When the four members of Whiskey Falls first heard the blend of their voices, they immediately knew what they wanted to do – take their combined passion for music and meld it into one unique sound.
Having musical influences that range from The Eagles, Alabama, Journey, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Johnny Cash, U2 and Queen, just to name a few, their "Cala-Bama" music – which they describe as "Hotel California" meets "Sweet Home Alabama" – certainly caught the ears of many record labels in Nashville.
Seven Williams and Wally Brandt began making music together early on in their youth and eventually became proud co-founders of We 3 Kings – an acclaimed film and television music production company out of California. They soon found themselves back and forth to Nashville where they teamed up with some of the town’s top writers including Don Schlitz ("The Gambler"), Frank Meyers ("I Swear") and Stephanie Bentley ("Concrete Angel"). Raised on the music of the South – Gospel, Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Southern Rock – Buck Johnson grew up singing gospel music with his family. Years later he ventured into the world of songwriting where he found a new level of success when Carlos Santana recorded "Just Feel Better" – a tune which Buck wrote with now bandmate Damon Johnson. Damon, who grew up playing Merle Haggard and Hank Jr., knew from an early age to be as diverse as possible when it comes to music. That paid off for him throughout his musical career, particularly as the singer, songwriter and guitarist for southern rock band Brother Cane.
After taking the suggestion of a mutual friend, Buck and Damon, who knew each other from the Birmingham music scene, met up with Seven and Wally in California where the four were introduced.
When they heard the blend of their voices, they knew they were sitting on something bigger than life.
"It was magical and we felt it," Seven says. "A lot of times we say it is like singing in one breath when we sing together. There’s something very similar in the way that our tones and voices kind of match."
With no record label involved, Whiskey Falls, named after a national park in northern California, began writing and recording their songs with no intentions but to record the music pouring from their hearts. After seeing the band perform live as unsigned artists at an industry event, independent label Midas Records signed Whiskey Falls and put them on the road only three days later.
Their first single "Last Train Running" scored the band immediate success at radio which landed them a slot performing on the prestigious stage of the Grand Ole Opry only weeks after its release.
"We’ve all been privileged to be able to play on some important stages, but I think there was something really unique and special about that night," Buck explains. "After we finished our song, we came off the stage and there was Porter Wagoner. It was a couple of months before he passed. He says to us boys, I really love that song. We’re going to have you back. You can’t ask for more than that."
In the short fourteen months as a band, Whiskey Falls was named 2008’s "Breakout Band of the Year" by Nashville’s Music Row, has been featured in many major publications such as People Magazine, USA Weekend, Billboard Magazine, Country Weekly and more. They have also made appearances on national television including performances on The Early Show, Extra!, GAC and at several NASCAR pre-race events, as well as being featured in television commercials for AAMCO Transmissions. Their unreleased song "Load Up The Bases" was selected as the official theme song for Fox Sports South Network’s coverage of Major League Baseball and continues to be played in MLB stadiums nationwide.
"We are so grateful for the feedback that we’ve been getting," Damon says. "It has really been humbling for us to get the reaction that we have."
Besides the musical fulfillment Whiskey Falls experiences night after night, the bond of brotherhood shared amongst the members is something they cherish just as much.
"I am honored to play with these guys," says Wally. "We are all really good friends which makes it even better. I get on the bus after a couple of days home and I actually smile because I f eel like I’m back with my family."
As they prepare to further their venture into the world of country music, the members of Whiskey Falls are grateful for the warm reception they’ve received and plan to continue building upon that fan base as they continue to tour coast to coast in 2008 with over 200 dates already in the books.
"I get to travel the country with three guys who I love and respect," says Wally. "We get to see people smiling and connect with them through our songs. We get to do what we love, and if we can still do that five years from now I’d feel wonderfully blessed."