Originally created 12/29/00

Shinebox found a lineup; now it's ready for a gig



The shelf-life for a local band is notoriously short. Groups form, play and break up with such frequency that they often can be filed under "defunct" long before they have a chance to show up on the local music radar.

That makes Augusta band Shinebox something of an anomaly.

For more than four years, Shinebox has proffered its straight-ahead melodic rock to local audiences. Begun as a power trio in 1996, the band, which for the past year has performed as a quartet, is a conglomeration of musicians who grew up playing in local rock outfits.

"Basically, we just kept stealing members from other bands," said Shinebox bass player Tony Joyner. "Finally we found a lineup that stuck. So far it's been four years and nobody has quit, so that's good. I think we're lucky in that we're good friends and don't really argue - well, not much."

Shinebox frontman Jason Crowden said the band is inspired by the music its members grew up with and by the process of making music itself.

"Our music really evolves," he said. "It's funny because some of our best songs are songs that we have kind of thrown together. We thought they would be our worst, but people really respond to them. Our musical tastes are similar, so that helps. We grew up around the same time, so we all play from that '80s rock tradition."

The result is music that combines the melodic sensibilities of bands such as Pearl Jam with the power guitar and rhythm-section interaction of heavier acts such as Metallica.

"All of our songs really have a personality of their own," said guitarist Brian Strickland. "Some are really in-your-face, while others are a little more subdued and subtle."

Despite its longevity on the Augusta music scene, the band's drummer, Doug Beasley, said it still struggles with the prevailing opinion that to be good you have to come from outside town.

"What continues to be frustrating is not being able to get local gigs," he explained. "When places like the Red Lion keep booking bands from out of town, it makes it hard for locals. I mean, it's harder for us to get support in Augusta than someplace like Statesboro."

On stage

What: Shinebox

When: Tonight at the Bayou, 904 Broad St., and Saturday at Kokopelli's, 3415´ Wrightsboro Road

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or suhles@hotmail.com.