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The three bands on the bill all share a background in folk music, but vary mostly in their experience levels: Rattletrap Stringband has been playing in Athens for more than a decade, Corbin Marsh Band has been around for almost two years and Hunnybee & The Sandy Tar Boys are just starting out in their current incarnation.
The Corbin Marsh band formed in summer of 2010 with primary songwriter Corbin Marsh on guitar and vocals, Mike Flynn on lead guitar, J.J. Reed on bass and Chris Lee on drums.
Marsh had been floating around from band to band when he finally got tired of the inconsistency and decided to set out on his own.
“Being in a band is like being in a relationship with three or four other people,” Marsh said. “I kept moving between bands, which was frustrating because it felt like as soon as you’d make a name for yourself, someone would flake out, and then you’d break up. So, I set out to do my own thing and just have a backup band so I didn’t have to deal with the drama.”
Even though he intended to go solo and rely on a band only for backup, the current lineup ended up getting along and the band has stuck together longer than any project in which Marsh has previously been involved.
According to Marsh, the group had not yet decided on a name when The Athens News referred to the musicians as the Corbin Marsh Band in the paper, and the name just stuck.
The band plays a bluesy folk-rock mix that is accentuated by a singer-songwriter sentimentality that comes from Marsh’s personal influences.
“I have my roots in singer-songwriter stuff, sort of Ryan Adams-esque, as well as old-time country blues and folk--old, crackly blues records, stuff like that.”
Marsh’s style is rounded out by the musical influences of the rest of the band members, which range from Chicago blues to Oasis to progressive rock.
Last year, the band received the opportunity to record a few songs after only having been together for a few months, and ended up releasing the tracks as a five-song EP for free on the group's BandCamp page.
In February, they recorded another five-song EP, this time with more focus on production, that Marsh hopes will be released by June.
Although the group has a singer-songwriter vibe, Marsh said that the band’s live shows have a tendency to get raucous.
“We try to get rowdy,” Marsh said. “Our live show is usually a balance of our rock/country/blues and our singer-songwriter stuff. We try to have a good time, have fun, get people dancing.”
Show opener Rattletrap Stringband is, as the name suggests, a band that features only stringed instruments, including acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle and upright bass.
Anyone familiar with the Athens music scene will recognize Rattletrap, considering they play free shows at Casa every Monday night and have been doing so for about 12 years, according to band member Tim Peacock.
However, last Monday night marked one of the seldom occasions that the Rattletrap Stringband could not be found at Casa. An injury to fiddler Matthew McElroy’s index finger resulted in 20 stitches and a rare cancellation of the show. The band will be back on Thursday, albeit with a substitute fiddler, Peacock said.
The show will also feature Hunnybee & The Sandy Tar Boys, the new project from members of the now-defunct MBANZA!, who were originally slotted to headline at Casa but played their farewell show at Jackie O’s last Friday.
Tickets will be $3 for patrons over 21 and $5 for those below. It kicks off at 10 p.m. and will go until about 2 a.m.
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