May 2, 2012 11:08:49 AM
April 6, 2012 11:40:19 AM
Bobby Capps, keyboardist for 38 Special, loves spending time with his family at his Nashville home. But after a few months of sitting idle, Capps is ready to get back on the road, a road which will bring the Southern rock legends to the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater Saturday night, with country music icon Hank Williams Jr.
"The tour is going great," Capps said. "We have had some good time off, so we are just getting started. We are probably going to do 85-95 shows this year. I love (touring). I'm ready to get out there. We have had a lot of time off to spend with our families, but we work hard in the summer."
When Capps isn't touring with 38 Special or spending time with his family, he can be found indulging in his other love -- recording. As co-owner of a recording studio, Capps said he is always up for making music with his friends.
"I have a studio in Hendersonville (Tenn.) called Rivergate Studios," he said. "I own it with (Escatawpa native Chris Henderson) from 3 Doors Down. We started it about three years ago. We initially got it as a place to store our equipment. Then it just kind of became a place my musician friends gravitated towards. We do a lot of cool projects there."
As one-half of the band Evanscapps, Capps spent a lot of time in Columbus writing songs for an album and recording it with former Lynyrd Skynyrd bassist, the late Ean Evans. He reflected fondly on his time spent with the "Mississippi Kid."
"38 Special was on tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Ean was Skynyrd's bass player after Leon Wilkinson died," recalled Capps. "I had known of Ean through his band, Baby Blue, and I saw him play a few times, but I didn't really know him too well. Ean got to hear some of my solo work and he thought we would be good together. He gave me a CD of some stuff he had recorded, but people give me so many CDs each month that I kind of tossed it aside and didn't have a chance to listen to it. He gave one to our drummer (Gary Moffat), and (Gary) told me I had to listen to it. It was music without any lyrics; it was right up my alley. I called Ean immediately and we decided to work together and we started a friendship. We had a lot in common -- we both joined these legendary major league bands -- we were in the World Series of Rock 'n' Roll. We had our creative differences, every partnership has them. We didn't always see eye-to-eye. But Ean was the type of person that would give you fifty cents of his last dollar."
Evans was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and began touring less. A benefit-tribute concert was held for Evans on April 20, 2009, which was the last time he took the stage with Lynyrd Skynyrd. Evans succumbed to the disease on May 6, 2009 at the age of 48. Almost two years after his death, Capps said he often thinks about his friend and what could have become of Evanscapps.
"Ironically, our record was called 'The Last Time.' If he hadn't died, we would have made another record," Capps said. "It was a tough pill to swallow, when he passed away. We had grown really close, when he got sick. When they had his tribute concert in Columbus, we got some tour buses and brought them to the studio and loaded them up. Columbus really came together for Ean. It was so great to see him on stage with Skynyrd one more time. He passed away a few weeks later."
With Evans gone and Lynyrd Skynyrd back on the road with another bass player, life went on, one song at a time.
"I think (Southern rock) will live forever," Capps said. "I meet so many country musicians in Nashville that want to be in a rock band. It's such an awesome feeling to go out on the stage and rock the house."
Hank Williams Jr. and 38 Special perform Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. For tickets, call 1-800-745-3000.
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Jeff Clark is a reporter for The Dispatch. An obsessed music fan, Clark once rode an elevator with Kenny Rogers, whom he said "smelled good." He also once hugged B.B. King and Willie Nelson, but not at the same time. His parents took him to see Waylon Jennings at the Hump in Starkville and his life was "forever changed." A few months later, his parents took him to see Willie Nelson at the same venue. His head almost exploded.
Jeff Clark is a fan of all things Waylon, Willie, Hank (Hank is Hank, he is not "Hank Sr."), new wave, boogie woogie, rockabilly and late sixties to mid-70s Rolling Stones. This is his music blog.