Turn It Up, The Lynyrd Skynyrd Experience
Turn It Up, The Lynyrd Skynyrd Experience

VAN WERT – Friday’s concert at Fountain Park will feature the popular band, “Turn It Up, the Lynyrd Skynyrd Experience.”

Named for the famous opening utterance in “Sweet Home Alabama,” Turn It Up pays tribute to the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd. The band is dedicated to the authentic sound that was instrumental in bringing southern rock to a nationwide audience.

Food vendors open at 5:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 7 p.m. Bring your own lawn chair.

Turn It Up, the Lynyrd Skynyrd Experience is filled with a wealth of Buckeye talent background. The lead singer and guitarist, Billy Starrett, began with a modest beginning in a Plain City basement, according to personnel descriptions posted the band’s website site.

Eventually, his career ended up in Nashville, Tennessee, where he studied with voice coach Grant Williams and was produced by Dave Fowler, also of Nashville. His album, all original songs, “Sinner in Me,” was recorded in Nashville. Over the years, he has opened up for such national artists as David Allan Coe, Josh Gracin, Justin Moore, Jeff Bates and others.

Drummer John Raugh began at age 13 in his hometown of Columbus where he played in clubs and corporate venues. Immediately following high school graduation, he started a nationwide tour.

“His ability to drive the band and exciting style of play have made him a sought after drummer in many genres of music,” states the background article.

The band is also composed of Rob Stokes who has been playing guitar and singing in a band professionally through the Midwest since he was a teenager. His favorite venue is singing southern rock although he enjoys playing all genres of music. Stokes has had several of his original songs recorded for various projects, one of which was recorded by the band Ghost Rider with members from Pure Prairie League, The Outlaws and more.

Musician Ralph Charles was influenced by his father, who took his young guitarist son by his side at the age of 10. Charles eventually joined the band, The Walter Eugenes, who were nominated for a Dove award for the best new rock group in 1996. The band posted three songs on the chart of Contemporary Christian Music.

Other members include JT Jones, who has recorded with eight different bands in Indiana, Ohio and in Nashville, Tennessee, and David Nilo, another singer with Buckeye experience who studied jazz at Ohio State University and who has since traveled the country playing with various bands.

Turn It Up, the Lynyrd Skynyrd Experience will kick off the Summer Music Series at Fountain Park during the Peony Festival on Friday at 7 p.m.