The WannaBeatles Invade Holston River Brewing!
The Beatles and country music? The true Fab Four fan may already know a strong connection exists between the two. And on Friday, March 23, Bristol will get to experience that bond, when the fabulous WannaBeatles take the stage at the Holston River Brewing Company.
The Beatles’ well-known and beloved repertoire enveloped the roots of country through such songs as “I’ve Just Seen a Face” and “Baby’s In Black,” both of which show “a distinct influence of bluegrass and Everly Brothers harmony,” according Bryan Cumming, guitarist/vocalist with the Nashville-based Beatles tribute band.
The WannaBeatles, who have appeared on national television and were Grammy nominees in 2012, will perform songs by both The Beatles and beyond.
“We go where no Beatles band has gone before,” adds keyboardist Nathan Burbank. “Comedy, variety, and audience participation are key elements to our show.”
The first ten members of the audience to arrive will receive a copy of the group’s Grammy nominated album, “Fab Fan Memories – The Beatles Bond.” The audiobook features stories and recollections about The Beatles from both celebrities and everyday fans and is hosted by Beatle George Harrison’s older sister, Louise Harrison.
As befits their Grammy finalist status,The WannaBeatles are the only tribute act to have written songs for fellow nominees Paul McCartney and Betty White. The videos for “We Wanna Meet Paul” and “Oh Betty! (The Betty White Song) have brought smiles to fans and concert goers alike.
The career of The WannaBeatles parallels that of their mentors. Like The Beatles, whose career began at an underground Liverpool venue called The Cavern Club, The WannaBeatles got their start playing at a Mexican restaurant in Nashville where “Beatles and Fajitas” were the chosen fare. For Dennis Scott, Bryan Cumming, Nathan Burbank, and David Toledo it was love at first note!
Entertaining at Nashville hot spots proved to be a springboard for higher profile shows which included appearances with such renowned artists as Wynonna Judd, Phil Keaggy, and Jonny Lang. Their performances at The Tennessee Performing Arts Center, The Music City Bowl, and Georgia’s New Year‘s Eve Peach Drop earned them enthusiastic reviews and standing ovations. They quickly learned that by being themselves they could have more fun on stage and engage their audiences in a whole new way.
The WannaBeatles like to say that they go “where no Beatles band has gone before.” Their travels have taken them from Perdido Beach to New York City where they appeared on national television with Governor Mike Huckabee on the Fox Network. Their recording, “Fab Fan Memories – The Beatles Bond” was nominated for Best Spoken Word Album.
It wasn’t long before the band’s on stage collaboration included their combined songwriting skills. Soon the City of Virginia Beach commissioned them to compose “In ’63,” celebrating the city’s 50th anniversary which led to a full length album of their original songs including such favorites as “Oh Betty! The Betty White Song” and “Bristol Lights.” And although The WannaBeatles have not yet realized their dream of meeting Paul McCartney, their video “We Want to Meet Paul” expresses the sentiment of like minded Beatles fans who wish they could shake hands The Beatle on bass.
The WannaBeatles have produced ground breaking concerts including a rooftop concert on a downtown Nashville building to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Beatles final concert together made popular in the film, “Let it Be” with proceeds donated to The National Association of Music Education. Their 50th anniversary concert commemorating The Beatles famed February 9th appearance on the Ed Sullivan show had people lined up at the Omni Hotel. And when Sir Paul visited their hometown of Nashville, the WB’s staged a “Welcome Back Paul Party” across the street from where Paul was playing – including dancers and a big yellow “Love Bus.”
The latest chapter of The WannaBeatles’ journey has taken them from the solo stage to concerts with symphony orchestras. In addition to playing the Beatles songs that feature orchestras, they have expanded that repertore by writting arrangements for additional Beatles songs – much to the delight of audience as well as the musicians on stage.
Whatever it takes, The WannaBeatles contenders use their multi-instrumental skills to re-create all eras of the Beatles song catalogue. Says Dennis Scott, the group’s founder, “We literally tie ourselves into pretzels to reproduce songs that The Beatles themselves never performed live.”
And maybe that’s what makes The WannaBeatles special. It’s a team effort that lovingly allows the audience to share in their journey to go “where no Beatles band has gone before.”