Band to open for ‘Rascal Flatts’

Published 11:35 am Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Major Moves band will be at Auburn Arena later this month.

The Major Moves band will be at Auburn Arena later this month.

A local band will soon get the opportunity to open for a nationally known artist.

Atmore resident and singer-songwriter Shane Harrell’s band, Major Moves, will be the opening act at “Live and Loud 2014,” which will be held at Auburn Arena on Friday, Jan. 24, at 6 p.m. The headlined performer will be Rascal Flatts, who has won several Grammy Awards and Country Music Association awards. Also featured will be Thomas Rhett, whose debut album, It Goes Like This, was released in October.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us,” Harrell said.

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Harrell said his band has also had the chance to previously open for other noted artists, including Uncle Cracker and the Atlanta Rhythm Section. The Major Moves are a mainstay at the Wind Creek Casino and Hotel, and Harrell said they will be performing there this month on Jan. 2, 16 and 30, and possibly other dates.

Harrell’s band plays country music, Southern rock and classic rock. They perform original songs as well as covers, including noted songs from artists like George Strait, the Black Crowes, the Zac Brown Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

However, while Harrell said he does enjoy playing the music, his true passion might be in songwriting. He said inspiration for a new song can come from just about anywhere.

“Sometimes while I’m hunting and fishing, I’ll just sit there and think of something,” he said. “Other times, it will come while I’m riding down the highway, or just in certain places that inspire me. Usually I’ll get the tune in my head, and then the words will come together at the same time, hand-in-hand.

“Naturally, the important thing is to come up with a good story to tell, and then put it to music.”

In fact, Harrell said that one of his original songs, “Choctaw Bluff,” has already attracted the attention of several professional musicians.

“I hope that one of them will want to record it and maybe I’ll get a chance to hear my song on the radio,” he said.

Harrell said he first formed the Major Moves in 2009, in order to enter a band for a contest at the casino. The band has changed members since then, but has performed consistent gigs just about every week. Harrell said the group recently attended an expo in Texas, and has also played in Nashville.

The band usually plays at least every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, and sometimes twice on Saturdays.

“We hope that we get some feedback from the Texas expo and that we’ll be able to open for some other artists,” Harrell said. “We’re just trying to do all that we can with our music.”

But regardless of what the future may hold for the Major Moves, Harrell said that the band will definitely enjoy the chance to play at Auburn later this month. Plus, he points out, the audience might be in an especially celebratory mood.

“Obviously Auburn has a chance to win the national championship in football and when that happens I’m sure the fans will be in an even bigger mood to celebrate,” he said. “It will definitely make it interesting to be a part of that.”

Other band members are keyboardist Keith Johnston of McIntosh, bass player Ace Wilson of Monroeville, lead guitarist Michael Morris of Evergreen, guitarist Jimmy Gray of Mobile, fiddler Marcus Wellborn of Mobile, steel guitarist Daniel McCann of Mobile, and drummers Brian Clune of Queens, N.Y., and Michael Arata of Mobile.