by Anne Wood
The Alabama-born rock ‘n roll band The Bama Gamblers have grown from playing covers in fraternity houses at Auburn University to recording their first full-length album and sharing the stage with the likes of The Dirty Guv’nahs, North Mississippi All-Stars, and Whiskey Myers.
Their upcoming album, titled “Iron Mountain,” features 10 original tracks and will be celebrated May 17th, 2014 at their album release party at the Furniture Factory.
The band, made up of Matt Alemany on lead/slide guitar, Eric Baath on keys, Forrest Fleming on drums, Matt Kooken on lead guitar and vocals, and Bo Flynn on lead vocals and bass, started out when they were all students at Auburn and have been playing together for 4 years now.
Describing themselves as having a “classic southern-rock vibe,” The Bama Gamblers produce genuine lyrics, with a myriad of influences, soaked with electric guitar and keys - much like the Allman Brothers, Blackberry Smoke, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and The Black Crowes.
“Each band member has a slightly different taste in music,” Huntsville-native Bo Flynn explains. “Kooken enjoys Alice in Chains, Matt Alemany has a slight indie streak at times, and I have a thing for classic country artists like Waylon Jennings.”
Despite these differences, they all agree that The Allman Brothers Band is the greatest of all time because their music “requires you to think and get creative,” which is exactly what they hope to do with their first album.
“We’ve been hard at work for the past year on the album,” Flynn said. “In our eyes, this is the most important thing we have done as a band. These songs will be around forever now.”
They recorded the album at Mark Michaelson’s WonderDog Sounds in Marietta, Georgia with help from Josh Thane, his assistant, and producer Benji Shanks from Atlanta. The boys credit Shanks as much more than just a producer, but also an influence and a contributor on the album. Shanks plays guitar in Capt. Soularcat and Coy Bowles & The Fellowship and is also featured on The Bama Gambler’s track “Sweet Revival.”
The album is mastered by Rodney Mills who Flynn described as “the perfect man for the job” because of his previous work with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Gregg Allman, and the Atlanta Rhythm Section.
The album’s cover art came from Joshua Marc Levy in Asheville, North Carolina and the Asheville Art Family. “We were amazed at his creativity,” Flynn said. “He spent some time with the record and eventually came up with the final product.”
Though the album is their first, it definitely won’t be their last. “We plan on playing music together as long as we possibly can, whether it’s a year or fifty years,” Flynn said. “There is nothing I would rather do than live on the road with these jokers.”
They plan on recording more original music in the future, but in the meantime, they’ll continue playing shows and making friends along the way.
You can keep up with The Bama Gamblers through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, @bamagamblers, or through their website www.bamagamblers.com. Album Release Party: May 17, 2014 - The Furniture Factory, Huntsville, Alabama. For more information on booking, contact EastCoast Entertainment- (678) 244-0594.