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Monthly Archives: November 2012

On Friday November 23rd, AC30 will be making the drive north from Huntington to play the Worthington Ballroom. The show will also feature Cadillac Lester, Haggard Wulf and a special performance from Todd Burge & Jimmy Clinton. The show will also help Old Man Rivers Mission by collecting canned goods for a reduced at the door ticket price. Bring 3 cans get in for $8! 

I spoke a little with AC30 bassist Ian Thorton about his band, their vision and playing live. I think you’ll find that we’re all in for a treat on Friday night! 

PM Beat: How long have you all been playing together?

Ian: “We began playing around in the studio late 2009 and played our first live show with (Alex, Bud, Ryan and myself) New Year’s Eve 2010.” 

PM Beat: Is AC30 a creation from any former bands, or did everybody start as new performers/first band?

Ian: “Ryan and I were originally in a short lived band together called Whirling Dervish. Around the middle of 2009 we lost our lead guitarist and Bud, having heard us at a local venue previously, was down to fill the spot. That band shortly faded out and we began hanging out and recording some tracks at Bud’s Trackside Studios. This material eventually turned into the early makings of AC30. Most of that album was done with only Ryan, Bud and me. Alex came along during the process, as well as Doug who had recently moved back from Atlanta. Then, PJ was the last to come on board. Our good buddy, Rod Elkins, also played a couple of shows with us.” 

PM Beat: I know the Vox AC30 amp … and you don’t see many bands playing Rickenbacker guitars … was there a focused effort to gravitate toward the equipment based on any particular influencing artists?

Ian: “Well, not really I don’t think … ha-ha. Bud came up with the name and we all really dug it. I suppose it kind of gives you a glimpse of what to expect from us, but since everyone in the band writes, I feel like we’re really across the board stylistically. And no one actually plays an AC30. As for the Ric’s, both Ryan and I have had ours for years, happy coincidence I suppose. Who doesn’t like a Ric?” 

PM Beat: I appreciate you guys playing on Nov. 23rd at the historic Worthington Ballroom and you seem to be open to gigs … how many shows do you normally like to play a month?

Ian: “We appreciate the offer to play that room! When it comes to shows, I suppose it depends on what else is going on. If we’re trying to record, our focus is mostly on that. But when we’re playing we like to play about 6-8 times a month. Given that everyone has a day job, we’re pretty much restricted to Thurs-Sat for shows. So we focus on short weekend runs around the region.” 

PM Beat: Can you think of any one show in particular, where everything just seemed to align and flow, and when you looked out to the audience the band was shocked by the sheer number of people and the amount of fun they were having?

Ian: “We’re still a relatively new band, so as of yet we haven’t played any enormous shows really. But this past Halloween show in Huntington might have been just about our best show yet. All the elements were there for that one. The band was playing very well, the sound was tight and there were a couple hundred people in the audience just eating up everything we threw at them. Everything just seemed to click and it was a blast on our end.” 

PM Beat: It is show business, with the duty of the band to both play and entertain … who are some artists, which you may have seen live or via media, which have a performance style which AC30 enjoys/incorporates?

Ian: “That’s one of the aspects I believe we’re still getting comfortable with, stage presence. I think we put on pretty good show, but granted, we’re no KISS … ha-ha. Everyone adds their own element and stage persona. We don’t really think about that in terms of emulating any one. We all like the Who, those guys definitely had presence.” 

PM Beat: I’m a firm believer that egos are destructive in the music business and that bands need a thick skin and calm demeanor to get through the unhappy things that pop up from time to time … what is the smallest crowd you have ever played before that really made you scratch your head and wonder “what happened?”

Ian: “Yea, one of the strongest things about our band is the fact that egos are left at the door. So many times you can get all the best players together, but they’ll form the worst band. The camaraderie of our band is one of my favorite aspects of AC30. We’re all in it for the same reason, to make music we love and to have fun doing it. You can’t take this stuff too seriously or you’ll drive yourself crazy. Shitty shows happen, that’s just the nature of the beast. Sometimes the smallest crowd can be one of the funnest shows. For instance, we played in Knoxville to about 7-10 people. Drove 5+ hours to get there and was a little beat but I felt that it was one of our best shows because those 7 people really dug what we were doing.” 

PM Beat: Every bands has different aspirations and realities due to day to day life … if you could add something (a tour with a well- known band, chance to record with a well-known producer, increased media recognition of your work so far, adding another talented musician to bring a new angle to the bands sound, etc…) to the world of AC30 what do you think the band would enjoy gaining?

