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SideWayZ was started by the original drummer but the name began with a Dierks Bentley song.
When the band began Bentley’s song “Sideways” was popular, and band member Ashlie Logsdon thought it would be a good name for the band.
“She thought about it for a couple of weeks, she wanted something catchy and not too long of a name,” band member John Langley said. “The names that the rest of us were coming up with she didn’t like and everyone agreed they liked SideWayZ so we went with that.”
Langley (vocals, guitar, piano and harmonica) and Logsdon (vocals and guitar) are the two original members of the band. Steve Jones joined the band on drums in January 2010. David Austin and Eric Portman recently joined the band on guitar and bass respectively.
“Things couldn’t have fell together more perfectly,” Logsdon said.
The band plays a variety of old and new country, rock, blues, jazz including current hits as Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert and classics from Louis Armstrong, Bob Seger, ACDC and The Cars.
“Ashlie does an amazing job covering the current female artists and her personal favorite would probably have to be Miranda Lambert,” Langley said. “She covers her very well and she is great at getting the crowd revved up with her amazing stage presence and outgoing personality.”
While they all have recorded individually, the only things they’ve recorded as a band are demos for clubs and fans, but they do perform original music onstage in the mix of their covers.
The type of music they play reflects their influences. They like current music and classic rock.
They’ve played in Bowling Green, Bardstown, Leitchfield and nearby cities with venues for live entertainment and feel they’ve developed a fan base.
Many in the band have played on the same stages as Alan Jackson, Stevie Ray Vaughn, David Alan Coe and Keith Whitley. Some even have done opening shows for recording artist such as Montgomery Gentry and Marty Stuart.
“All the members of SideWayZ are deeply rooted in music,” Langley said.
Langley’s father, Charles, wrote the official song for the state’s bicentennial in 1976 called “Lion and Lamb Uncle Sam God Bless Your Soul,” and Langley wrote and performed the Bunbakers jingle that played on area radio stations between 2003 and 2005.
As a band, they feel every performance has memorable moments.
“Every moment that we can be on stage and entertain people with our God given talent is a memorable moment, but there is one moment that stands out over others and that's when a man walked up and placed a $50 bill down at my feet the very day I had just paid $50 get my guitar amp repaired,” Langley said.
The man told him to never stop playing.
While that moment stands out to Langley, he said funny moments happen every weekend.
“There’s always something that someone says or does during a show that, if you think about it later, it will bring a laugh or a smile to your face,” Langley said.
But it hasn’t been all fun and games. The band has been through some hard times, but members think it’s something they grow from.
“It's like this, when bad things happen to good people you can choose to let it destroy you or you can pick yourself up, dust off your feet and keep moving,” Langley said.
Music keeps them sane and helps them deal with troubles life throws at them.
“Music is our heart, soul and blood, and it defines our being,” Langley said.
The band is not trying to “make the big time.”
“We play music to relieve stress not to add it,” Langley said. “If music were our main source of income we believe that it would take a lot of the fun out of playing and make everything a lot more stressful.”
They all have jobs and families and play music as a hobby for fun, though they take their sound very seriously.
“We hope to be doing this for a long time, we're gonna ride it out long as we can,” Langley said. “The feeling you get when you put a smile on someone's face playing them a song they love is what makes it all worthwhile.”
Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.