Dixie Power Trio Tickets
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A long time ago (well, 1992), in a basement far, far away (Fredericksburg, VA to be exact), three guys got together to learn a couple dixieland tunes for a club date. It was during this rehearsal that the idea for the Dixie Power Trio was born. A dixieland band that played rock and roll! Andy Kochenour provided the steady bass lines on his tuba, Zack Smith churned out the melodies on his cornet, and Bert Carlson added rhythm banjo and vocals in the original incarnation of the group, which soon added Byron McWilliams to provide drum grooves. After a trip to the local pawn shop, Zack was soon playing accordion, washboard, and harmonica with the DPT, taking on the role of resident multi-instrumentalist. (He now endorses Hohner Blues Harps and Tee Don's are the "Official Rubboards of the DPT".) The band recorded their first CD Out of Control a year later and started receiving national attention through airplay on NPR’s All Things Considered while becoming notorious for their takes on “Stairway to Heaven” and “Freebird.” Soon, the group was out touring the country, recording their sophomore CD, Greetings From Gumboville, and trying to cope with the inevitable band tension that came with the increased workload. Byron eventually dropped out to spend more time with his three beautiful children (all girls!), and Ryan Diehl came aboard to man the drum chair. After seven years of playing “Staiway to Heaven” nightly and not a lot of progress towards the goal of fame and fortune, the DPT decided it was time to start shifting away from the goofy nature of their early repertoire and time to start playing the music it was most comfortable with. Goodbye Stairway, Freebird, Dueling Banjos-- hello zydeco, jazz, and originals. It was during this period that Bert left to pursue his wilderness living dreams, and guitar virtuoso Wayne Wilkinson joined the group. Soon the band was in the studio laying down its third CD Ain’t My Fault, and beginning the process of reintroducing itself to the public. After a number of well-received performances at venues such as the Kennedy Center (D.C.) and the Krannert Center (IL), and with newfound popularity on the web, the DPT had begun establishing itself as the East Coast’s premier New Orleans music ensemble. It was also during this time that the group began occasionally doing performances as the New Line Brass Band, with its beefed up front line (check out their CD Bad Spuds!) A few more changes were in store as Ryan departed for greener pastures and the band welcomed back Byron--who was now much more available with his children starting school. Wayne decided to spend more time honoring his spiritual calling, which led to the entrance of Gantt Kushner into the group. The boys recorded their first live CD, Let’s All Go Down To New Orleans, a year later. The last change in the lineup happened at the end of 2004, as Wayne Wilkinson rejoined the band on the guitar chair. Trio With Four Members?? Zack Smith was two years into his jazz degree at North Texas State when the trumpet professor cornered him. You know, Zack, he intoned, You’re not very good. Have you considered switching your major to something like, oh, I don’t know... waste management? Crushed, Zack finished his degree in quiet anonymity, hoping that one day a group would come along that could understand and appreciate his love of game shows and T.V. theme songs. Now firmly entrenched as cornetist and accordionist for the DPT, Zack still earns less than most garbage men. Andy Kochenour, tubist extraordinaire, studied at Indiana University of PA. Not content to be just another tuba jock, he jumped when the opportunity arose for him to serve his country in the military. Carrying his horn in one hand and Old Glory in the other, Andy battled dread communism throughout Europe, making the world a safer place for democracy and Sousa marches. With the fall of the Berlin Wall came the inevitable yearning for a greater challenge, so he traded in his fatigues and heeded the call of the DPT. Operating once again in the free world, Andy has a new challenge before him: giving new meaning to the phrase heavy metal. While growing up in San Antonio, Wayne Wilkinson spent hours practicing hot jazz and bebop licks on his trusty guitar. Unfortunately, no one else in town shared his interest and he was forced to enlist in the Air Force. There he was assigned to repair refrigerators until a more meaningless job could be found--a job playing music. He soon became known as the Terminator for his steely yet blazing performances with the Airmen of Note. After finishing his tour of duty, Wayne was approached by the DPT to see if he could use his military training to help them in their fight for good music. Soon after agreeing, he was also put in charge of the band’s cooler. Drummer and resident film critic for the DPT, Byron McWilliams was always be counted on for his keen insight into matters both curious and irrelevant. A native of Annapolis, Maryland, Byron impressed his high school professors with his grasp of the theory of relativity (that is, the relative merits of playing R & B versus those of attending class). While his academic appearances were few, Byron made the most of his time spent outside the classroom, taking in important lessons by the likes of Pacino, Deniro, and Nicholson, shedding on his drums, and digging elaborate tunnels throughout the countryside. Unable to find a job as a film critic or a ditch digger, Byron realized that playing drums with the DPT was his true career path-- at least until Roger Ebert retires. 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