Big Whiskey loves big guitar

Band worships The Allman Brothers Band

Band worships The Allman Brothers Band

October 09, 2008|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -There's no such thing as too much guitar if you play for Big Whiskey.

The Waynesboro-based rock band is all about melody and lyrics, which makes lots of guitar a good thing. So Big Whiskey's two lead guitarists get equal footing, said frontman Jon Ingels, one of Whiskey's guitar slingers.

"I've never been a fan of having a rhythm guitarist and a lead guitarist," said Ingels, 31, of Waynesboro.

Right now, band members are trying to translate all that guitar into their first studio record, recording tracks on Ingels' Apple laptop computer whenever and wherever they can. There's a strong emphasis on wherever - they've held sessions in Ingels' kitchen and in an abandoned building.

Ingels said Whiskey has already started on 11 tracks for the new album, which the band plans to release this winter.


Whiskey's music is not likely to put hair on your chest, but it's no fruity cocktail. A shot of brandy, maybe. The band performs its own material, drawing influence from classic rock. The Allman Brothers are golden, Ingels said.

Two of Big Whiskey's members, Ingels and bassist Kevin Coldsmith, are in another Waynesboro band, the folksy Boro Boogie Pickers.

One of Big Whiskey's most popular songs, "Echoes of a Lifetime" is about a man who got hit by a car. But it's not all doom and gloom. "Echoes" does have an upbeat, happy pace, and you don't feel guilty (or sick-minded) for thinking so once the song has played.

On the lighter side, "Century," is a song Ingels wrote about his grandfather, Allan Cole, who lived to be 102. The song was based on something Cole wrote - a list of his accomplishments - when he turned 100.

"I almost have to give (my grandfather) credit for writing that one," Ingels said.

About Big Whiskey

Lead vocals, guitar - Jon Ingels

Drums, backing vocals - Shane Statler

Guitar, blues harp - David Crane

Bass guitar - Kevin Coldsmith

Keyboard - Melissa Sentz

Drums - Jonathan Pang

Genre - Rock, Southern rock

City - Waynesboro, Pa.

Influences - The Allman Brothers Band

Upcoming show - 9 p.m Friday, Oct. 10, Pappy's Pub, Waynesboro, Pa.,

Web -

Q&A with guitarist, lead vocalist
Jon Ingels from Big Whiskey

You know, it's been said that the first album is the easiest to write because you have all the time in the world to do it. What has the experience been like for you guys?
It's been kind of tough, just finding the time. Some of the songs we didn't even rehearse.

Yeah. Like last night, we were in the studio, and I told the guys I had a new song ... We usually keep recording until we get a good recording. By doing that, I'm catching the drummer on the fly, but the energy and excitement you create, playing a sing for the first time, sometimes the first time is the best time.

How often are you all able to record?
Sometimes we go on breaks for a month or two, but we're trying to stick to one evening a week. We do a four- to five-hour session. We might get two or three songs done, or we might spend the night on one song, if it's really difficult. Last night, we recorded two.

So, as far as all this production stuff goes, are you self-taught?
I started off on a Tascam four-track tape recorder. That was like a starter kit. That was all self-taught. Then, I moved on to a digital recorder; it was an eight-track. Then I found out that eight tracks weren't going to be enough. Now, with my Mac, we can do 20 tracks at once. It's been a big learning curve.

So what do you guys hope the outcome will be, after the album drops?
We're hoping to sell some albums at shows. The big thing is we want to get gigs from it. Right now, we don't have good, representative audio recordings to send out to festivals, to bars. Most of the gigs we got were because of word of mouth.

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