By Brian Marchetti
BAPA’s Porch Concert Series continues Friday, September 8 with a performance by local cover band, Old Style Neon.
With an impressive catalogue of over 300 songs, drawn from every era of Rock ‘N’ Roll and some country hits to boot, this seven piece band has something for everyone.
“We do songs from every generation, from Elvis to Johnny Cash, to Van Morrison and Tom Petty,” vocalist Matt James said. “It’s mostly classic rock with some oldies and a few current songs.”
Old Style Neon has gone through many variations throughout its existence. Band members have come and gone. Two years ago, they decided to change the name.
“We used to be called Cloud of Shame,” James said. “Everyone wanted a name change, so we came up with something like ninety of them and took a vote.”
Current band members include Kristi Cox, who shares vocal duties with James. Steve McNamee and Dave Condron rock the guitars. Pat Burke and Paul Mulchorne fill out the rhythm section with bass and drums respectively. Multi-instrumentalist Joel Barr rounds out the septet with keys and saxophone.
James joined Old Style Neon in 2011. At the age of 46, he had never been in a band. At a fundraiser for his children’s school, he sang Dock of the Bay. One of the other performers recognized James’ talents and asked if he’d have any interest in singing in his band. James has been belting out the hits ever since.
“It was something that I never expected, but it turned out to be a lot of fun,” James said.
Though the band limits themselves to about eight performances a year, adding shows when demand calls, they rehearse regularly, not even slowing down for the COVID-19 Pandemic. The consistency has paid off.
“We’re so much better now than we ever were,” James said. ““We’re a much more solid band.”
Throughout the band’s history, they’ve played a number of shows all over the southside. Old Style Neon has performed at Hart’s, Wonderburger, and several weddings and private parties. This is their second appearance in the Porch Concert Series and they’re happy to be back.
“We love the southside and we are very honored to be part of BAPA and are happy to be supporting them,” James said.