On stage at the Rockabilly Ruckus with The Sara Rose Band and Reverend Billy C. Wirtz. WMNF 88.5 Community Radio held the 11th annual Rockabilly Ruckus – a tribute to Sun Records at Skippers Smokehouse in Tampa, FL. Earlier in show Alex & Bella and Hairdresser On Fire entertained the crowd.
The Sara Rose Band, a honky tonk band that specializes in classic country music. This was the first time I would be seeing the Sara Rose Band, so I was curious as to what songs the group would be playing. When they started playing things fell right into place. I felt like this was a band I have been watching for a long time, due to their harmonious and inviting sound and energetic and oh so friendly frontwoman, Sara Hagan. But mostly for this classic tribute filled evening, it was their choice to represent Sun Records with a set full of Roy Orbison songs. If you get a chance to see this All-American group, you will leave a happy customer.
The Sara Rose Band
Now the most interesting group of the night was definitely a motley crew. Reverend Billy C. Wirtz and Ronny Elliot led this ragtag group of musicians, who hadn’t all met each other, let alone played together . The Rev. played a mean piano, and on some songs, I felt mercy for those ivory keys as he banged out note after note. Music vet Ronny Elliot played a sweet and soulful guitar. And lead guitarist Steve Connelly, I could’ve watched him play all night. As he hunched over the axe with his mop style haircut covering his face, his focus and intensity rivals few. At one point of the night I thought he and his guitar became one, where this magical instrument became a beautiful extension of his body and his musical prowess. The band played so well together, you would have never known it was their inaugural performance.
Reverend Billy C. Wirtz
More Tampa Rockabilly
- View more pics from Rockabilly Ruckus – a tribute to Sun Records and hear about the bands Alex & Bella, aka AB+, and Hairdresser on Fire in Part I of this series.
- Rumble in the South with Skinny D & the Hot Rod Truckers and Jeff Vitolo & the Quarter Mile Rebels.