From the Midwest’s rockin’country bar-rooms, straight to William Woods University, comes a work-hard, play-hard band, Exit 41, with dirty calloused hands and a dedicated work ethic that they bring to every one of their shows. Exit 41 is made up of real working men that light up the stage with barn-burning songs that would even make your grandma want to shake her hips and feel young again.
The concert, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14, outside Tucker Dining Hall and alongside Senior Lake at William Woods University. It is part of the annual President’s Concert and Lecture Series, which brings top entertainment to campus for the enjoyment of students and the community.
According to their web site, Exit 41’s songwriting and singing duo Jeff Upton and Dave Brooks have a Foster and Lloyd quality about them with a Kentucky Headhunters edge. Brooks’ fiery guitar playing reminds the listener that country and rock do make a very tasty serving for those that like a little hot sauce thrown on their traditional country breakfast. Upton’s smooth vocal delivery shines as bright as any country star in Nashville. The solid backbeat of drummer Cory Fancher and bass player Tom Upton are the meat and potatoes foundation of the band. When you add a dash of deadly keys from Peter Spero what emerges from this musical omelet is a band with enough promise to be successful without falling into the formulaic country mould of today’s new stars.
They have the substance that real staying power is built on…songs. It all begins with the song, and both songwriters bring to the band their carefully crafted versions of life as they have experienced it.
The band members have remained best friends for more than 10 years now and have held on to their musical dream through divorces, cancer, heart surgery, children, lightning strikes and other catastrophes.