men From Earth and Boss Tweed - bluegrass jam).

On Saturday, there will be a triple shot of live music starting at 7:30 p.m. with Tantric, followed by Rock Candy and The Common Ground.

Tickets are now on sale at The EndZone. For more info, call Rob at 740-550-0864.

Here comes the 'Hunchin' Wagon'

It's taken a while, but Hasil Adkins' 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood limo -- dubbed the "Hunchin' Wagon" has come home to West Virginia.

While it may not be his most famous vehicle - the Boone County wildman immortalized his red Plymouth Satellite with spray painted polka dots in his song "Big Red Satellite" -- it was the car that transported him to many gigs throughout the southeast during the last leg of his career.

The car will be featured in the FestivALL Art Car Parade which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday in downtown Charleston.

The late Adkins was a one-man band (guitar, drums and vocal) whose songs such as "The Hunch," "No More Hotdogs" and "Chicken Walk," helped launch the psychobilly movement.

Adkins was popular in Europe, and none other than Miles Copeland, then owner of IRS Records (and brother to Police drummer Stewart Copeland) purchased his entire catalog in the mid-'90s.

One of the Hunchin' Wagon's last trips was to the Knoxville, set of Asia Argento's 2004 film "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things" in which Hasil turned in a brief cameo as a street musician.

After Hasil's death in 2005, the car's caretaker and Hasil's onetime manager Jim Tucci phoned the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame with the thought that the car's resting place should be in West Virginia.

Information about the other musicians from West Virginia is online at www.wvmusichall offame.com.

Dave Lavender writes about music for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at lavender@herald-dispatch.com.

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