Ian: “Like you said, we’re realistic. We don’t really have aspirations to be as big as the Beatles or anything. Personally, I really like the chemistry of our band. I think we all come together and work really well as a group. We all have our own strengths that contribute to our sound and overall workings as a band. Having Bud and Ryan in the band especially helps out with our recording process. It’s not like we have to shell out tons of money and desperately try to knock out X amount of songs in a weekend. We can focus on making great records. Though, we do enjoy getting out of our normal confines to do a little work elsewhere as with Eddie Ashworth (Athens) or Roger Nichols (Nashville). I think our main focus at this point is making the best records we can and gaining as many fans as possible to share them with. So yea, if Petty needs an opener anytime soon I’m sure we’d be more than happy to oblige.” 

PM Beat: Fans, other bands, maybe even some band mates do some hysterical things from time to time while you are performing … does any event spring to mind where AC30 just had to step back and get a good laugh out of their system before starting or finishing a live song?

Ian: “Our Huntington shows always come with some nice banter both from the crowd and from us as well. So you never know what you’re going to hear, but it can get pretty comical at times. One of the things that comes to mind would be when we were covering “Gimme Gimme Good Lovin” with PJ singing and as opposed to the song’s normal city shout outs, PJ decided to add WV towns on the fly instead and it worked out incredibly well. We all about lost it on that one. Maybe you had to be there.. lol.” 

PM Beat: I’m sure everyone in the band loves creating music … but when you step away from the band what are some of the non-musical things that you enjoy or are a little fanatical about?

Ian: “I think we all have our own things we do outside the band. Granted we’re not necessarily a “young” band so we all definitely have our responsibilities to take care of. I’m still cutting my teeth as a promoter here in Huntington, founding the Huntington Music & Arts Festival back in 2010. Bud just keeps getting better with his recording craft and taking part in starting the ‘Live at Trackside’ video series. The rest of the fellas all have day jobs/girlfriends…etc as well. So sometimes when we’re not making music, we’re still doing music stuff I suppose.”

If there’s one thing that can be said about Thanksgiving, it is consistent. Always falling on the fourth Thursday of November and generally providing a day of feasting, lounging and snoozing for most people. The next day takes on a whole meaning, as folks are ready to get out of the house and socialize. There’s no better place to do it than with a line up of hot bands! Plus also donating non perishable canned goods (13-17oz. cans) to benefit Parkersburg area food banks is a wonderful thing.

Come out and support area food banks!

On Friday November 23rd, Huntington rockers AC30 will make their way to the historic Worthington Ballroom in North Parkersburg. Uniquely named after the historic Vox guitar amplifier of the same designation, one could also view historic Vox AC30 amp users as influences for the power pop band. Pete Townsend, Peter Buck, Keith Richards, Brian May, the Edge and many more have crafted some of rock catchiest riffs through the amps speakers … and one can ad AC30 (the band) to that list as well!

AC30 features Bud Carroll – Guitar/Vox, Alex Mccoy – Drums/Vox, Ian Thornton – Bass/Vox, Ryan Weaver – Guitar/Vox, Doug Woodard – Acoustic Guitar/Vox, Rod Elkins – Guitar/Percussion/Aux Man and P.J. Woodard – Organ/Keys. Yes you read it right, seven performers focused on creating one, big lush sound.

While AC30 is fast approching their two year birthday as a band, the group continues to work hard at numerous live shows throughout the tri-state area bringing their music to the people. All this adds up to crisp, clean, tight and powerful music for the masses!

Also joining AC30 on the ballroom stage will be Marietta’s Cadillac Lester. The power rockabilly trio have been jamming it old school in the Mid Ohio Valley playing a unique brand of 50’s & 60’s physco-rockabilly. The trio consists of  Jesse Forrest singing and strumming a big ole hollowbody electric, Tom Trout providing vocals and laying it down on the skins and David McIntyre slapping an upright bass until it pops some low end groove!

Folks who have been listening to live music in the Parkersburg area for the past 30 years understand the Todd Burge and Jimmy Clinton musical relationship. They’ve been working together since the early 80’s on all types of musical projects. Of course, both are also well known for their solo accomplishments. Burge as one of WV’s hardest working acoustic songwriters and Clinton as the Americana rocker with diverse musical influences. Mix the two together and the result is some mighty fine pickin’ and storytellin’!

Doors will open at 7pm and it is advised to get there on time. The Worthington Ballroom is a great venue, but it does have occupancy regulations (first 200 people) and we are expecting a huge show! Tickets at the door will be $10 however … a person bringing 3 cans (approx. 13-17 oz.) of non perishable food items to the door and can get in for $8 at the door, while tickets last. Food collected will benefit Old Man River’s Mission pantry.

The show is 21 and up. Also featured will be microbrew from the North End Tavern.

The Worthington Ballroom is located at 3414 Roseland Avenue in Parkersburg, WV. It is located at the corner of Roseland and Fairview avenues and across the street from Parkersburg Catholic High School.




