Choosing a name for a new band is often the most trying aspect of getting one up and going. Unless you plan on using the name of the band leader (if there is one) as the moniker, getting several strong-willed musicians to agree on something so personal is rarely a simple thing.
Often there is a fun story behind how these names are derived, especially if they involve creative use of spelling or too-cute puns. Chris Jones has written at length on this issue.
When I heard the name of just such a group, The Gooseneck Rockers, a trio of experienced pros from northern Virginia and Maryland, I was expecting something clever. The group consists of Marhsall Wilborn on bass, Tom Adams on guitar, and Casey Henry on banjo. But in the course of sharing some information on this new congregation, Henry tells us that sometimes a name is just a name.
Tom is really the organizing force behind the band. When I moved back to Winchester, VA from Nashville last winter, Marshall Wilborn invited me over to pick some with Tom at his house. The three of us jammed and really enjoyed it, but no mention was made of anything band related. So I was surprised the next day when Tom called and asked if I’d be interested in joining him and Marshall in a group. Since then we’ve been practicing almost weekly and have played one gig, with our second one coming up on Jan 19th at the Holly Inn in Mount Holly Springs, PA.
All three of us are interested in a fun, low-stress, playing situation. We really enjoy each others’ musicianship and company, and it’s refreshing to play music in a aggregation where no one has anything to prove. We decided to try going it as a trio to start with, figuring it would be easy to expand later if we wanted to.
Tom is handling the booking, assisted by his wife Judy. We are mostly looking to play locally and regionally to begin with (especially since I have a toddler and can’t be going off for long trips!) but we may look to expand that in future years.
We’re doing some original material and some standards. Basically anything we all like!
For me it is a huge honor to be playing with two musicians of the caliber of Tom and Marshall, and it challenges me to play my absolute best. I know all three of us like having a regular playing situation again. We’re just taking it slow and seeing what develops.”
We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on these guys. You can do the same by checking out The Gooseneck Rockers online.