The Ultimate Tribute to Ronnie Van Zant’s Lynyrd Skynyrd
More than just a “tribute” to Lynyrd Skynyrd a tribute to the man that defined it. Artimus Pyle has said, “If it wasn’t for Ronnie, no one would know my name.”
Since his departure from Skynyrd in 1991, Artimus Pyle’s career has led him down an amazing path of solo records and projects culminating into one of the finest tributes to Southern rock royalty. The Artimus Pyle Band is a high energy, true to music, and true to the era rock group. One of the few that is on the road today. Artimus Pyle, Brad Durden, Jerry Lyda, Tony Black, and Scott Raines are not only a group of friends and contemporaries, but a group with some of the most seasoned musicians in the Southeast. The talk of 2011’s Rock Legends cruise, APB delivers hit after hit after hit, night after night after night. From Freebird to Sweet Home Alabama, APB gives fans the best of Skynyrd with one of the men who made it!
Long considered the “wild man” of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Artimus Pyle’s powerful and distinctive double bass drumming helped define the legendary Skynyrd sound.
Artimus got his first real break at the Charlie Daniels band’s Volunteer Jam. His first recording lists — Artimus Pyle, percussion. Then with other work for the Marshall Tucker Band, Artimus became known as a powerful session drummer.
Using his connections with Charlie Daniels and Marshall Tucker, both acts that toured often with Skynyrd, Artimus met with Ronnie Van Zant and Ed King at Studio One in Doraville, Georgia. The results of that meeting — Saturday Night Special — greatly impressed Ronnie. Artimus’ live debut with the band took place in Jacksonvilles’s Sgt Pepper’s Club in October 1974. The gig, a show to raise money and awareness for Jacksonville’s food bank, was hot. Everyone remembers the band walking through the front door and into a crush of people that doubled the legal occupancy of the club. Playing under the hot lights in an over-packed club with an underpowered air conditioner made for memorable night. When Bob Burns left the band permanently following Skynyrd’s first European tour in December 1974, Artimus quickly got the nod as Skynyrd’s new drummer.
The years Artimus played with Skynyrd were the years that solidified the legend behind the band. Quickly developing into one of the nation’s top touring draws with a grueling schedule of 300 shows a year, the constant work and touring paid off. By October 20, 1977, Skynyrd’s songs had become radio staples.
Brad Durden grew up in the small town of Twin City, GA. He started playing with bands at the age of 15 and has toured with various groups since 1986. In 1991, Brad joined the Southern rock band Copperhead and signed a deal with Mercury Records in 1992. Copperhead toured from 1992-1994, sharing the stage with such acts as Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 Special, The Outlaws, Molly Hatchet, The Kentucky Headhunters, as well as Night Ranger, Foreigner, Survivor, and Quiet Riot. He also got the chance to work with the legendary producer Tom Dowd (Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers, Aretha Franklin, just to name a few) and Rodney Mills (.38 Special, the Doobie Brothers). Brad also had a short stint in country music, sharing the stage with such acts as Kenny Chesney and the Dixie Chicks. His influences range from Billy Powell (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Elton John and John Lord (Deep Purple) to “really anyone who has played piano, Hammond B-3 or keyboards in general”. Brad is also a songwriter and does studio sessions when time permits.
Scott Raines grew up in Slocomb, AL. He started guitar at the age of nine. Learning by ear, the music of Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers and the like. He has performed with bands, played studio sessions and performed solo acoustic/vocal gigs ever since.
Though his roots are in classic rock and roll, Scott’s vast experience has given him the ability to easily cross genres. He loves to jam with everyone, declaring that music is conversation with many dialects. “I learn something from everyone”, he declares.
Scott is also a songwriter. He enjoys collaboration and admits that music and arranging is where his strength lies.
Scott married his wife, Michelle in 2000 and they have two daughters, Jordan and Chloe.
Scott also enjoys investing (real estate and stock market), commercial real estate brockerage, running, biking and outdoor activities. He is an active Rotarian and prioritizes community service as well as serving abroad, volunteering for mission trips when opportunities arise.
Jerry Lyda started out playing in rock cover bands in the early 80’s touring the Southeast club circuit. Late 80’s formed a country band called The Colts again touring the Southeast US opening shows for Kenny Chesney, Johnny Paycheck, John Anderson, Wade Hayes and many others.
Jerry owns and operates Music City Asheville, the leading music store in western North Carolina. Jerry’s versatile guitar style and the raw power of his Les Paul add the perfect compliment to Scott’s rich strat sound. This dynamic makes THE sound fans of the band expect. “Playing with Artimus has been a complete pleasure and continues to be. To be able to play that music with the man that helped create it is pretty special.”
When asked about why Skynyrd’s music has stood the test of time: “When things are real, people tend to relate much better. If you listen to any of the Skynyrd stuff that Ronnie wrote you can almost see yourself in the situation he’s writing about because it’s about normal everyday life.”
Tony Black has been a professional bassist for 23 years. Raised on a sailboat in Southern California, Tony enjoyed listening to an eclectic blend of classic rock, California rock and flamenco since his father is a flamenco guitarist and aficionado.
He started playing professionally in the mid 80’s, steeped in the Punk scene of Ventura and Oxnard, California, where he lent his skills to such explosive acts as Stalag 13, and Dr. Know, whom he toured America with.
After spending several years playing with experimental improvisational post-punk bands, Tony moved to San Francisco, where he began to play bass for avant-gard shred guitarist Buckethead. With Buckethead, Tony toured the Northwest several times, supporting acts such as Primus, System of a Down, and Mr. Bungle (Tony has a cameo in their first video, “Quote Unquote”, and developing a large regional following. Tony has done freelance work for bands and artists that cover almost every genre.