Last week, Belmont University’s student-run Acklen Entertainment released its first CD, Brothers of the Southland, a compilation of great southern rock standards and new titles. As a preview of the self-titled album, the star-studded southern rock band Brothers of the Southland made its only scheduled area performance at the historic Exit In on Nov. 29 for a single release party that was also produced by Acklen.
An outstanding collection of mature and amazing musicians, the band brings together legendary southern rock performers Jimmy Hall (Wet Willy Band), Henry Paul (The Outlaws/BlackHawk), Steve Gorman (Black Crows/Jimmy Page), Dan Toler (Allman Bros/Dickey Betts), Mike Brignardello (Giant) and Jay Boy Adams (Texas Blues Solo Artist). This Acklen CD project also includes guitar and vocals from the late George McCorkle (Marshall Tucker Band) and features Bo Bice of “American Idol” fame.
“The band and I are very appreciative of the support of Acklen Entertainment and the faculty, staff and students at Belmont University for helping make this dream become a reality,” said faculty advisor Rush Hicks who has worked with D. Scott Miller, producer of the Brothers project, for several years. Brothers of the Southland is the first band to benefit from Acklen’s decision to help local artists develop and prepare to move their careers to the next level. Comprised of students from the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business (CEMB) at Belmont, Acklen Entertainment has taken on local artists’ projects in addition to the original goal of structuring product development around the winners of the CEMB showcase series. Those winners will be recorded at Ocean Way Nashville for a compilation CD to be sold at the Best of the Best Showcase in April.
In addition to increasing sales of previously recorded CEMB showcases by 368 percent, Acklen students have hosted several concerts in Nashville venues like The End, Exit In and Mercy Lounge. Many of these local shows featuring Belmont bands have drawn capacity crowds with the last show in East Nashville netting a profit of more than $1,200. Group expansion plans include booking tours and regional shows for Belmont and local artists. “Things are looking up for Acklen Entertainment,” said Dr. David Herrera, faculty advisor for the group, “We would be happy for these projects to break even, but it seems that the free market is allowing students to see that they can take control of their lives and careers in a real way. This is an exciting transformation of education into application.”
Visit www.myspace.com/brothersofthesouthlandband and www.acklenentertainment.com for more information.