From The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN - September, 1997
“Andy Tanas, in dyed blond hair and the remnants of eye makeup, sat in his hotel room on a 1984 night. A member of Krokus, he'd been on stage sweating in a pair of tight leather pants while playing heavy metal on his bass.
“I'm playing these old Carl Perkins songs like Boppin' the Blues” he said. “And I look in the mirror across from the bed and I'm thinking “Who is this guy sitting here?'”
What do you do when you're raised in a musical Mecca like Memphis where the best music has always come from mixing one style of music to another? Memphis has always rebelled against conventional ideas when it comes to art. So here's a guy that loves Don Gibson and Johnny Cash as much as The Who and Humble Pie. You know what…it just might work!
For Andy, "Songs From The New South" came from an idea going back to the mid seventies that Country music could be executed with a hard-edged classic/hard rock feel.
Two EP's, a few bands and tons of demos later Andy had a song on Hayden's Ferry's "Jukebox Cantina" compilation called You Gotta Love Her. It received some good reviews and a little airplay. He started noticing that Nashville was trying to do the same thing by mixing rock and country but a much more watered down version. Having roots in both worlds this inspired SFTNS to start production in June of 1998. It was finished four years to the day in 2002. You'll find the subject matter more diverse. The production more in your face and the sonic quality transparent and honest. Kind of like the early Pretenders records.
What you're about to hear is a very unique and different addition to neo-rockin country. It has a Memphis sensibility, an apart from Nashville approach and more curves than a World Series game.
I am so blessed when you look at the people who worked on it with me. Like Cody Dickinson of The North Mississippi All Stars, Robert Barnett from Big Ass Truck, founding member of Bonepony, Bryan Ward and Gretchen Priest of Ceili Rain.
Valli Kugler, Miss Tennessee 2002, Polish children's book writer Lilliana and my own step-daughter Rachel Sherman sang back-up vocals. Kyle Jones, who has toured with Sting. played djimbe. Local Memphis legend Roy Brewer played some amazing fiddle. Pedal steel player Bruce Wandmayer has worked with Vince Gill, Charlie Daniels, Pam Tillis, Kathy Mattea, Foster and Lloyd, Graham Nash & the Bellamy Brothers.
Then toss in co-production and engineering from Voytek Kochanek who's worked with Ozzy, Steve Vai, Peter Frampton and The Tractors and you've got more sonic blasts than a missile training site. All in all it's pure cross-genre heaven. But don't take my word for it. You decide for yourself.