ASHLAND - The historic Paramount Arts Center has teamed up with the city of Ashland to debut the PAC Live! outdoor concert series this weekend.
On Saturday, Sept. 14, on Ashland's Riverfront stage, the banks of the Ohio River will be shaking with the classic rock n' roll sounds of the headlining band, Thunderstruck - America's AC/DC. Opening for the nationally touring group will be 3 Days Under and Celeste Watts and Devils Creek Special.
The gates will open at 5 p.m. along with the food and beer vendors, and the music will begin at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 with VIP tickets available for $35.
Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Thunderstruck - America's AC/DC has become the premier AC/DC cover band in the U.S. by being very good at re-creating the classic rock crunch of the Australian-based Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.
Thunderstruck's yearly tours take them to all corners of America, as the popularity of the hard-charging music of AC/DC never seems to wane.
The members of Thunderstruck - America's AC/DC include Dave Moody on vocals, Corey Baetz on lead guitar, Kevin Feller on rhythm guitar, Chris Jones on bass guitar and Ashland native Jerry Lawson on drums.
Dave Moody is a veteran of the music world who performed with Billy Ray Cyrus for nearly a decade.
"I have been in a lot of different bands over the years, but predominantly I was the bass player for Billy Ray Cyrus for almost 10 years," Moody said. "I played with Billy from around 2007 to 2014. I played for him for a long time. I got to play on the Grand Ole Opry with him about 2010, and that was really special. I did a lot of cool things with Billy. He is a super cool gentleman and a good friend and a great boss, and I loved working with him. I recently saw Billy in Nashville because he gave me the invite to come down there and play with him this past June at The George Jones Rooftop Bar for a couple of songs."
While Moody long ago established his credentials as an instrumentalist in the music business, he was never a front man. But, he always had a knack for singing the vocals of the music of AC/DC. When the chance came along to be a part of Thunderstruck - America's AC/DC and sing the lead vocals, he took a leap of faith and grabbed the microphone.
"I played in other cover bands and original bands before and after my time with Billy Ray, although I was mostly a bass and guitar player and never a front man," Moody said. "Now, singing lead for Thunderstruck, which requires powerful vocals, I pray a lot and hope that it is just comes on out. Fortunately for me, I was always able to sing the music of AC/DC, and it just comes out naturally. It really hasn't given me any fits, knock on wood. I'm very fortunate. I try to take care of my voice and warm up and warm down correctly and try and get as much sleep as I can, which is nearly impossible on the road."
For Moody and many other lovers of rock music of a certain age, AC/DC has always been a go-to group to get the blood flowing. But, as Thunderstruck's concert audiences have proven, all ages have a love for this music.
"I have always been an AC/DC fan," Moody said. "Their music struck me from a very early age. It was the energy of it, the power of it and they way that the original band keeps it in the red all of the time. They never let you down as you can count on them to be a hard rocking machine and that is the way I like it hard and fast. That music is so generational. I say this often, and it is not meant to be disrespectful, but our crowds are made up of people just getting their teeth and losing their teeth. In the crowd, you will see a grandpa and a son or daughter, and sometimes even a great-grandson or granddaughter. It is a wonderful thing to see the power of the music and how it is being passed down to future generations."
This weekend's Ashland show will be special due to hometown boy Jerry Lawson playing drums for Thunderstruck.
"This will be a homecoming show of sorts for Jerry," Moody said. "We tour all over the U.S., and we're having a blast out here. But, the Paramount Arts Center called us, thank God, and said, 'We want to feature you guys at this special outdoor music series,' and Jerry is all over the moon about it."