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Jackson Newspapers - Ripley, WV
  • USFLOYD brings iconic music to the masses

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  • CHARLESTON - Pink Floyd were an English rock band that rose to international stardom in the early 1970’s. They established a reputation for philosophical lyrics, exceptional musicianship, top shelf songwriting and elaborate live shows.
    They are in a nutshell, one of the most influential and successful groups in the history of popular music.
    Those are big musical shoes to fill but one Charleston area band has taken on the challenge with tremendous results.
    USFLOYD, a byproduct of a popular Charleston based rock band called “Juicy” has effectively pulled off the feat and continues to grow in popularity. USFLOYD will perform its tribute show at the Charleston Civic Center’s Little Theater, complete with laser show on April 19.
    “We were already performing a half dozen Pink Floyd tunes in our set with Juicy and we thought that doing a Pink Floyd tribute production would be a lot of fun and provide us with the opportunity to play in larger venues,” said lead vocalist Kevin Mullins.
    “USFLOYD is Juicy with a few extra moving parts.”
    Joining Mullins are talented guitarist Chris Amick, Jeff Anderson (bass), Jim Bateman (keyboards), Greg Fortner (drums), Chet Williamson (guitar), Tim Carper (percussion), Bobby Harrold (saxophone) and contributing background vocals are Shay Leftridge and Sara Renee’.
    The musicians are all veterans of West Virginia music culture with Mullins serving time belting out vocals for 1990’s Charleston based super group HYMP and still serves as a member of one of the Mountain State’s longest tenured musical groups, The Esquires.
    The band concentrates on Pink Floyd’s classic era of the 1970’s while choosing not to perform any of the early Syd Barrett era offerings but have worked up a few post Roger Waters era tunes.
    USFLOYD performs music from the albums Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall, A Momentary Lapse of Reason, and Division Bell.  While performances in larger venues, including outdoor venues are booked on occasion, the group prefers to perform in theaters with approximately 1000 seats to give the audience a more intimate and exciting concert event faithful to the legacy of Pink Floyd.
    “We really focus on the more popular tunes of their golden era. We try to make our set list accessible to the masses. The catalog is so large that it is quite a challenge to put a set list together,” added Mullins.
    The band spares no expense in their live performance. With lights, lasers and video production to be manned, the two and a half hour show takes an all hands on deck approach.
    “Our shows are as much visual as they are musical. That is what the music of Pink Floyd is all about,” said Mullins, 42. “A show has to be an experience for the senses and we work to achieve that.”
    Page 2 of 2 - In April 2013, the band debuted the production at the Charleston Civic Center to rave revues via local media outlets and social media circles.
    “It was great to get all of the positive feedback. Locally, people were surprised that a local band could pull of something of this magnitude but when we perform outside of West Virginia, the concept of a local band doing something like this isn’t a factor because we aren’t a local band to them,” said Mullins.
    The show provides a 20-minute intermission. The band has found success in practicing their stage cues and arrangements at the West Virginia State University Theater.
    USFLOYD has ambitiously performed at the Lexington (KY) Opera House and the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville (VA) with tremendous success and the inspiration to keep moving the product forward.
    The band looks to consistently play about six shows per year and continue to constantly evolve and improve upon its offerings.
    “We work very hard to make sure that we focus as much on the smaller details as we do the obvious ones,” he said.
      Tickets for the band’s April 19 performance at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theater can be purchased through Ticketmaster via www.usfloyd.com or purchased at the venue the night of the show and based on availability.

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