You know the night … the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. November 21st this year to be exact. Friends from out-of-town visiting, or maybe just some local friends with a rare Thursday holiday and a day off from work. Sure you could hang out at home or you could go to a crowded bar and fight your way through the boredom … or you could come out and get rocked by Jesse Smith and the Holy Ghost at the historic Worthington Ballroom in North Parkersburg! 

For those of you who don’t know, the former Zao rocker and founder, has assembled a new project that needs to be seen and heard! Sure one could look back at Smith’s many past successes, but as they say the future is now. And now means new songs and a new band!

“Over the years I have struggled to find my niche as a songwriter,” Smith said. “I’m a huge fan of heavy music, but I’ve always been into all types of stuff. When I began writing these songs, I just wrote from the heart, with no preconceived notions of what they would turn out to be.” And yes it rocks!

The show will also feature the power duo Farnsworth from Charleston, WV. Farnsworth is composed of drummer Jason Reese and guitarist/vocalist Chris Vance. Influenced by listening to many classic rock albums from the 70’s, the duo packs a ton of punch into their retro flavored power groove. If you dig a good riff, and like to feel it too, Farnsworth will not disappoint!

Returning to the Worthington Ballroom for this show will also be Parkersburg rockers, The Remnants. The four piece group relies on influences from a wide range of rock and roll from the 60’s to present. But don’t think for a moment that this is “classic rock” … it is original rock! The Remnants are masterful in putting together 4 minute long blasts of power pop, a trademark signature sound and just simply great songs!

As if three bands weren’t enough for one evening the show will kick off with a special performance by area songwriters Michael J. Iafrate and Mike Lutz. The two songwriters will open the show by trading off one song at a time, certain to keep the first slot very interesting. Deep, dark, joyous, failure, love, hate, promise, kindness and the weight of  the world will likely be debated.

Doors will open at 7pm and it is advised to get there on time. The Worthington Ballroom is a great venue, but it does have occupancy regulations and we are expecting a huge show! Tickets are $7 in advance by using the PayPal link below. You will receive a confirmation email from a little while after you have completed the checkout. Your name will be added to the will call list as well. Tickets at the door will be $10.

The show is 21 and up. Also featured will be microbrew from the North End Tavern.

The Worthington Ballroom is located at 3414 Roseland Avenue in Parkersburg, WV. It is located at the corner of Roseland and Fairview avenues and across the street from Parkersburg Catholic High School.



Folks and fellow citizens of our great country, I come here with a promise, one which you can count on, one which to look to the future, Friday November 9th to be exact. My promise is simple, a great night of rock and roll. In fact, since we will be at the Worthington Ballroom (3414 Roseland Ave.,Parkersburg), we can even call it a celebration as we move our rock and roll agenda forward! But don’t worry, there’s no votes to cast or commercials to watch … just fun to be had as The Jimmy Clinton Band, Haggard Wulf (from Morgantown) and Ben Davis Jr. (from the great town of  Pomeroy, Ohio).

Jimmy Clinton (guitar and vocals), Vincenzo Mele (bass and Townsend-esque jumping splits) and Jeremy Harman (drums and facial expressions) will be sharing their platform of kick-ass, original roots rock and roll. Drawing on blues masters, folk legends and new south rockers, the Jimmy Clinton Band provides powerful blasts of original rock and roll guaranteed to move your booty!

What do Johnny Cash, The Misfits, Slayer, Molly Hatchet, Robert Johnson and Hank Williams have in common? Nope … they’re not all dead but they do all reside in Haggard Wulf’s musical influences! Make no mistake, the Morgantown duo of guitarist Frank Gunner and drummer/vocalist Lee Roy Jenkins mash all those influences up and distill them down to some mighty unique tunes. Haggard Wulf claims to be “hellbent for haggardness” which translates to raw energy. Gunner and his Gretsch hollowbody provide the groove while Jenkins adds the exclamation points from his Neil Peart-esque (not) drum kit while delivering quirky lyrics about the good, the bad and the ugly while living a haggard-ass life.

Ben Davis Jr. is a young man of several beliefs. “I’ve learned that if you really want to change the world you need to base your lifestyle on the principle of love,” Davis Jr. exclaims. That, and several others, are the foundation on which his lyrics are built. As a fan of Todd Snider, The Avett Brothers, Butch Walker, Ryan Adams and more, his music falls solidly into the Americana/Folk genre. Armed with steady acoustic guitar strumming, a smattering of harmonica and his honest voice, Davis Jr. opens up a little window into his personal feelings of finding happiness, bittersweet reality and the spirit which drives on to look to the future … some things of which we all can relate or at least use a reminder.

Tickets for the 21 & up event will be available for $5 the night of the show. Doors will open at 7pm with music starting around 8pm. As usual libations from the North End Tavern will be available for purchase, as well as other canned goods. My fellow Americans, I’ll see you Friday night!