Those who enjoy rockabilly music — one of the earliest styles of rock ’n’ roll — won’t want to miss The Boss Tweeds performance in the city of Parsons Music in the Park series at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Forest Park.
The Boss Tweeds feature Joe Hamilton and brothers Jody and Brad Birchfield of Mountainburg and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and their “live wire energy” music.
All three have long histories of performing professionally throughout their lives, but it was only four years ago when The Boss Tweeds came together to play as a group.
“I’ve been doing this for about 35 years. It was one of my main sources of income until I found I liked to eat too much,” Hamilton said. “We’ve all done it to varying levels for years.”
“I had known the bass guitar player, Brad, for several years, but we had never played together. I was getting ready for a show, the Roots Rock Project, and called him and asked him if he would join me, and he said, ‘Sure,’” Hamilton said.
The two got together with a drummer, but when it wouldn’t work out for him, he informed Hamilton that Birchfield’s own brother was a great drummer. Hamilton gave Jody Birchfield a call, and he accepted the invitation to play.
“We all got along really well, and we found out he was not only a great drummer, but a great singer, so we ended up with a three-person band, with three singers,” Hamilton said. “We do lots of harmonized vocals, like The Everly Brothers.”
Inspired by rock music from the early 1950s to the early 1960s, the trio kicks out tunes from the likes of Ronnie Hawkins, Johnny Cash and Billy Lee Riley.
“When we got together, we didn’t have high expectations of anything. We had no idea if people would even enjoy hearing us,” Hamilton said. “We’ve been really surprised with the response. We’ve gone further and done more than we ever imagined.”
Hamilton said the group recently recorded its second album at Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, where the likes of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Howlin’ Wolf recorded some of their most influential and important work.
“It was not a bucket list item because it was so outside the realm of possibility we’d ever put it on the list,” Hamilton said.
Standing in the studio, surrounded by walls covered in acoustic panels that had absorbed the sound of so many greats, the three tried not to be overwhelmed and focus on playing.
“Then I would look up and see a portrait, like of the Million Dollar Quartet, taken right there in the studio, and I’d get the chills,” Hamilton said. “We recorded the same way they did back then, basically. They used computers, but we still did it on mono, live with no headphones. It was just us performing. There was no studio trickery or anything.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said.
The three then had to return home to jobs and family, and the performance they offer a few times a month at places like George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville, Arkansas, or the Blues, Bikes and BBQ event in September in Fayetteville.
They do not usually venture too far from home to perform, but Hamilton said they are definitely looking forward to performing next month in Parsons.
The Boss Tweeds’ new CD consisting of all original material will not be out in time for their performance here, but they will grace the audience with some of their own music in addition to that of the greats that came before them.
The new CD, to be released in September, is a followup to their debut EP (extended play) that contained six of their originals.
To learn more about them and hear their music stylings, visit thebosstweeds.com. They also have a Facebook page.
To hear them live, bring your cold beverages and dancing feet to Forest Park on Thursday.