Country-bluegrass band plays Weisiger Thursday


Morehead-based Tony Pence and his band, Big Ugly, have a sound all their own, says Pence.

"Ron Adams, on the lead guitar, has a blues background," Pence explains. "Tim Gilliam, who plays mandolin, fiddle and guitar, has a bluegrass and Nashville lick. It's a different stroke altogether.

"When you blend them, it gives you something unique. It's a different band, with drums and percussion. That's not something you see in a country band.

Dr. Stanley "Evil Earl" Dixon Jr. plays harmonica, dobro and is one of four vocalists for the band, Pence adds. Many of the vocals are four-part harmonies.


"It's a sweet sound, a big, full sound," Pence notes.

Also in the band are Jeryl Jones, percussion, vocals and drums; Nick Johnson, drums; Pence, vocals and songwriting; Larry Lambert, bass. Gilliam also is a vocalist.

Pence says he's been doing music most of his life, especially the last 25 years.

"I grew up in a very musical family," he says. "Most of the other guys, too. We grew up playing music on the porch."

Pence counts Waylon Jennings among his earliest musical influences.

"I saw him on the Buck Owens show. I always followed and liked him after that."

In songwriting, he says Hal Ketchum and Robert Earl King have been influential.

"I like that type of music to where the songs you're singing are about something," says Pence, then laughs. "And we're not a little boy band jumping up and down and everything."

Everyone in the band has been on the road at some point in their careers, Pence says, and they live in Morehead "by chance." This band has been together since January and released a CD, "Someone I Used To Be," in March.

Recently, the group went to Nashville to re-record some of the songs on the CD.

"We got some guys down there to take an interest is us, and they put (the songs) on the radio," Pence notes.

Right now, with the radio play and CD, the band has a "cautious optimism" about the future, he adds.

"We've all had our feet cut out from under us (in the music industry)," Pence explains. "That's the realism of the music business. Right now, we have a group of players who are all Nashville-quality players.

"We play for our own satisfaction. People who want to come to hear us. We play for ourselves and the music right now. If something good comes from that, we'll follow that. If it comes to us at this time, great. But we're not going to go out and beat down doors."

If you want to go

Tony Pence and Big Ugly

6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday

Weisiger Park


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