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Shallow Side - Living their rock dreams 200 nights a year

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Band set to play in Bangor on Thursday, April 25 and Rockland on Friday, April 26

'This is the life I've chosen,' said Eric Boatright, lead singer of Shallow Side, a five-piece rock band from Cullman, Alabama that has been on the road playing one-nighters virtually non-stop since they formed in November 2010. The group has two Maine dates on their itinerary this week in support of the new CD, 'Home Today,' and Boatright says he's looking forward to some northern hospitality. 'It will be great to be in Maine and we can't wait to play in new places for new faces.'   

Sleepless and running on adrenalin, with each member in their early to mid 20s, Shallow Side continues to pay their dues with a punishing schedule that would test the strongest of constitutions. 'We're doing all of the groundwork ourselves,' Boatright said. 'We're up every morning by 9, hitting the malls to meet people, pass out flyers and sell CDs for a dollar or two just to get our name out there. We show up at the venue by 7 to load in, play a totally rocking show, load out after, leave the venue by 3 or 4 a.m., drive an hour or two to the next town, crash on the bus for three hours, get up and do it all over again.'

The most difficult part of life in a touring rock band is not the lack of sleep or the constant push to reach new fans, according to Boatright. 'We leave our family and friends for months at a time. When we go back, everything has changed. When we left for our first tour, my father my super hero a man you couldn't knock down with the weight of the world, was in perfect health. I got back and he was lying in bed.' The senior Boatright had undergone emergency surgery, a detail that he kept from Eric to keep him from worrying. 'They had to amputate his leg. It really hurt not to be there and there was nothing I could do about it,' Boatright said.  

Before the band could set out on their latest tour, more tragedy struck the singer's family. 'My mother fell, hit her head and had some brain trauma,' he said. 'They put her in a medically induced coma for a week. Before she came out, I had no choice but to leave. Dates were set and we couldn't change it. It was brutally hard and I'm beating myself up about it. I don't know where I'm supposed to go or what I'm supposed to do and then someone will come up to me after we get off stage and let me know the music that we brought to them was so inspiring, they're not going to give up on themselves or their family. That's when we realize that even when it seems impossible for us, we can still make somebody's life better.'  

To ease the pain of being away from loved ones, Shallow Side has their share of crazy moments on the road. 'It's always good to look around and know that you've got brothers with you fighting for everything. When times are tough you can't take things too seriously when another grown man is standing in front of you without any clothes on shaking his nuts,' Boatright said with a laugh. 'I'm like, I don't know what I'm supposed to do here. I wish he would stop!' We've done so many stupid things to each other. I guess it's what any guy goes through when you're stuck in a bus with a bunch of other guys 200 days a year.'

For each member of Shallow Side - Boatright on vocals, Seth Trimble on guitar, Heath Fields ('Heefer') on drums, Cody Hampton on bass and Johnny Rocketseed on guitar the band's reward is their time on stage each night. 'You can't buy the feeling,' Boatright told me. 'It's a high that is not chemical, it's not man-made. It's such a spiritual thing. No one can take it away from us, and it's all through the hard work and dedication we've put into this band. And then you look out at the crowd and the person standing in front of you has had the absolute worst week of their life. They're looking at you with a smile on their face, proving to you that what you're doing is worth something.'

Shallow Side will play Tantrum Nightclub and Lounge, 193 Broad St., Bangor on Thursday, April 25. Tickets are $5 in advance at Tantrum or Bull Moose, Hogan Road in Bangor. Tickets will be $7 at the door. The band is scheduled to perform on Friday, April 26 at 8 p.m. at the Time Out Pub, 275 Main St. in Rockland.

'The Big Morning Show with Mike Dow' can be heard each morning on Big 104 FM The Biggest Hits of the '60s, '70s & '80s - airing on 104.3,104.7and 107.7.

Last modified on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 15:24

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