HOMETOWN: Stapleton, Ga.; moved to North Augusta in 1999
OCCUPATION: Parole officer for the state of Georgia
PLAYS: Pictured with a JTL violin from the late 1800s that he plays with the band Shiloh. "I've probably had it for over 15 years. I use it in the studio now, though; I don't travel with it anymore. At live shows, I play a Zeta (violin) that has all the electronics in it." He also plays bass, acoustic, electric and pedal steel guitar, mandolin, Dobro, banjo and harmonica and has about 20 guitars.
HIS FIRST PERFORMANCE: "It was probably at a street dance in Avery, Ga., in 1984. I would have been about 16 or 17 years old, and I played lead guitar with a band. I don't even remember the name. It was not bad, for what it was. We played a bunch of old Lynyrd Skynyrd and some Hank (Williams) Jr. and some classic rock like ZZ Top thrown in. I guess that's sort of set the course for where I've gone since."
PLAYED WITH: Shiloh; 1993 to present; Lindsey Hardy Band, May to present; The Scott Terry Project, July to present; Silver Dash Music, 2003 to present; Tara Scheyer and the Half Shirt Leroys, 2003 to 2004; The McKameys, 1991 to 1992.
FIRST CONCERT HE ATTENDED: Cheap Trick and REO Speedwagon, at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center in either 1984 or 1985. "I Want You to Want Me - how can you have a better song than that? It's just great rock 'n' roll. We were messing around afterward behind the center, and Robin Zander, the lead singer of Cheap Trick, was just hanging out, too. We went up and talked to him and hung out and got his autograph and everything. The funny thing was that was my first concert, so I didn't know that wasn't the way they all are."
BEST LIVE PERFORMANCE: The Municipal Auditorium, in Nashville, Tenn., in 1993. "It was the National Quartet Convention, and I was playing with the group The Freemans, which was one of the many gospel groups I've played with. (Harmonica player) Buddy Greene was actually there, and he came and found me after the performance and told me how great I sounded. This was a guy who was a real influence for me."
IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY FIVE BANDS PLAY FOR YOU, WHO WOULD THEY BE? "Jimi Hendrix would be headlining. Stevie Ray Vaughan would have to be there, too. I'd probably have them jam together. John Cougar Mellencamp back in his American Fool and Pink Houses days, AC/DC and Guns N' Roses. I like kind of hard guitar bands. I play Dobro and violin, and all these stringed instruments, but the guitar was my first love, and it probably always will be."
- Patrick Verel
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