High Tides on the Potomac in Colonial Beach seemed to not only play host to live music this past Friday, but also to an impromptu reunion. Since the band is comprised of different generations of local musicians, the crowd of fans that came to listen was of different generations as well. Along with the usual crowd that flocks to the Beach for live music on the weekends was a crowd there to support and enjoy the musical talents of local band Southern Bred.
Southern Bred band, whose name comes from the chorus of the song “My Home’s in Alabama” by Alabama, didn’t start out as a band exactly, but as a weekly jam session. Currently, the band is made up of musicians Doug Kemp, Bob Townsend, Murphy Bailey, Larry Lewis, John Lewis, Trent Jones and David Taylor, but back in 2008 when it all started, it was just Bailey, Townsend and a few others. Jones, who was in guitar class with Bailey at Washington and Lee High School, was invited to the jam session one afternoon and after playing together a few times, the group was asked to play at a private party. At that point, Kemp, and the Lewis’s were not in the band, but when after a year of playing they lost one of their singers, Kemp stepped in and filled the role perfectly. The following year they lost their original bass player. “We went through a gauntlet trying to find a new one until we found Larry, who plays with us today along with his son, John” said Jones.
They were then officially the band they are today. A band, mind you, that has parents and grandparents as well as toddlers dancing the night away to their music. A band that lights up Facebook posts encouraging the entire county to come witness their talent.
Kemp, originally from Oak Grove, works as a salesperson in his daily life and does vocals with the band and serves as the band manager. Townsend, from Mt. Holly, is a Professional Firefighter and plays a number of roles in the band including vocals, lead guitar and piano. From Kinsale, Bailey is a farmer and a drummer. The elder Lewis, who is from Lottsburg, is a waterman and a bass player, and according to the other members of the band, keeps them all straight during practices and makes sure they play all of their songs exactly the way they were written to the best of their ability. His son John, also a waterman and a student, plays the rhythm guitar. From Montross, Jones, who is a farmer and recent graduate of Virginia Tech, does vocals and plays rhythm guitar. Taylor, originally from Michigan, is a Drafter DOD and also the band’s sound technician and content manager.