Chattanooga’s Live Music Scene – The Sullivan Band

Chattanooga's Music Awards Coming Soon!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - by Bob Payne
Bob Payne
Bob Payne
- photo by Andy Burke (Not That One)

Dayton is known for quite a few things, like tires, the Wright Brothers, and it is home to Rick Derringer, Roger Clemens, and Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk. It is also the home of the Sullivan Band.

Hold on – they are from Dayton, Tennessee. Our Dayton is famous, as well. They have the world’s best strawberries. It is the only time live monkeys have been put on trial for stealing Scope mouthwash from the CVS. June Griffin is from up that way. And yes, The Sullivan Band hails from Dayton.

Despite it being 91 degrees below zero in Chattanooga, I ventured out to Bud’s to see this band, as I had not ever caught them before. It was a wise decision, Bob. I really enjoyed them. They are a cover band that has as much variety as any band I have seen come down the pike. I mean they covered everything. Elvis, Three Dog Night, Allman Brothers, Michael Jackson, and you name it.

Made up of Chris-G on drums, Bobby Sullivan on keyboards, Matt Sullivan on lead guitar, Jeremiah Sullivan on bass guitar, and Gary Shelton on rhythm guitar, this band features three singers and great harmonies. A lot of them are related, too. Father, two brothers, and a father-in-law make up the Sullivan and Shelton connection. They said they just picked up the drummer on the side of the road. He will have to marry into the family, I guess.

Matt Sullivan is one of those lead guitarists that can make it look easy. He’s really good. He also sings on many of the songs. He even had one of those weird Peter Frampton talk-box doo-dads for a couple of songs. Jeremiah is another of our area’s really good bass players. He is a singing bass player, too. I detected three octaves of range with his great voice, by the way. (Two on several songs, but three on Marvin Gaye’s  “Let’s Get It On”) All of the guys were seasoned pros, and the band really showed their experience level with the variety of their set-list.

Speaking of Bud’s Sportsbar, I had their homemade beef stew and it ranks right up there with the very best ever. It should be a permanent addition until the weather thaws out. Our server Tracy C, like so many at Bud’s, was also a real pro. She was accurate, attentive, fun, and just doggone excellent. I told her she was excellent, too. Even though servers work hard for their tips, I bet they like hearing when they do a good job. I’ll make sure that management knows she did a good job, too. You don’t always have to be vocal just when something goes astray. 

I can see the Sullivan Band gracing the stages at many of the dance clubs here in town, like Sugar’s, Acoustic Café, and Bud’s. I hope to also see them at Riverbend this year, as I think the crowd will really like them. Maybe around Thursday, June 19th, about 7:30 p.m. or so.

All in all, it was a great weekend, although a bit chilly. Friday night I got to hear Nathan Farrow’s band play some real country music. I am not sure who his lead guitar player was, but he was a beast. Like most other bands in town, he had Johnny Smith on drums, but he wasn’t wearing my shirt this time. Look up country music in the dictionary and there is a picture of Ray Price, Merle Haggard, Davey Smith, and Nathan Farrow. Thanks for keeping real country alive.

For more local music info, try www.chattanoogaentertainers.com. You will find great local music info and schedules. For local info on Country music, try Jim Boles’ site www.chattacountry.ning.com.

Email Bob Payne at davrik2000@yahoo.com or catch him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/davrik2000.


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