A diverse set of interest among friends forms one band in the region whose soul purpose is to have fun.
The Southern Comfort Band consists of Travis Sadler, Jonesboro, on lead vocals; Michael Sadler, Jonesboro, on lead guitar and vocals; Caleb Phalin, Goreville, on lead guitar and vocals; Mark Boie, Anna, on drums and vocals; Kevin Reynolds, Anna, on rhythm guitar and sound engineer; and Dennis Plasters, West Frankfort, on bass guitar and vocals.
The band formed in November 2016. They basically began on a front porch as a trio, with Travis, Michael and a former member.
These guys do more than just play together, though. They are friends outside of the music, communicating and hanging out regularly.
Michael said the members wanted to have three guitar players, in the style of bands like Lynrd Skynyrd, instead of the normal two that most bands have.
The music they play covers a range of Classic Rock, Southern Rock, and Country. But, Boie said this is a group of six different guys with six different personalities–and that makes their music quite diverse.
These guys also come from different backgrounds. Travis began with the band Southbound when he was 15, and many of the other members are known for playing with other local bands.
Some of them like Conway Twitty, some of them like ’70s rock music. All members get to voice their interests, and get the chance to choose the music once in awhile.
“Everybody gets a fair share of what they want,” said Travis.
“It’s rare to find six musicians that care about the music over their ego,” said Phalin.
They also want to make sure the crowd is happy, and prefer to play popular tunes that people expect to hear from a cover band.
Boie said they are not a band that has to play it note for note, either. They often add their own twist to the music, which can provoke a nice response from the crowd. However, they try not to alter it too much so that it is still recognizable.
Travis also said the guys are good at playing off of one another. So, when one guy starts doing something that wasn’t planned, the others can jump in and go with it.
“It’s about feel and play,” he said. “I love going off on a whim.”
He said it’s nice not to take yourself too seriously–and therefore they can have more fun.
The band doesn’t perform originals at this point, mostly because people want to hear songs they know. Boie said that if a member wanted to perform an original, though, they probably wouldn’t say no. After all, the purpose of playing is to have fun.
“We could care less about being the best band in Southern Illinois,” said Phalin.
The band has played all over, from Rent One Park to Sisco’s, and they believe the best is yet to come. They are playing at the Isle Casino in Cape Girardeau in April, and they are completely booked up until June.
One of the best shows they said they have ever played is at Choate Mental Health Center’s Block Party–which they play every year.
In addition, they often do shows for charity. They are big supporters of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and they sponsor sports teams as well.
The Southern Comfort band will be playing at the Pub Club in Johnston City this Saturday, Feb. 9.