Doug Kees joins Gasoline Brothers on latest album

by Bradley Hartsell

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The Gasoline Brothers playing live in Cornelia. From left are Brian Huffman, Ray Strickland, David Piper and Doug Kees. Hidden in the back is Billy Pitts on drums.

With roots dating back to over a quarter century experience of playing together, the Gasoline Brothers and Newnan-based Musicology's Doug Kees have teamed up for a new album and a string of live shows.

The members of the Bros. are Ray Strickland, Davo Piper, Jack Browning, Billy Pitts and Jon Daly. All the members have contributed over the years to notable acts such as Lynryd Skynyrd, Billy Idol, the Black Crows and The Georgia Satellites. The band has mashed up many of those wide-ranging influences to create Southern flavored rock 'n roll.

Kees, for his part, is a fixture in the Newnan music scene, owner of the private music lesson house, Musicology, and one of the most respected musicians in the area.

To round out the all-star ensemble, producer Jeff Tomei latched on to the new record, 'Living in the Weeds.' Tomei has been producing for 30 years and boasts the likes of the Smashing Pumpkins, Matchbox 20, Skid Row and many more on his resume.

'Recording with Jeff was huge,' Kees said. 'To have that and know he's going to make it sound good was really important.'

One might think with all the talent and experience in one room, egos might clash, dynamics may suffer. But Kees says there's no ego in the band. Everybody's just trying to have fun.

'Whoever wants to play is fine,' said Kees. 'That comes from playing with guys that experienced.'

Kees recalled seeing Ray Strickland playing more than 25 years ago, when their respective bands were on the same bill. He remembers being jealous of Strickland's natural ability to be rock 'n roll frontman. When the opportunity came this year to join Strickland's gang, he couldn't resist.

'It's rare to find a really special singer,' explained Kees. 'And I always thought he was great.'

Songs come together with Strickland's songwriting as the fulcrum. Everyone in the band is trying to accompany the 'character- driven' songs Strickland is so fond of penning.

'We listen to Ray to make the song happen, to reflect his songwriting,' said Kees.

On Saturday, the Gasoline Brothers will come to The Alamo on the Court Square for their first Newnan show. Earlier in the day the band will be playing the Sugar Hill Fall Festival. Kees joked that it's their one-day tour.

Mantra and Sweetgrass Sally will open for the Gasoline Bros. The show will kick off at 9:30 p.m. Call The å at 770-683-2526 for more information, which is located at 19 West Court Square in downtown Newnan.



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