Take It Easy - The American Classic Rock Show Taster 2024 - Take It Easy - The American Classic Rock Show
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The Band

Take It Easy – The American Classic Rock Show was formed in 2021 by Nigel Minchin as an outlet for his love of performing the music of American bands from the 1960s to the present day. The opportunity to perform songs from the huge catalogue of American classic, country and blues-based rock music was too tempting to leave any longer. Similarly-minded musicians were found and rehearsals started in the late summer of 2021. Please check the shows page for details of upcoming performances.

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Nigel Minchin – Vocals, Guitars, Harmonica and Mandolin

Nigel began his musical career in the choir at primary school. After taking up the electric guitar in his teenage years, he played in numerous bands during the 1980s, mainly blues, psychedelic and goth rock as a guitarist and lead or backing singer. After several years hiatus during the 1990s, he was persuaded to join a Neil Young tribute band, Broken Arrow and played the great man in various venues over a 4-year period. Nigel has also sang in the chorus of a local opera production, Alban. He first heard American rock music on the Old Grey Whistle Test in the mid to late 1970s – Lynyrd Skynyrd playing Freebird, Neil Young playing Like a Hurricane and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers playing American Girl. He was also forever changed when he saw The Last Waltz on BBC2 around this time. Currently Nigel also performs at Tom Petty in the Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers tribute band Petty Criminals. Visit his music website for more details – Nigel Minchin Music. Favourite American bands – The Doors, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

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Edwin Harvey – Bass and Backing Vocals

Obsessed by music and sound (particularly bass and 12-string guitars) from an early age, Edwin bought his first bass in his mid-teens. The following decades have seen him playing almost every type of music with various bands, both on the London circuit, and at many festivals. Highlights so far include playing to a packed Royal Albert Hall, and Barbican. Edwin also performs as Ron Blair in the Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers tribute band Petty Criminals. Favourite American band – The Doobie Brothers.

Philip Raby as Benmont Tench

Philip Raby – Keyboards

After many years moving and storing his late father’s VOX Continental organ, Philip decided to have it restored to full working order. It was a simple matter of taking this iconic piece of the British 60’s music scene to the experts and parting with sack full of cash. Six weeks later in October 2010 Philip became the poorer, but proud and privileged owner of a fully working Vox Continental II organ. Philip is self-taught, learning to read music, play scales and chords and then, progressing onto his local live music scene. When there’s room on-stage, the Vox Continental is in the show along with the Hammond, piano, synthesiser and Leslie speaker. Philip also performs at Benmont Tench in the Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers tribute band Petty Criminals. There are many great and popular American bands that have captivated Philip and influenced his playing and musical preferences; The Doobie Brothers, Tom Petty, Doors, Eagles, and Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band. Favourite American band – Steely Dan.

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Rich Lewis – Guitar and Backing Vocals

Rich has been playing guitar since he was 16 when his mind was blown watching Jimi Hendrix in the Woodstock movie, inspiring him to form his first band while still at school. Since then he’s appeared in numerous bands playing a variety of genres including powerpop, blues, grunge and psychedelia. Alongside Take It Easy, Rich also performs in Philip performs as Mike Campbell in the Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers tribute band Petty Criminals. Among his favourite American artists are Neil Young, Tom Petty, The Doors and The Black Crowes. As a big fan of 12-string jangle though it’s no surprise that his favourite American band is The Byrds.

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Emily Cotton – Vocals*

Emily’s musical journey started with the violin at age 6. She played in several Orchestras performing in many well known venues including the Bournemouth International Centre, Poole Lighthouse and The Royal Albert Hall. Emily found her passion for singing while studying at University and after graduating she went on to work as a music assistant in the West End and vocalist on board cruise liners and across the south coast. Notable jobs include: resident singer onboard P&O ferries and Fred Olsen cruise lines. Music assistant for West End Musicals: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Gypsy and TINA – The Tina Turner Musical as well as the albums Gypsy: 2015 London Cast Recording and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical (Original Cast Recording) Emily currently works as a freelance vocalist, singing with multiple function bands and providing backing vocals for various tribute acts. https://www.facebook.com/emmycottonmusic. Favourite american artists – Tom Petty.

Sarah Skinner Vocals

Sarah Skinner – Vocals*

Sarah’s musical journey began in a Hertfordshire church choir, sparking a passion that led her from musical theatre to Italian opera. Over two decades, her voice was heard across the country at various festivals and theatres. From singing “Great Gig in the Sky” with Pink Floyd tribute bands to leading her own Blues and Jazz ensembles. Influences include Beth Hart, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Diana Krall, Stevie Nicks and Aretha Franklin. Favourite american artists – Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles (love the harmonies!).

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Chris Heyes – Drums*

Chris Heyes fell in love with drums when he first picked up some sticks as a kid – and he hasn’t stopped drumming since. His varied career to date has seen him perform pretty much every genre going, including songs he co-wrote as well as covers, in venues big and small. He has also recorded at some of the most prestigious recording studios in the UK and abroad, and has performed at uncountable festivals, theatre shows and private events. Equally at home playing rock, jazz, Motown, drum and bass, musical theatre. Chris lives in St Albans, and alongside his busy gigging schedule, he records and teaches drums from his own well-equipped studio. See stalbansdrumlessons.co.uk for more info.

Jake Perrett Drummer

Jake Perrett – Drums*

Jake first picked up a pair of drumsticks when he was 10. Spending years performing in school bands, local music groups, and covers bands, he found a love for all things music and went on to study a degree in music performance. Jake has always enjoyed learning has continued taking lessons studying with some of the best drummers in the world including Dave Weckl, Peter Erskine, Pete Riley, Todd Sucherman, and Neal Wilkinson. Jakes varied career has seen him working in so many avenues; variety is what he enjoys. Everything from classic rock to musicals and Pantomime. From his home studio he records for clients worldwide and provides private drum lessons. His current favourite song to play in the set list is Barracuda. See his website for more details – www.jakeperrett.com.

*select dates

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