Portsmouth’s Very Own Abbey Rhode
Beatles-inspired band, Abbey Rhode shares their story.
It’s all about the music for Beatles-inspired band, Abbey Rhode of Portsmouth, who have been playing music in the Ocean State since 2002.
“We approach our playing with the philosophy that we’re not trying to pass ourselves off like we’re the Beatles. We don’t do costumes. We don’t do fake accents. It’s the music,” said bass player Ray Davis, who has been with the band since its beginnings.
The four-man band also consists of Kevin Sullivan and John Flanders on the guitar and drummer Mike Jackson, all who came together after long careers in music to find that a common theme in their work was stimulated by the Beatles entering the music industry in the sixties.
“When we originally put the band together, we were doing a lot of other people’s music as well but could never agree on anything else other than the Beatles stuff primarily. We all have such different tastes in music and like different things, but that was the common denominator," he said.
Both Davis and drummer Mike Jackson were originally from out of state, Davis from Ohio and Jackson from Michigan, but found their homes in Portsmouth along with guitarist John Flanders. Kevin Sullivan lives in Newport.
All have played in numerous bands before coming together.
“It’s not something we do full-time to pay the rent, but it is something we do full-time because we love it,” said Davis. “We started playing regularly at Billy Goodes in Newport and earned a reputation. As we played more and more places, more people found out about the band and we now have a great following, which is a wonderful thing to have.”
The band prides themselves on, “beautiful lead vocals, tight harmonies and a solid rock beat” as well as always playing live music for their audience and can be found in various venues around the state, but with a focus on Aquidneck Island where it has found many successes.
When asked about the biggest “wow” in Abbey Rhode’s history, Ray Davis spoke for himself.
“For me personally, it was standing on the stage at a concert at Easton’s Beach in Newport, looking out and seeing 400 people and then looking out at that ocean and realizing how lucky I am to be here in Newport, playing this music in front of such a great audience,” said Davis. “That was such a special moment for me.”
To find out more about the band or to check out the upcoming 2011 schedule, go to their Web site here.